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Mindful Shopping of Food in Grocery Stores

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Mindful Shopping of Food in Grocery Stores

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Mindfulness in shopping can be effective in changing the lifestyle in a better way. Read the article to know more about it.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Preetha. J

Published At September 7, 2018
Reviewed AtMarch 18, 2024

Introduction

With every passing day, we increasingly buy ready-made foodstuffs from the market, owing to the scarcity of time to cook at home. Both men and women are frequently working shoulder to shoulder outside homes, and cooking at home is taking a back seat. In such times, processed foods in grocery and convenience stores are easy to pick up and save a lot of time and energy. Catering to this increasing demand for ready-to-eat snack foods and meals, many companies have jumped into making processed and packed food, and grocery stores are now flooded with multiple brands with new varieties in colorful packs.

In an era of heavy commercialization of food, a big chunk of the raw materials we use to prepare food at home are now made in factories and sold to us through glamorous advertisements and colorful displays in grocery stores.

What Is Meant by Mindfulness?

Mindfulness involves being fully present in the current moment, which encompasses being aware of internal sensations like concerns about food choices and external factors such as interactions like someone bumping into shopping cart. Crucially, it requires observing these experiences without judgment, acknowledging sensations, emotions, and thoughts as they arise simply as experiences.

Mindfulness is an innate quality that we possess from birth, but it can become dull over time due to the pressures and stresses of life. It does not need to be recreated; instead, it can be accessed. This quality can be integrated into various aspects of life, including routine activities like grocery shopping and eating.

What Should Be Out of the List While Doing Grocery Shopping?

It is very tempting to pick these food packs. But, how healthy are these food products? Which are the foodstuffs one should avoid or buy carefully while shopping?

Three such food categories are given below:

1. Biscuits:

Biscuits are our everyday tea-time snacks and have become omnipresent. They are available in so many different varieties, flavors, and textures. But, most biscuits come with added white sugar, vegetable oil, and refined flour. Even multigrain ones have a large quantity of refined flour. Added artificial colors and flavoring agents are common in biscuits. They may taste good, but their nutritional value is negligible. If one cannot avoid eating them, they can surely buy ones that have better composition, and we can certainly reduce their consumption.

2. Bread:

Bread has become a household staple food. So much so that it has become synonymous with flatbreads in Indian households. Bread comes in many forms and shapes - regular sliced bread, buns, loaves, puffs, pizza base, burgers, croissants, fruit cake. Even cakes and pastries come in this category. But, all these foods are extremely low in nutrient value and are loaded with trans fats, refined flour, and simple sugars. A big reason for obesity is the overconsumption of these readily available foods. Again, we need to watch out against overconsumption of these without making it a regular habit.

3. Salty Snacks:

Our favorite potato wafers, crackers, french fries, and salty mixtures in colorful packets are in these categories. They are our leisure-time snacks while watching television or having a casual chat. No matter how crispy and tangy they are, they have loads of salt and vegetable oils. Daily intake can lead to obesity and hypertension. We easily overeat them, adding up to a large number of calories. Therefore their consumption must not be very often.

What Is Healthy Snacking?

If one cannot resist buying the above categories of foods, one can indeed reduce the quantities that they purchase and avoid eating them daily. They should look for healthier snacking options available in stores and can be made at home as well quickly, such as - roasted peanuts, roasted peas, fox-nuts, plain puffed rice, baked sweet potatoes, steamed corn salad, sprouts salad, home-baked multigrain bread, and cookies.

Healthy snacking goes a long way in avoiding excess calorie intake and increasing our dose of macro and micronutrients, which are essential for our long-term health. Developing this habit in children goes a long way in their balanced physical and mental growth.

What Steps Help in Mindful Grocery Shopping?

Use a Handbasket:

Portion control applies to grocery shopping also. Despite using portion control for meals, engaging in shopping can prove to be helpful, both health-wise and money-wise. So, taking a handbasket instead of a trolley for shopping can reduce the number of unessential products bought. This can make buying only the needed grocery items and avoiding processed foods and snacks. Especially when dieting, stacking your pantry with snacks can cause one to crunch on it, thus making it challenging to stay on a diet.

Stick to the Needs:

Every supermarket has different blocks for each type of food. Stick to the blocks where the products one need are present instead of roaming around. This type of perimeter shopping helps in reducing the shopping of unwanted products. Stay mindful and avoid distractions created by other sections of the supermarket. In this way, the purchase of other tempting, unhealthy food packages can be avoided.

Know About Nutrition Labels:

One must learn to identify the different ingredients and additives used in the foods they consume. This can make one mindful of the diet and help them keep their food portions in control. Getting to know what is present inside the package can make the purchase of groceries healthy.

Take Real Food:

Processed foods contain several additives, food colorings, and preservatives, which do not possess the needed nutritional characteristics. Therefore, stick to natural foods that can be cooked at home instead of picking processed foods. This can provide one with the essential nutrients.

Buy Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables:

Seasonal fruits and vegetables offer a lot of nutrients. Seasonal products have good taste as they are produced in the appropriate season, are cost-effective, and are fresh because they are local products and have not traveled a long distance.

Avoid Special Offers:

Do not buy items that are not on individuals list just because there is a good offer for them. Although getting an offer is good, purchasing items that are not intended may have a toll on their diet, especially when they buy processed foods and snacks.

Conclusion:

Shopping for grocery items can have a massive impact on the food intake and dietary habits. Therefore, while shopping, always stick to products that are essential and healthy for body rather than choosing products that are easy to cook but are processed and less nutritious.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

How to Be Mindful While Shopping?

One can be mindful while shopping by watching one’s breath. Taking one or two deep breaths before entering a grocery shop can make you mindful. Involving all the senses while shopping can also help.

2.

How Can Grocery Shops Help With Anxiety?

Grocery shops can help with anxiety in the following ways:
- Listing can help anxiety.
- Involving senses can help to be mindful.
- Using a basket over a trolley.

3.

How Can I Do Healthy Grocery Shopping?

One can do healthy grocery shopping by making healthy choices. Buying more fruits and vegetables can make our choices healthy. Also, purchasing healthier choices like tofu or paneer can make our shopping experience healthier.

4.

How Can You Choose Healthier Food While Shopping?

One can choose healthier food by shopping in the following ways:
- Choosing quality carbohydrates.
- Picking quality proteins.
- Limiting the fats.
- Including more fibers while shopping.
- Buying fruits and vegetables while shopping.

5.

How Can You Tell if Your Food Is Healthy?

One can decide if the food is healthy by looking at the ingredients of the food and analyzing the carbohydrate, sugar, and protein content of the food. Also, looking at the manufacturing date can help tell the food's health.

6.

How Do You Avoid Buying Junk Food From Grocery Shops?

The ways to avoid buying junk food from grocery stores are:
- Having a well-defined list.
- Never go hungry to a grocery shop.
- Be mindful of the shopping.
- Avoid buying in bulk. 
- Control temptations.

7.

How Can You Motivate Yourself to Go to a Grocery Shop?

The ways to be motivated to go to the grocery store are:
- Make fixed timing.
- Always make a plan.
- Make it a part of your routine.
- Treat yourself after accomplishing it.

8.

Why Do I Get Overwhelmed While Grocery Shopping?

One may get overwhelmed while grocery shopping due to anxiety. This can be caused due to the plenty of choices that may be available at the grocery store. It can also make us feel stimulated and nervous.

9.

What Are the Two Most Useful Grocery Shopping Tips?

The two most useful grocery shopping tips are:
- Always shop with a list.
- Being mindful of the items purchased.

10.

What Are the Ways to Plan for Groceries?

The ways to plan for groceries include:
- Making a list.
- Collecting coupons.
- Making a schedule for shopping.
- Making a list of items that need a refill.
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Vishal Kumar Wadi
Vishal Kumar Wadi

Nutritionist

Tags:

healthy snacksbalanced diet
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