eating naturallyShopping for healthy food is one of the most difficult things to do when you’re trying to eat better. So many temptations! Here are some of our favorite tips for buying organic, healthy food. We do these things ourselves, and they’re very helpful.

Shop the perimeter of the store.

Typically, natural foods lie along the perimeter of the store, but we’ve seen products such as eggs in the center of stores lately. Carry a list with you, and get to know where they are in your favorite stores so you can zip in and out and minimize unhealthy food distractions.

Read labels.

Ingredients are listed in descending order from the most prevalent to the least prevalent. The fewer ingredients, the better. High fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oil are two highly unnatural ingredients, so if you see them on the label, don’t buy that food. If there are several ingredients you can’t pronounce, leave the food on the shelf.

Stay away from food in boxes.

Some of the unhealthiest food is found in boxes. Examples include instant rice, pasta, and high-sodium instant soups. Try avoiding food in boxes for one month and see if you miss them. Substitute healthier alternatives such as wild rice and rice pasta.

Go to health food stores and buy organic.

If you want fresh food that’s closer to the source than your local store, try a health food store. They should have plenty of organic choices, such as cage-free poultry and eggs.

One caveat: some health food stores are “health food stores” and don’t offer food of any higher quality than what you get at the supermarket. Also, the label organic can be loosely applied and some businesses take advantage of that. Ask questions of the staff and see how knowledgeable they are about where their food comes from.

Visit local farmers and ranchers.

You can’t beat getting your food from the source: local ranchers and farmers. Many of them are happy to sell directly to you, from eggs to meat to vegetables. You’ll benefit from the short time between harvest and your table, and they cut out the middleman and sell directly to the consumer.

If you’d like to find out more about how to buy healthy food, let us know.