Grocery Shopping Healthy Hacks

You may have heard the saying, “Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry!” Many people may enter their local grocery with a list full of healthy choices and the intent to buy more leafy greens, but the bright packaging of salty snacks and the sweet smell of sugary treats tend to win the day if you have an empty stomach. Before you grab your cart or place an online order, read through these tips and tricks to sticking to your health-conscious grocery list.

Create a List

While creating a grocery list is a simple task, it is also the easiest to forget. Not only will it keep you on track to meet your health goals for the week, such as meal prepping dinner for the next few nights, but it will also keep you on budget. It is also a good visual representation of the fruits and vegetables you may be missing to include for your daily serving.

Check Before You Buy

Take a quick look in your pantry, fridge and freezer to see what you need and what items you can skip this trip. This will reduce the probability of overbuying. Check to see which fruits and vegetables you already have and could use before purchasing more. Also, check to make sure you can create meals containing each food group on the food plate.


Early in the morning or later in the evening is usually best for a smaller crowd and shorter lines. Also, shop for your listed items by the layout of the store to avoid having to double back on missed items. This will also reduce your likelihood to purchase from the end-cap traps or line traps containing candy bars, sodas, all the fun things that catch your eye while you’re in line.

Be Colorful

Be sure to buy a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Check to see what is in season to get the best out of your produce.

These are our favorite summer produce:

  • Apricots
  • Asian pear
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Cucumbers
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Honeydew melon
  • Jackfruit
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Key limes
  • Nectarine
  • Okra
  • Passion fruit
  • Peaches
  • Peas
  • Plums
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini

Want to learn more and create your own nutritional plan? Speak with your primary care provider or visit UofL Health – Diabetes and Nutrition Care to schedule an appointment with a registered dietitian today.

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Article by: Jennifer Florence, RD, LD

Jennifer Florence, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian with UofL Health – Diabetes and Nutrition Care at UofL Health – Medical Center Northeast and UofL Health – Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. Jennifer is also the general manager of multiple food and nutrition services at UofL Health – Shelbyville Hospital. Her specialties include endocrinology along with diabetes and nutrition care.

All posts by Jennifer Florence, RD, LD