Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping by Sheena Patel Swanner with AICR

July 23rd, 2021 · 2021 , RMI BLOG , AICR , Healthy

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Sheena Patel Swanner, MS, RDN, is Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She is an experienced nutrition professional who makes cancer prevention a reality by empowering and motivating others through healthy, fun, and inspiring recommendations to choose wholesome and delicious foods.

This month we have partnered with Giant Food on their Nutrition Made Easy! Podcasts to talk about AICR’s 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations. The podcast specifically helps implement our Recommendations while shopping at the grocery store.

Too often, the traditional American plate is not a healthy meal.  A good number ends up relying on fast food or processed food. A typical home-cooked dinner is often planned around a large portion of either red meat or poultry, with some potatoes or other starchy vegetable on the side, and sometimes a small serving of a green or non-starchy vegetable. Meals like these often contain too many calories and not enough health-protecting vitamins and minerals.

Planning healthy meals with nutritious foods can make a big difference in your overall health and in how you feel on a daily basis. When planning meals think about AICR’s New American Plate.

At the center of the New American Plate are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans. These foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, and other natural substances called phytochemicals that help keep you in good health and protect against cancer.

When you are grocery shopping there are several ways you can incorporate AICR’s Recommendations into your grocery haul.

  • Add color to your cart by choosing a variety of vegetables and fruits. Choose a new fruit or veggie you haven’t had before or pick up a produce that is in season. Worried that fresh produce won’t last? Frozen and canned options are fine, just to keep something ready to add. Choose veggies canned in water or those that are low in sodium and canned fruit that is in water or 100% juice and avoid those canned in heavy syrups.
  • Add a new whole grain to your cart. Have you tried barley, sorghum, wild rice, or farro?
  • Swap red and processed meat for healthier, more lean animal protein options like fish or poultry, and healthy plant-based proteins like different varieties of beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.
  • Choose water and unsweetened beverages over sugary drinks. Try a sparkling water and add in different flavor enhancers like frozen fruits and herbs like mint or rosemary sprigs for a pop of fun flavor.

AICR’s 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations don’t only focus on diet and nutrition but also on physical activity. Don’t forget when you are at the store you are also getting in steps and movement. Park further away or do an extra loop around the store before you head to the checkout lane. Any and all movement counts towards minimizing sedentary behaviors.

You can also take a look at our healthy recipes  to add some of these delicious options to your meals and summer parties.