So, what is the actual deal when it comes to shopping the perimeter of the grocery store? I’m sure you’ve heard that by doing this you are more likely to make healthier choices when it comes to your food, right?
Imagine walking into your local Whole Foods, grabbing a cart and beginning to make your way around the outside of the store. Upon entrance, you most likely see a wide array of fruits and vegetables. Continue on and you find yourself in the fresh seafood department, the bulk food area, the meat department, and - whoa, wait a minute, baked goods? Oh, and what is that? The deli? Pizza? Alcohol? Maybe you could get used to the idea of this concept! Okay, okay, just wait a minute. In the past, shopping the perimeter of the grocery store was simple, today we have to be a little more cautious. However, the idea of this way of shopping still remains true. Check out this link from the Mayo Clinic that offers a shopping tour to help you navigate through the grocery store: Grocery Store Tour
The center aisles of the grocery store are going to contain many foods that are processed. This means these foods have undergone a process that changes them from their original form (think corn into a tortilla chip, potato into a potato chip, etc.) into a new food that has the ability to live on a shelf, or in your cupboard for some period of time. This is because of preservatives. Preservatives can be chemicals or substances that are added to food to prevent it from spoiling as well as prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. If your food is in a box or a bag with a long list of ingredients, it is most likely processed. Processed food isn’t always bad for you, but some of the chemicals and substances that have been added, and the procedure the food undergoes, can deplete it of nutrients essential for optimum health.
So then, what should we eat in order to obtain the most nutrients? Bada-bing, bada-boom; whole foods, natural foods, minimally processed and unprocessed foods! Can you guess where most of these foods are located? If you guessed the perimeter of the grocery store, you have been paying attention! As I mentioned before, fruits, vegetables, and refrigerated products tend to live on the outside walls of the grocery store. The common denominator amongst these foods is the fact that they aren’t processed and don’t contain preservatives; they are in their true form.
Now, let’s get down to business. Unprocessed food, (aka real food) is full of incredible things like antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and can help to prevent disease, inflammation, and even promote healthier skin! Many fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, which work to prevent free radical damage. Free radicals are those nasty dudes that lead to illness and premature aging. Believe it or not, certain fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds can provide you with your recommended daily intake (RDI) of certain vitamins, like A and C, and minerals like selenium and potassium. Our bodies require an adequate amount of fiber to keep the pipes clean (if you know what I mean), and to support a healthy digestive system. You may have guessed this, but some of the best sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts, and seeds like flax and chia. While a small amount of inflammation is a good thing for our immune system, too much can lead to low energy levels, pain, and eventually illness and disease. By maintaining a balanced diet, full of unprocessed and minimally processed foods, we can reduce unnecessary inflammation in our bodies. And finally, research is beginning to prove that a diet high in fresh foods, and healthy fats, like nuts, avocados, legumes, and olive oil, can prevent acne, reduce wrinkling and loss of skin elasticity!
I realize it can be a bit overwhelming, even for individuals with the best time management skills to whip up meals and snacks from real foods on the daily. Luckily, in this day and age there are many excellent options when it comes to premade, healthy foods. This is why we’ve created the OHi Bar, to take the guesswork out of healthy snacking! They pack a powerful punch when it comes to nutrients, because it is chock full of berries, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats that your body thrives off of! Because our bars are not processed, and made from some of the best and freshest ingredients, they live in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Health is so important to us, and we want to help you to feel empowered when it comes to your own health! So, take a walk on the wild side, live life on the fringes (of the grocery store) and reap the benefits!