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Shopping tips for healthy food

Have you noticed the growing amount of nutrition information in your grocery store these days? Here are a few things you can do to make your next trip a little easier.

  • Create a meal plan for the week around the four food groups: vegetables and fruit, whole-grain products, lower-fat milk products and alternatives and lean meat and alternatives such as fish, beans, nuts and soya.
  • Make a shopping list with the foods you’ll need for the week’s meal plan. This will help you avoid impulse decisions and high fat, high salt temptations.
  • Look for the Heart and Stroke Foundations Health Check™ symbol on food packages. It’s a quick way to let you know a product is a healthy choice. It’s like shopping with the Foundation’s dietitians because they check for the level of fat, sodium, fibre and other important nutrients based on Canada’s Food Guide.
  • Spend the maximum amount of time shopping in the outer aisles of the grocery store where youll find the vegetables, fruit, bread, meat and milk.
  • Divide up your cart into four quarters, based on the four food groups. Fill half the cart with vegetables, fruit and whole grains, one quarter with lower-fat dairy products and the other quarter with lean meat and alternatives such as fish, beans, nuts and soya products.
  • On products that do not contain the Health Check symbol, read the Nutrition Facts table on most food packages. Choose products lower in salt, saturated and trans fat. Look for products that have 2 grams of fibre or more. For more information read more about Nutrition Labelling and Health CheckTM (PDF).

Let the Heart and Stroke Foundation help you grocery shop.

Last reviewed: April 2011 
Modified: February 2013