Healthy Bites: Smarter Grocery Shopping

By Michelle Lau

Maximizing nutrition and emergency preparedness (without hoarding) during COVID-19

Emergency preparedness is a tricky thing, and something that’s risen to sudden importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, preparedness doesn’t mean you should rush to the nearest supermarket and start panic-buying. Think of this time as an opportunity to “eat smart, shop smart” – and it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Investing a little more time in planning prior to a trip to a grocery store can help keep your diet healthy and minimize stress. More than ever, it’s important to make healthy eating a priority, as nutrition plays a key role in our immune system health – stocking your kitchen and pantry well with nutritious, good-for-you ingredients is one simple step to being healthier.

So how do we grocery shop nutritiously and efficiently during this challenging time?

These ‘nutrilicious’ tips can keep your grocery shopping and diet healthy and stress-free:

1. Plan ahead: Get more out of your grocery store trips by writing down exactly what you need so you don’t end up giving into temptation and purchase foods that aren’t the best for your health and impulse purchases that you will never end up eating. This way, you can cut down on unnecessary calories and food waste. Think about what you are going to cook during the week, how much storage space, you have at home to store the food, and go from there.

2. Eat seasonal.Not only are seasonal fruits and veggies the best tasting produce, they are also more nutritious, and usually cheaper. Colorful whole fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and protective antioxidants and phytonutrients (plant nutrients with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits), which should be included in everyone’s diet.

3. Eat cool. Frozen produce is packed and frozen at peak ripeness, meaning that is doesn’t lag behind its fresh counterpart when it comes to nutrition. Not to mention, frozen fruits and veggies can be substituted for the fresh kind in most recipes. For example, you can easily use antioxidant-packed berries, peaches, and carrots in smoothies.

4. Read the label.Food labels can often be difficult to understand; try to stick with food items that have short and easy-to-understand nutrition labels. If there are too many ingredients to read, and words you can’t even pronounce, it’s most likely not the healthiest choice and often highly processed.

So what should you look for in the per 100g column on a nutrition label? As a starter, look for low-fat (3 grams of total fat or lower), low-salt (120 milligrams of sodium or less), and low-sugar (5 grams of sugar or less).

5. Try canned foods. Versatile canned foods with a long shelf-lives, such as canned beans, tomatoes, legumes, and fish, can be just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts and also only require minimal prep time when cooking. Choose low-sodium options where available for a healthier option.

6. Go nuts (and seeds). Shelf-stable nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats, protein, minerals, and fiber, and are the perfect healthy snack when holed up at home. One of the most common responses to being bored and stressed is–you guessed it–snacking. Forgo greasy chips and cookies, and opt for unsalted nuts and natural seeds instead.

7. Don’t forget about protein. Protein is vital to build and repair body tissue, and hence fight viral and bacterial infections. For days like these, always have some easy proteins on hand; try canned tuna or salmon, beans, lentils, cottage cheese, or frozen shrimp. No pulled pork available at hand? Try fish (or meat-free) tacos with some shredded cabbage, tempeh, and salsa for a quick last-minute meal idea that requires minimal prep.

This can be a time to bring your family together. Get everyone in the household involved. Perhaps make it fun and try one new recipe per week, with each person taking turns to find a new recipe.

Since you and your friends or loved ones might live in separate households, it could even be a fun exercise to cook together over a video call, so it still feels like you are cooking (and subsequently dining) together.

With a little bit of pre-planning, you can decrease the stress and anxiety of preparing meals, decrease your spending at the supermarket, and also consume food that will help to safeguard your health during the COVID-19 crisis.

About the Author

Michelle is a Registered Dietitian (MSc.), nutrition educator, media personality, and the founder of NUTRILICIOUS, a B2B nutrition consultancy and communications company that aspires to inspire millions across Asia to eat their way to healthier and happier lives. Michelle and her team passionately motivate all audiences to Eat Whole, Train Smart, Live Full and deliver science-based nutrition information in fun and “digestible” ways. As an avid runner and obsessive home baker, she appreciates and prioritizes balance in all areas of life. “Change the world, One bite at a time.

Photo by nrd on Unsplash


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email


How Can Entrepreneurs Overcome Loneliness?

How Can Entrepreneurs Overcome Loneliness?

Starting your own business is a project that will take over most of your life. You are straying away from the typical 9-5 jobs that your friends and family may have. The sheer effort you have to make to get a business up and running will leave you feeling lonely. While it might seem almost expected to feel lonely during your startup journey, loneliness is a slippery slope to several health conditions.

8 Techniques to Get Readers Rolling Right into Your Content

8 Techniques to Get Readers Rolling Right into Your Content

We’ve all been there. We’ve spent hours crafting the perfect blog post, article or white paper, but no one is reading it. Why? It could be for a million reasons, but often it’s because we’re not doing enough to get people to come to our content. In this article, we’ll learn about the eight techniques that will help you draw in readers and get your content read!

Amazon vs Flipkart Who Will Win Festival Sale War in India

Amazon vs. Flipkart: Who Will Win the Big Festival Sale War in India?

Amazon India and Flipkart, the two biggest ecommerce giants in India, have always been in a neck-to-neck competition for supremacy in the country. There is no better occasion to showcase their strength and take advantage of people’s shopping mood than during the Indian festive season, which begins in late September featuring various festivals, like Durga Pooja, Dussehra and Diwali.

Reviewing Top AI Boyfriends on Google Play Store

Anima vs. Replika: Reviewing Top AI Boyfriends on Google Play Store

Finding your perfect match can be a long and tedious process. You can go on date after date and still have a long way to go before you find your soulmate. In the meantime, you can curb your loneliness by speaking to an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot.There are dozens of AI chatbots on the market today that give you the experience of having someone to vent your issues to and discuss your daily lives with.


What Is “Shrinkflation” and Why Opting For It Isn’t Companies’ Only Choice

You might have noticed grocery prices are soaring, or your usual go-to pack of chips is shrinking in size—all thanks to massive inflation. As of August 2022, the U.S. consumer price index (CPI), which measures the change in consumer prices for a specific set of goods over a period, has increased by 8.3% (year-on-year). Although it has gone down slightly from 8.6% in May, the highest it has ever been since 1981, it remains high and worrying.