We eat products like eggs, fruit, and bread almost every day but we may not be picking products of good quality. Bright colored packing and promising slogans can often distract us. It’s better to know some tricks on how to get the best from a grocery store because our health depends on it.
We at Enlighten came up with some simple things that can help you to shop and check your food like a real nutritionist.
1. Eggs shouldn’t be powdery.
Each time before you buy eggs, open a box and do a visual examination. Sliminess may indicate the presence of bacteria. If the eggs are powdery it may indicate mold.
2. Determine the pack date and the expiration date.
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Sometimes for a pack date, they use the Julian calendar, so it shows a chronological number like 211 or 361. If you see only one date on a product, it’s most likely an expiration date, so find one more set of numbers from the Julian calendar if you want to find out when the food was produced.
3. Don’t pay attention to phrases like “fat-free” or “all-natural” on a package.
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That’s nice to trust. We often see promising phrases like “all-natural” or “fat-free” and believe it to be true. But in reality, it can be a trick to make you purchase this food specifically. Products still can contain preservatives, high fructose, and sodium. Check these ingredients in nutrition labels. If you find them, keep going on your search to see if there are better options.
4. Ignore attractive colors on food packaging.
It turns out that a product’s color can influence our perception of it. For example, if it’s green, we are more likely to think that it’s organic. Try to ignore colors and concentrate on ingredients. If you see a list of added flavors and preservatives, the chance of it being organic is less likely.
5. It’s not enough to see “multigrain” written on a bread’s packaging.
Be sure that your bread is 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain. If “wheat bread” or “multigrain bread” is written on the packaging, it’s better to keep searching for other options. The grains can be simply refined and most of them lose 78% of their healthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals during the milling process. You can be sure that multigrain bread is good only when you cook it yourself.
6. If “no sugar added” is written on the packaging, it can still have natural sugar.
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When we pick a juice to buy, we love seeing “no sugar added” written on the package, but we don’t check the nutrition information on the back. And this may come as a big surprise to you: it may contain 25-26 grams of natural sugar per cup. That’s a lot! The normal amount is 77 grams per day. So, if you’re trying to keep a healthy diet and not overdose on sugar, don’t pay attention to “sugar-free” phrasing.
7. Check the texture of beef before buying it.
There are a couple of steps to go through to find a good cut of beef:
- First, examine the color. Fresh beef should contain creamy white fat streaks. Don’t be afraid to ask a butcher to show it to you. If there is any grey or brown color on the cut, don’t take it.
- Beef shouldn’t be sticky. Don’t cook it even if the color and scent seem fine.
8. Use a device to detect chemicals in fruits and vegetables.
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Surprisingly, studies have shown that nutritional labels are inaccurate by up to 20%. But we can be scientists ourselves by having a small food sensor which is not hard to purchase nowadays. They come in different shapes and can even attach to your phone.
9. Check if chicken skin is transparent.
We may pay attention to the color of chicken in general, but we ignore the condition of the skin. The main thing is that it shouldn’t be grey or transparent. This simply means that it’s not fresh and has been sitting in the store for a while.
10. Control the cucumbers’ color before buying them.
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The best cucumbers are those that appear greenish or dark green. Yellow and white parts are not credible. Additionally, a good cucumber is very hard, not too thick, and shouldn’t look dry.
11. Take bananas only if they have tails.
Don’t buy bananas without tails just to save 4 grams. There are many different bacteria in supermarkets that can go inside through this hole. Otherwise, you’d need to cut a piece of it, but it wouldn’t save much money.
How attentively do you check your food? What tricks do you use? Please share your experience below!