Bellevue Nutrition | Choose a More Nutritious Grocery Store for Better Health

This may not be earth shattering news, but a new study confirms the fact that where we choose to shop determines the nutritional value of the food we eat. A key finding of a 2018 study in Preventive Medicine examined data collected from 4,962 shoppers from the USDA’s national Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey. This study used the Healthy Eating Index to compare peoples’ purchases at various grocery stores. Here’s what they found:

Foods purchased at a natural foods store (ie: Coop), or gourmet store, had a higher nutritional value than those purchased at a large supermarket.

Foods purchased at convenience stores had the lowest nutritional value, or Healthy Eating Index.

Older shoppers, women and those with more education made significantly healthier eating choices!

As an aside, it is worth noting that natural foods stores/co-ops carry mostly organic, non GMO foods. Large supermarkets, on the other hand, are starting to see that more shoppers are buying organics. However, they have usually only devoted several aisles to the healthiest foods, choosing to fill the store with what is now known as ‘conventional’ choices. Organic and non GMO choices can cost a bit more than conventional but the saying that comes to mind ‘Spend it at the grocery store or spend it at the doctors office/hospital “still rings true.

A helpful tool is the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 shopping lists (google for a grocery store friendly list). Some foods are sprayed very little or not at all, and ok to buy non-organic. Others, such as blueberries and other soft berries contain more than 65 chemicals and always best to buy organic! for more health and fitness blogs. Thank you!

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