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“Shop the Perimeter of the Supermarket”? I Don’t Think So!

aisle1Earlier today at my dentist’s office, I flipped through a fitness and nutrition magazine and spotted this ever-prevalent food shopping tip — “stick to the perimeter of the store; that’s where the healthiest items are.”

Alright, time out. I disagree.

While the perimeters of most supermarkets offer fresh and frozen produce as well as lean protein (ranging from chicken breasts to tofu to shrimp), there are also plenty of healthy options waiting smack in the middle of all those aisles!

Branding aisle shelves as “evil” is overly simplistic — and inaccurate. After all, that is where you’ll find these nutrition all-stars:

* Canned beans
* Lentils
* Nuts and seeds
* Nut and seed butters
* Olive oil
* Plain instant oatmeal
* Quinoa
* Brown rice
* Whole grain pastas
* Spices (a great way to reduce sodium in your cooking!)
* Canned tuna and canned salmon

So go ahead, check out what’s on sale in aisle four. Just be sure to glance over the nutrition facts — and take a peek at the ingredient list!



  1. Andrea said on November 30th, 2009

    Refreshing. Well said.

  2. Lisa Eaton-Wright said on April 17th, 2010

    I couldn’t agree more! “Shop the perimeter” has become a default response – one that needs to be reconsidered, for all the reasons that you state. There are myriad healthy food choices in the aisles. So read those labels and make informed choices!

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