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The Informed Consumer

Por Lic. Isabel C. Rodríguez R.* -

Do you shop for an item and then return home with something else? Do you buy something without knowing about the quality, or buy something on impulse and never use it?

Surely you have experienced something similar, then lamented later about spending money unnecessarily. You may find our method of shopping funny, but when dealing with health, we should take several measures.
Health products and services don’t escape the publicity. Sometimes professional people with important backgrounds will misrepresent a health product.

For this reason, MyDiet™ recommends you follow these tips before investing your money in health products and foods:

  • Don’t let yourself fall into the publicity trap. Learn more about the professionals who represent the products or services.
  • Trust your physician. If you have a health problem, visit your primary doctor first and follow his advice. Buy only the products and medications that you really need.
  • If you plan to buy a health service or item, remember that the more expensive item or service may not necessarily be the best.
  • Do some research before you buy your food.
  • Don't just buy the first food you see advertised without thinking about its nutrition value or even if you'll like the taste.
  • When you shop as a family, coordinate your choices to cover all of the major food groups, including some favorites of each family member.
  • Think nutrition when filling the cart, and make sure to buy delicious foods that are appealing to the eye as well as the stomach!

MyDiet™ wants to give you some tips that will help you select your food wisely when grocery shopping:

  • Prepare a list. Before leaving the house, make a list of all the food that you need to buy. This way, you will avoid filling the cart with products you don't need.
  • Don't go to the supermarket hungry. If you go to the store with a full belly, you won't buy impulsively.
  • Verify the expiration dates of the food. Make sure you don't take home products that have expired or will expire soon.
  • Read the product labels. Take time to review each nutritional label. Avoid buying those products with high-fat or sugar content.
  • Compare the prices and the commercial labels. Don’t let colorful packages influence you. If several companies manufacture the product you plan to buy, compare the nutritional content and the prices before you make a decision. Remember that the store's private label usually costs less. Also, discount coupons provide an excellent way to spend less money, but only if you use them to buy those products on your shopping list.
  • Take advantage of the seasonal fruits and vegetables, which will cost less and taste fresher. If you like, you can also buy them and freeze them to use out of season. This way you'll always have a variety of foods.
  • Buy only the necessary quantities. If you buy more, you'll probably eat more.
  • Enjoy teaching. Kids love shopping carts. Teach them the most nutritious way to fill the cart.

Along with food, we often buy other products we consider necessary for our health like diet supplements, vitamins, infusions and other expensive items. But, in most of the cases, we don't need these items. Before buying these kinds of products, consult your nutritionist on the benefits they offer.

We hope these healthy tips will help you fill your grocery cart with food, which will benefit your entire family both nutritionally and economically.

*Nutritionist form MyDiet™ Team President of the Venezuelan Society of  Nutritional Education


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