The Supermarket Trick to Make You a Healthier Shopper

August  8, 2017

The next time you’re in the grocery store, make sure you reach for more than just your basket—grab an apple as well! Shoppers who eat healthy snacks before heading down the grocery aisle left with a healthier haul than those who shopped hungry or full of junk food, a study shows.

Researchers gave three groups of shoppers three different snacks before shopping. One group munched on an apple slice, the other group was given a cookie, and the third group got nothing (none for you, third group!).

After peeking through their carts, the team found that the apple eaters bought 28% more fruits and vegetables than the cookie group and 25% more than the group who shopped on an empty stomach.

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But wait, there’s more. Researchers found similar results in a follow up study where they gave both groups a glass of chocolate milk before hitting the aisles. But, they described the milk as wholesome to one group and indulgent to another. The group that drank “wholesome” milk shopped significantly healthier than their “indulgent” counterparts.

So what does this all mean?

“Anything that puts you in a healthy mindset, whether it’s actually a health food or not, can change your mind to healthier choices," said Aner Tal, PhD, one of the study’s authors.

It’s kind of like a produce aisle placebo. So remember, eat a healthy snack before you grocery shop, your cart will thank you.

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Valerio Farris

Written by: Valerio Farris

Former staff writer at Food52. Current anchovy eater.

1 Comment

BerryBaby August 8, 2017
What works for me is having a list and sticking to it. Not always easy with the enticing end-cap displays.