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Golden rule for grocery shopping


I am often asked which products to favor and which to avoid at the grocery store. Although there are several different answers to this question, I decided to introduce you to one simple rule that will have an impact on all your choices at the grocery.

Know the degree of processing

According to the NOVA classification, there are 4 different levels of processing that a food can achieve:


Avoid ultra-processed foods

According to a study by the University of Montreal, 47% of daily calories consumed by Quebec residents come from ultra-processed foods, making them one of the largest consumers on the planet.

Ultra-processed foods offer very low nutritional quality. Compared to other degrees of transformation, this category usually contains:

  • Twice as many calories
  • Three times more sugar
  • Twice as much sodium
  • Less protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals

The consumption of calories from these foods inevitably reduces the quality of your diet.

Start cooking

It’s no big secret that a good way to stay healthy is by cooking fresh  food or minimally processed food. They can of course be combined with processed culinary ingredients and moderately processed foods. Take the time to look at your schedule and include meal planning, groceries and cooking. They should be an integral part of your schedule just like your weekly appointments. Your health depends on this time.

To know more about grocery shopping strategies

If you would like to learn more about the subject, you’ll be glad to know that Nautilus Plus offers grocery shopping tours with a nutritionist : recognizing the best foods, reading labels, evaluating ingredient lists, and discovering new foods. Nutritionists discuss the following categories in detail: bakery, cheese, fast food, organic foods, frozen foods, aisle foods, fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, meat and alternatives, and milk and alternatives.



Moubarac, Jean-Claude, and Malek Batal. “La Consommation d’Aliments Transformés Et La Qualité De l’Alimentation Au Québec.” Rapport Soumis Au Ministère De La Santé Et Des Services Sociaux Du Québec (MSSS), Mar. 2016.

Despatie, Anne-louis. “Beaucoup Trop D’aliments Ultra-Transformés Dans L’assiette Des Canadiens.” Radio-Canada, Radio-Canada, 5 Dec. 2017

Alyssa Fontaine, Dt.P.

Nutrition supervisor at Nautilus Plus, member of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec and holder of a bachelor’s degree from McGill University, Alyssa joined the Nautilus Plus team in January 2014. She developed an interest in healthy nutrition at a very young age, inspired by her grandmother’s large vegetable garden and her iron health still going strong at over 90 years of age. Proper nutrition and an active lifestyle are the secrets to a long life. An avid outdoor enthusiast, Alyssa exercises regularly and shares her tips to living a balanced lifestyle acknowledging that she does have a sweet tooth. She is the proud spokesperson for the «Zero Diet» brand and she is being followed more and more on social networks.

Golden rule for grocery shopping is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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