Look for foods around the perimeter of the supermarket: fresh and frozen produce, fish, meats, dairy products.
* Opt for preserved foods in pouches or small cans, like tuna, salmon, crab and shrimp, which need less heat during processing so fewer nutrients are lost.
* Choose frozen vegetables over canned—they retain most of their nutrients. Canned tomatoes, however, are a good buy because the heat from cooking helps to release beneficial nutrients like lycopene.
* Make sure the first ingredient in a bread or grain-related food begins with “whole.”
* Avoid foods with “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list and choose low-salt varieties of canned, frozen and boxed foods.
* Focus on foods with fewer ingredients: “In many instances, fewer ingredients—and ones that people recognize—suggest that the food is closer to its natural form,” says Richard Bell, who researches eating behavior for Tufts University, Harvard University and the U.S. Army. “If you are going to get applesauce, and you have choices, choose the one that says, ‘Ingredients: Apples, water.’”