North American grocery chain stores have progressed from selling ingredients to supplying complete meals. All these value-added meals are subject to local and federal taxes.
Today, supermarkets have large ready-to-eat foods, like salads (dressings in separate container), rotisserie chicken, pasta- or rice salads, grilled vegetables, or a variety of sandwiches, pizzas, microwaveable meals, stuffed vine leaves are just a few items you can buy on your way home.
All these are less expensive than going to a QSR (quick service restaurant), or neighbourhood restaurant, or a white cloth establishment.
But if you buy the ingredients and prepare a meal he cost is much less, and you know what you will be consuming.
What you buy in a grocery store is convenience that may or may not contain preservatives and other synthetic chemicals that retard decay. Freshly cooked food is always better than food that is prepared hours or days before consumption. As the French saying goes:” If the food waits for you beware. You must wait for the food.”
A grocery store may offer healthier food than a “greasy spoon”, but not al the time.
One thing is guaranteed. When you buy prepared food, the salt content is higher than when you cook. For example, butter chicken (800 mg salt and 17 grams fat); chicken skewers (600 mg salt and 15 grams fat), sushi (700 mg salt); penne Alfredo (1100 mg salt and 24 gas fat).
If you absolutely and positively have to buy your meal(s) in a grocery store, at least choose items that are likely to contain les alt and fat (i.e rotisserie chicken, and remove the skin), go with hard-boiled eggs, a few whole grain rolls, fruit and yoghurt.
Limit meals that are pre-packaged, highly processed foods with long lists of unpronounceable ingredients.
When buying salads, look carefully at the ends of the leaves to see whether they are brown, a sign of oxidation and age.
All sauces should shine. Reject dull coloured, dark sauces.
Rather than buying your meal at a grocery store, prepare on week ends enough for two to three days, eat raw foods for two days, and cook for two days.