Grocery ShoppingMichelle Healy of USA TODAY recently turned to registered dietitian, Cynthia Held, for tips on how to grocery shop wisely. Cynthia Held, a dietitian from Hagerstown, Maryland, has been doing personalized shopping tours in grocery stores to help her clients shop better in terms of health, nutrition and budget. She points out these five common mistakes.

Shopping without making a list makes grocery shoppers forget important ingredients for their menus. These shoppers also tend to become impulse buyers and end up spending more than they planned.

Shoppers who forget to shop the store’s outer rings commonly forget to buy some important basic food items. They often end up finishing their shopping without including items such as whole grains or dairy products.

Shoppers commonly skimp on fruits and vegetables, stocking up instead on packed, manufactured products. The amount of fruits and vegetables should be increased when grocery shopping, as these are the types of food that are vitamin-packed, fiber-rich, and are generally the healthier choice.

Grocery shoppers commonly do not include whole grains when shopping. This can be a mistake as whole grains have been linked to reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and a number of other serious health concerns.

Shoppers tend to ignore the nutrition labels on the items that they are buying. Often, shoppers end up buying food items that are packed with sodium and fat instead of food items that are full of nutrients. Nutrition labels are important tools to help a grocery shopper choose items that are healthier.