Here’s the breakdown as far as I understand it. The outside perimeter of a grocery store is where they keep the good stuff.
The inner aisles are where the science guys get to take stuff out and replace it with other things that last longer and “have more flavor” - MSG, salt, partially hydrogenated oils, etc.
I’ll admit, this is not 100 percent set in stone… There are probably genetically modified vegetables in the produce section you might want to be aware of, and, no doubt about it, you really should wash most of that produce before eating.
You might choose not to buy milk with RBST hormones and you might prefer to pay more for free range eggs and chicken, even grass-fed beef.
True, too, that the health fooda isle is probably in the center of the store but, overall, the good stuff hugs the walls. That’s where you’ll find the fresh foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, seafood, dairy, eggs, fresh juices, etc.
We do all need to shop the center aisles for non-food items but, when it comes to the food stuff there, some options are better than others.
First of all, READ LABELS! Look for no sodium or low sodium products. Stay away from foods that contain high fructose corn syrup. Say no to partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated oils and transfats. (http://www.cspinet.org/new/pdf/trans_q_a.pdf)
Buy carbonated water instead of sweetened sodas. (Or better yet, drink tap water) Buy whole grains and flour instead of highly processed or bleached products. Buy unsweetened or lightly sweetened cereals that feature whole grains. Buy unsalted nuts and dried fruits instead of chips and cookies.
Start with, and stick to, a grocery list. Beware of impulse buys. Ask yourself, ‘Do I really want to put that into my body?’ It all comes down to willpower.