Come to the middle, the water is warm.

By Meghan Overdeep
Grocery Store Aisle
Credit: FredFroese/Getty Images

At some point in your life you've probably come across the idea that the healthiest way to food shop is to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the middle aisles. But according to nutritionist Heather McClees, that's not entirely correct.

In a recent piece for The Kitchn, McClees warns that this myth can make some people feel like they can shop with reckless abandon as long as they cling to the edges of the store—an approach that can lead to choices that are anything but healthy.

Sure, the perimeter is where you'll find fresh fruits and veggies, but it's also where you'll find processed meats and cheeses, pastries, sugary juices and salad dressings, and yogurts with more sugar than a single serving of soda. Gulp.

"Just because you shop the outer aisles doesn't mean you'll avoid unhealthy foods," McClees writes. "Some of the labels on these products can be sneaky and deceptive!"

Furthermore, the interior aisles are home to some of the most nutrient-dense foods in the store. She points out that there are plenty of center-dwelling foods including nut butters, beans, canned vegetables, whole grains, and seeds, that are great for filling in nutritional gaps when combined with fresh and frozen foods.

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So, the next time you go to the grocery store, do yourself a favor and spend some time investigating the middle aisles—you won't regret it.