When shopping for healthy food at the grocery store, sometimes it can be very tempting to add a couple of items into your cart that you’re really not supposed to. In moments of weakness, the mind might even begin to rationalize such decisions by thinking that muffins are healthy because they don’t have frosting, and chocolate is healthy because it comes from a plant. Do not give in! That will put you on a slippery slope real fast!

There are many little tips and tricks that we are all aware of when it comes to saving money while shopping for healthy foods- but what about tips and tricks that will actually lead to you to subconsciously choose more of these healthier foods? According to a research associate at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, Aner Tal, “Having a little healthy snack before you shop—as long as it’s something that you really think of as a healthy snack—can change your choices for the better”.

Tal and his team conducted an experiment where a group of about 120 shoppers were given either a cookie or a slice of apple as a snack before they went shopping. The shoppers who were given the apple slice bought 28% more fruits and vegetables than the group of people who ate the cookie. They also bought 25% more fruits and vegetables than a group of people (the control group) who were neither given an apple slice or a cookie. Although apples undeniably have many nutritional benefits, the apple’s nutritional content was not actually what was credited for the results, but the healthier mindset that each shopper had after eating the apple slice was.

In fact not only can eating healthy food can change your mindset but also simply being near healthier foods can actually change your mind and “trick” you into making healthier choices. So now that you are armed with this knowledge, the next time you go grocery shopping, try having a small healthy snack to get into that healthy mindset, which will help you make wiser choices while you are food-shopping.