Grocery Shopping Made Easy
A visit to the supermarket can be an overwhelming experience these days. With thousands of different products to choose from and millions of statements claiming each of the products to be the “best” or the “healthiest” it has become incredibly hard to choose one. While there are food standards in place in most countries which are required to be met by food companies, unfortunately there are some brands that don’t comply, or bend the rules a little. So they don’t make it easy, however, with a bit of knowledge you can make an informed choice and purchase the product that is right for you.
The ingredient list is the easiest place to start. Less ingredients = better. You want them to be familiar and you want there to be few of them. Ingredients are listed in ascending order of content in the product so, if sugar is listed first, sugar is the highest content ingredient in that product... that’s a bad sign. You want things like salt and sugar to be at the very end or ideally not listed at all! If there are a whole heap of long names of ingredients you’ve never heard before, try to steer clear. Preservatives will be required in many packaged products to increase shelf life, so don’t stress too much about those ones.
Nutrition Information Panel
This is the easiest way to choose products with less saturated fat, salt (labelled as sodium), added sugars and kilojoules (or kilocalories). Here are a few suggestions to go by when choosing products!
Try to stay below these numbers…
- Sodium < 300mg
- Sugar < 7.5g
- Total fat < 10g
- Saturated fat < 2.5g - as low as possible is ideal!
- Salt / sodium < 400mg
There are exceptions to these rules… for example fat is one area that can be a little tricky. When purchasing a packet of trail mix or mixed nuts for example, the total fat limit shouldn’t apply because nuts are very high in the good types of fat so, go nuts on those ones!
Fruit is another one. Obviously fruit is quite high in sugar (in the form of fructose) but please remember fruit is full of nutrients and exceptionally important for a well balanced diet.
The number one tip is to go for fresh over packaged whenever you can. Fresh fruit, vegetables, beans, nuts, seafood and lean meat!
Next time you visit the supermarket aim for fresh foods over packaged wherever possible. Happy shopping!
Don't want to miss anything?
Get the latest recipes, workouts, success stories, tips and more right in your inbox.