Looking to eat healthier, lose weight or just feel better? Your weekly grocery shop is a great foundation to build a healthy week on.
Make a plan and stick to it
Putting together a healthy weekly meal plan is a win-win. It allows you to make decisions about what to eat away from the temptations of the supermarket aisle and it means when you are hungry during the week, unhealthy food choices aren’t easy to access.
Once you’ve planned your meals for the week, turn your plan into a shopping list.
Don't shop hungry
Going shopping when you’re hungry can make it harder to resist the temptation of kilojoule-heavy ready-to-eat foods. Plus, you’ll likely buy more food in general (which isn’t good for your waistline or your bank balance). A trolley of unhealthy food means a week or more of unhealthy eating, so be sure to have a healthy snack before you head to the shops and stick to your shopping list.
Read the nutrition information on packaged foods
Nutrition information can seem complicated and confusing at first, but the more time you spend understanding it, the healthier your choices can be. Find out more here.
Stay away from the soft drink aisle and fruit drinks
Soft drinks are usually very high in sugar and they have very little nutritional value. Some fruit drinks are also high in sugar so should also be avoided.
Low fat options can be high in sugar
Just because a product is labelled ‘low fat’ doesn’t mean it isn’t high in sugar, so make sure to look at the ingredient list and the nutritional information to make an informed decision.
Shop when it's quiet
Shorter queues mean less time spent in front of the lollies and chocolates at the counter and gives you less chance to give in to temptation.
Just because packaging looks healthy, doesn't mean it is
Packaging often uses colour, symbols and imagery to imply that it’s a health product. The nutrition panel, however, may tell a different story.
Should you buy pre-cut vegetables and fruit?
Pre-cut vegetables and fruit can be more expensive, but if that makes you more likely to eat it, it may be worth a paying a little extra.
Shop the perimeter
Generally, the closer you are to the edges of the supermarket then the healthier the food will be, such as fruit and vegetables, lean meat and dairy. Towards the centre are the unhealthier options, such as confectionary, soft drinks and other processed food that should only be consumed occasionally.
Don't just shop at supermarkets
Farmer’s markets often offer an even greater range of seasonal fruit and veggies, especially local produce. Shopping locally and seasonally will help you to try new produce and add variety to your diet, as well as supporting local suppliers.
Buy in bulk at the markets
Farmers markets are great for a bargain, so buy fruit and veggies in bulk and share them with friends or neighbours.