When we do our shopping, we are making a really important choice. We are actively choosing which foods are coming into our house. It is in this space that we decide if we choose convenience foods that erode our health or nutrient dense foods that build our bodies to heal and grow.
Just because a packet has bright packaging and loads of advertising and health claims it doesn’t mean that it is the best choice for your own health and the health of your family. It can be confusing as to what food choices we are the best so here are a few ideas to encourage more healthful foods to end up in your trolley
1. Shop at local fish mongers, butchers, fresh fruit grocers or fruit stalls on side of road when possible. Ask questions about sources of produce and choose local, chemical free and organic when possible.
2. Choose foods from around the outside when at the supermarket you should just need to shop around the periphery walls, this is where most of the most nutritious essentials are. Avoid inner isles and avoid temptation.
3. Read the label, the ingredients on a label are always listed in order of proportion size in which
they are found in the product, from largest to smallest. Any numbers on a food list indicates the
product contains additives, preservatives and/or flavours, these are best avoided.
4. By choosing products that have minimal packaging, you are not only supporting the environment but you are choosing foods that are less likely to be processed in some way.
5. Remember manufactures can hide the nasties in their products under different names. Sugar can commonly be listed under other names like corn syrup, fructose, malt, corn sweetener, dextrose, sucrose, fruit juice concentrate, lactose, maltol, xylitol, dextrin, maltodextrin and malt. Be sure to check the nutritional panel for hidden sugar.
6. Don’t shop when we are hungry, our blood sugar is often low and this can make it hard to make decisions. Our primitive instinct is to eat and to get it fast! At these times you are more likely to make inappropriate choices and choose unhealthy foods.
7. Having a list not only helps you to get all you need but helps you to avoid being tempted by all marketing you are exposed to when shopping. Have a list and stick to it.
8. Consider the ‘real’ price weigh up if you’d rather spend $1.00 on a packet of chips and get fats, carbohydrates, salt and preservatives or an apple and get vitamin B3, C, E, K, beta- carotene, biotin, folic acid, calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, malic acid, quercetin, fibre, flavonoids and simple carbohydrates.
9. Avoid the cleaning aisle even just one trip down the cleaning product aisle can provide high
amounts of chemical exposure, avoid this area as much as possible.
10. Buy seasonal don’t get sucked into buying tomatoes in winter, eating seasonal fruit and vegies
helps to assure that there is a high amount of nutrients and phytonutrients still present.