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Shopping Guide

Healthy eating begins at the grocery shop, but for many people this can seem a daunting task. People tend to stroll the isles not sure of what they need to purchase or how much they are going to spend.        This can lead to disaster!!

If the supermarket is your downfall on the road to weight loss, here are some handy tips for smarter shopping.

  1. Stock your trolley with food your body NEEDS.

                Think of your trolley as a pyramid.



  1. Plan Ahead!

Plan your meals for the week so you know what ingredients you need to buy. Always use a shopping list – and STICK TO IT! Spontaneous high kilojoule items such as chocolate bars have a knack of creeping into our trolleys when we don’t know exactly what we need to buy.

  1. Don’t Shop on an Empty Stomach.

Shopping hungry means we tend to over purchase. Have a meal or snack before grocery shopping – you will spend less and not be as tempted to buy indulgence items.

  1. Leave the Kids at Home.

Whenever possible, shop solo so you won’t be likely to give into the pestering power of your kids. This will help you make smarter healthier choices and provide less stress when shopping.

  1. Buy Seasonal Produce.

Shopping seasonal fruit and veg is generally fresher and more affordable.

  1. Healthy Does Not Mean Expensive!

Many people believe that eating healthy food is more expensive, however this is not necessarily the case. Sometimes processed foods tend to be higher in price than fresh and healthy alternatives. Shop for fresh wherever possible, however frozen or canned fruit and veg can be just as healthy without breaking the budget. It also pays to keep an eye out for the specials!


Reading Nutrition Labels

Many people find understanding nutrition labels tricky. What should you be looking for and how can you tell if a product is a good choice?


As a general guide, aim for:

Fat – less than 10g total fat per 100g in solid foods (3g in liquids)

Saturated Fat – less than 5g of saturated fat per 100g in solid foods (1.5g in liquids)

Carbohydrates – less than 15g of sugar per 100g

Fibre – at least 3g per 100g is considered ‘high’ fibre

Sodium – less than 600mg per 100g (choose ‘low salt’ or ‘no added salt’ products where possible)

Marketers are very clever when it comes to advertising products, but don’t be fooled by all the nutrition claims out there. Always check the labels!


Here are a few claims and their TRUE meaning:

Low Fat

This food must contain less than 3g fat/100g


High fibre

This food must contain at least 3g of fibre per average serve. 


Low joule/diet

This food is usually artificially sweetened and may be low in fat, but check the label.


No added salt/ reduced salt

Salt has not been added or the normal quantity has been reduced.


97% fat free

This food contains only 3% fat. (ie. 3g fat/100g)


Reduced fat

This food has at least 25% less fat than the regular product. It may not be low in fat.



Can refer to a reduced fat content but check the nutrient panel or the ingredients list. BEWARE: these products tend to be higher in sugar.


Cholesterol free/
Low Cholesterol

This refers to cholesterol only, which is only found in animal products. ‘Cholesterol free’ does not mean ‘fat free’ – check the label for fat content.


Toasted/ Oven Baked

This generally means fried so check for added fat.


All Natural/ Health Food

Meaningless advertising! Snake venom is natural.


No added sugar

This means no added refined sugars, fructose, honey, glucose but this does not mean it is lower in energy than a product with added sugar.






























Eat well, stay healthy and Bactive!

Courtney Thornton

 Accredited Practising Dietitian

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