News & Media

28 July 2015

How to make healthy choices at the supermarket

The supermarket aisles are filled with clever marketing and confusing information, just waiting to undo our healthiest intentions. But with a little know-how, healthy choices are much easier.

The supermarket aisles are filled with clever marketing and confusing information, just waiting to undo our healthiest intentions. But with a little know-how, healthy choices are much easier.

Watch for these common pitfalls next time you are shopping!

• Many products have a ‘light’ version, but that doesn’t mean it’s better for you. ‘Light’ may refer to colour, texture or taste of a food, not necessarily the fat content. Light olive oil is a good example of this; it is just lighter in colour, which means it is actually less nutritious.

 Similarly, many products boast they are ‘natural’. However, they may have the same amount (if not more) of fat, sugar or energy as regular varieties.

Just because a product is ‘natural’ does not make it healthy; think of ‘natural lollies’ – they are still lollies and so they are not a healthy choice either.

 ‘Baked, not fried’ is another favourite slogan of food marketers. This does not mean the food is lower in fat or energy. Fats and oils may be added to the food when baked, so it may not be a healthy option.

Always read the ingredients list and look for hidden sources of fat such as vegetable oil, palm oil, hydrogenated oil or tallow.

If you’d like to make better shopping decisions in the supermarket, or you’re confused by the labels and claims on foods, Accredited Practising Dietitians at Latrobe Community Health Service regularly run healthy shopping tours.

Learn what to look for on a nutrition information panel, choosing healthy products, and avoiding tricky nutritional claims.

Call Carolyn on 1800 242 696 to book your place on the next supermarket tour.