When you walk down the aisles of a supermarket, how many of the thousands of foods you see would you expect to be healthy to eat?

To answer that question, researchers from the George Institute for Global Health recently investigated a total of 40,664 packaged products that are common on Australian shelves.

They found only one-third are healthy, six out of 10 packaged foods are highly or ultra-processed and more than half are discretionary/junk foods.

“Our supermarket shelves are full of products that are making us fat and making us sick. Our research shows that Australia’s packaged food environment is full of foods laden in added sugar, fat and salt that are also highly processed,” lead researcher Michelle Crino said.

“Knowing what makes a food truly nutritious is key. My food manifesto: If the foods comes straight from the earth, eat it. If it has a label, question it.”

In light of this news, one surefire way you can make sure your shopping basket is healthier is by shopping for raw, unprocessed ingredients from Your Local Greengrocer.

Opting for fresh fruit & vegetables where possible, as well as Your Local Greengrocer’s variety of gourmet products from local suppliers will ensure you stay away from all the ultra-processed supermarket nasties. Or if you don’t have the time for kitchen prep, you’ll find many pre-made meals using quality produce – freshly prepared and ready to enjoy.

So, next time you’re trying to figure out some quick ways to determine if your food is nutritious, pay attention to the following factors to save your waistline (and time).

HEALTH HALO

Most of us aren’t nutrition experts, which can makes interpreting food labels no easy feat. Misleading terms such as “natural,” “organic,” “sugar-free,” “fat-free” and other labels leave out integral information about what is actually in the product.

In order to make an informed decision on whether or not a product is healthy, turn to the ingredient list.

As always, unpronounceable and unrecognisable ingredients should be a major red flag, likewise with an ingredient list so long you don’t even have time to read it.

CHECK THE SUGAR CONTENT

Avoid foods high in added sugar, and most importantly, watch out for other words that are used to describe added sugars, such as sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, maple syrup, agave and rice malt, to name a few. (FYI: there are over 50 words to disguise sugar.)

TYPES OF FATS

Choose products with higher amounts of ‘unsaturated’ fats, and avoid products that contain trans fats or higher amounts of saturated fats.

FOCUS ON FIBRE

Regular consumption of fibre and in particular, wholegrains (oats, high fibre cereals, brown rice, barley), vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, legumes and seeds has been associated with reduced risk of weight gain by feeling more satisfied with fewer calories.

Original article by News.com.au

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