Walk down any supermarket aisle and youÂ’re faced with a bewildering array of food choices overloaded with very persuasive advertising and nutritional information that seems so contradictory about what is good for you. How on earth can we ensure we make the healthiest food choices when we go shopping?
The most important thing when going shopping is to plan ahead, make a shopping list and try to stick to it. It may sound incredibly old fashioned, but why reinvent the wheel? It works surprisingly well!
ItÂ’s always wise not to go shopping on an empty stomach; if you do youÂ’ll be more likely to be persuaded to buy things you wouldnÂ’t normally. Just think about the last time you had a rumbling stomach in a supermarket? YouÂ’ll find it pretty hard not to be tempted to buy a quick fatty snack.
Educate yourself and learn to read food labels properly. Knowing how to read a food label is an essential survival tool today. We all need to be made more aware of what we are eating. Usually there is a lot of advertising on the front of the packet, which more often than not can be misleading. Watch out for nutritional claims, such as 85% fat free, this means that it is 15% full of fat.
Understanding Food Labels
Food labels provide information to help you to know exactly what youÂ’re buying. Look at the total amount of fat in food, how much of the total fat is saturated fat and how much salt it contains? Take a moment to look at the label, the ingredients list always starts with the biggest ingredient first. Also if itÂ’s based on 100g (as is normal) and youÂ’re buying a 300g item, youÂ’ll need to multiply each fact by three.
How do I know if a food is high in fat?
Look at the label to see how much fat it contains. Generally the label will say how many grams (g) of fat there are per 100g of the food. Some foods also give an additional figure for saturated fat, or Â‘saturatesÂ’.
Use the following as a guide to Â‘what is a lotÂ’ and Â‘what is notÂ’ per 100g of food.
A LOT of fat is:
20g fat or more per 100g or 5g saturates or more per 100g
A LITTLE fat is:
3g fat or less per 100g or 1g saturates or less per 100g
Try to buy more foods that only contain a little fat (3g fat or less per 100g) and cut down on foods that contain a lot of fat (20g fat or more per 100g).