Supermarket Shopping Tips
Corporate Catering Services knows that health begins in your shopping trolley! Once you know which are the healthier options in the supermarket, it will be far easier to stay on track with your health goals for you and your family. We have come up with the following tips with the help of our consultant nutritionist to help you on the road to a healthier lifestyle;
- Never shop when hungry, recipe for disaster!
- Plan meals ahead of time. Review recipes, make a list for ingredients and stock up the cupboards.
- Look around your market the next time you are there – you will notice that the whole, fresh foods are
stocked on the perimeter, the outside aisles, not in the inside shelves. Keep to the outside aisles for the main ingredients of your meals.
- Always choose whole foods over processed junk, even if the label say it is natural! Its misleading! Be
militant when shopping. Marketing is very powerful, and will beat you if you aren’t focused! If you want to have something sweet – why not put a little research into a healthier alternative and bake it yourself – this is not complicated. Ask your local nutritional therapist or dietician for a little support!
- Learn how to read food labels, look at the ingredients list first and then scan down for amounts of carbs, sugars, fats and proteins. Are these levels in alignment with you goals? This takes a little effort and may require support from an expert. But it is a good start.
- Just because it says sugar free doesn’t mean it is healthy! Avoid all forms of fructose “alcohol without the buzz”, sucrose and high fructose corn syrup. The problem with fructose is that it does not generate an insulin response, metabolites from fructose metabolism leads to hepatic [liver] insulin resistance, which drives chronic metabolic disease!
- Bread is not a health food, no matter how wholesome it is.
- Going low fat does not help with weight loss! Look at the sugar content between full and low fat. Remember full fat will keep you satisfied for longer. Avoid all added fruits in yoghurts. Embrace full fat Irish butter!
- Concentrate on buying foods that are non-starchy vegetables, load up on these as you can eat as many as you like!
- Choose wild or sustainably farmed, low-mercury seafood like sardines, mackerel, salmon, herring, clams, crab, oyster, sole, squid, trout etc. Avoid fish that is high in mercury such as tuna, and swordfish. Refer to the Irish Wildlife Trust and download their guide http://www.iwt.ie/ckeditor_uploads/files/IWT-Seafood-Guide%20web.pdf to choosing the most sustainable fish.
- Avoid the majority of oils. When purchasing cooking oils, opt for either coconut or olive oil. But care must be taken when choosing an olive oil, most of these are not what it says on the tin! The olive oil industry is corrupt, don’t fall victim by false claims in the bottles. Check out this CBS 60 Minutes production: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-overtime-how-to-buy-olive-oil/
- Stock up on the basics so you don’t have to keep going back to the store.
- Avoid frozen fruit, unless its 100% fruit. Most canned fruits contain sugar or a derivative.
- Try not to eat too much dried fruit and avoid fruit juice that tend to be very high in sugars. For your kids, why not blend these with lots of water instead!
- Avoid ready-made packet and canned soups – they tend to be high in added salt, it’s better to make them at home with fewer salty ingredients.
- When you can, avoid the most pesticide contaminated fruits and vegetables by consulting the Environmental Working Group’s“Dirty Dozen” list and instead choose from the “Clean Fifteen” list featuring the least contaminated options. One of the biggest complaints I hear is that organic food is too expensive, but selecting vegetables that are locally grown and in season can often put the price right around what you’d spend on conventionally grown produce. If you can only buy some organic, below is the most recent Dirty Dozen PLUS™ list of the worst offenders (in terms of pesticide residue) compiled by the Environmental Working Group.
|DIRTY DOZEN||DIRTY DOZEN PLUS||CLEAN 15|
|Cherry tomatoes||Sweet bell peppers||Sweet Corn|
|Snap peas (imported)||Nectarines (imported)||Pineapple|