Ever wondered if you’ve been making the right choices for your family when you’re out shopping at the supermarket? Our friends at CaregiverAsia are back with some interesting tips on how to make smarter and healthier choices when you’re out for groceries. With the guidance of nutritionists on their platform, they’ve come up with this handy guide just for you. So keep these interesting facts in mind before you start filling up your Volkswagen with your purchases!
The biggest mistake people make before entering the supermarket is going in without a shopping list. With a well organised shopping list, you’ll be able to stay on track and not get distracted by attractive packaging or unnecessary items.
When reading food labels on the back of products, you’ve probably noticed that they’re full of different ingredients that you’ve probably not heard of. CaregiverAsia advises to pay close attention to the first 3 ingredients on that list. Interestingly enough, ingredients listed are always in descending order of what is used the most in the product. This will help give you a better understanding of what you’re consuming most when purchasing food and drinks.
Shopping for fruit juice? Look out for cartons that say ‘fruit juice’ instead of ‘fruit juice drink’. ‘Fruit juice drinks’ are beverages with added flavourings and often do not contain 100% fruit juice. When in doubt, read the food labels and go for those that have ‘100% fruit juice’ or ‘pasteurised juice’ listed in their top 3 ingredients. If you happen to see ‘sodium benzoate’ on the list, don’t be alarmed – it’s an ingredient which is added to preserve the shelf life of the juice.
When choosing milk for your family, CaregiverAsia stresses the need to compare the ingredients on different cartons. Most milk cartons would have one main ingredient – ‘100% fresh milk’ for example. Items such as these contain high levels of calcium and all the nutritional benefits associated with pure milk.
However, there are some milk bottles that have long lists of ingredients including ‘milk solids’, ‘permitted stabilisers and emulsifiers’ and so on. CaregiverAsia explains that ‘milk solids’ are just a nicer way of saying ‘powdered milk’, which means that you would be consuming milk powder mixed up into liquid form. Also, while the diet conscious may be inclined to choose skim milk over fresh milk, it’s important to note that skim milk is manufactured milk containing milk solids. #mindblown
If you’re lactose intolerant, you’re probably wondering if soy milk is a good alternative to dairy milk. CaregiverAsia agrees that it is. The chilled ones in the supermarket chiller are usually pure soy milk. However, some off-the-shelf cartons may have additives added. As a rule of thumb, if a milk product is labelled as a ‘beverage’ it is likely not pure milk. As for organic soy milk, CaregiverAsia says that there isn’t much of a difference so it’s better to save the extra cash that it’s going to cost you.
For a healthy carb, nutritionists at CaregiverAsia recommends going for whole-grain wraps. This versatile product can be used for a variety of dishes including banana and chocolate wraps for the kids, and can even replace ready-made pizza crusts as a nutritious alternative. Don’t forget to look out for wraps made from 100% whole-wheat flour!
When choosing bread to go along with your meals, opt for wholemeal bread which is packed with fibre. White bread may be more familiar to our local palates, but unfortunately, it barely contains any fibre. Similarly, don’t be confused by ‘multigrain’. Multigrain breads contain a variety of grains, but doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s any wholegrain in it.
As most people know, nuts are a healthy snack packed with loads of nutrients that are good for your diet. However, for the healthiest choice, choose baked nuts over roasted ones. Though they look similar, roasted nuts have more added ingredients to make them crunchier. These could be anything from cane sugar, salt to palm oil.
While fruit yoghurt definitely sounds healthy, a lot of them contain liquid sugar or extra flavouring. If you’re watching your waistline, a good alternative is to purchase plain yoghurt, and then add in fresh berries, jam or chopped fruit to the mix for a tasty treat!
Do you often pack food from home for your work-day lunches? For some tasty yet nutritious meal ideas, check out these cool recipes: