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Diet & Nutrition

How to ensure you're putting the most nutritious grocery options in your trolley

When checking the nutrition facts label on a food packet, it’s a matter of quantity and quality.

By Erin Fisher
Making healthy choices at the supermarket is easy if you're in the fresh produce section, but once you get into the aisles, it can be hard to know what's the most nourishing option to put in your trolley.
To make sense of packaging, here are some helpful tips:

The order of the ingredients matter

The first ingredients listed tend to be the ones that make up the majority of the product.
Seeing sugar high on the list would be expected for a bag of lollies or a cake, but you might be surprised at how often sugar is one of the top three ingredients for items like sauces, breads and dairy products.

The fewer ingredients, the better

If you think about an apple, what would the ingredients list be? Apple!
Any time you pick up a packet and find that the ingredients list is extremely long, that's usually a good indicator it has been highly processed and is full of additives and chemicals.

Don't eat what you don't know

Even foods packed with vegetables and legumes, like soup or hummus, can include artificial colours, sweeteners and preservatives.
If you're trying to reduce your intake of processed foods and spot an ingredient you don't know or can't pronounce, go for another option.

Be wary of buzz words

As healthy eating has become more popular, there has been a rise in packaging featuring words like nutritious, natural, wholefood and healthy.
Because there's no clear definition of what these labels mean, it's always best to double check the ingredients list to ensure a food really is going to be good for you.

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