Surviving the Supermarket

16 November 2015 | Clare Hughes

The weekly grocery shop can be a daunting experience.

Supermarkets have a huge variety of products available, which can be convenient…but also overwhelming. The sheer volume of processed foods can often make it difficult to make smart, healthy choices. Supermarkets are very clever (and sneaky!) in promoting certain unhealthy food choices.

 You’ve probably noticed the junk food conveniently placed at the checkout. According to a recent study, Australia has more end-of-aisle and checkout displays devoted to chocolate, chips and soft drinks than many developed countries. [1]

These ’conveniently’ placed foods are designed to tempt you spend more money on unhealthy foods that we should be eating less of – and a diet full of these types of foods is the major contributor to people becoming overweight and obese.

We know that being overweight or obese is a significant risk factor for cancer – in fact, to lower your cancer risk, maintaining a healthy weight is the single most important thing you can do behind not smoking. 

A healthy diet starts with smart shopping.

Here are our top tips for a successful shop:

  • Plan, Plan, Plan: Planning your week’s menu in advance and writing a list is one of the best ways of creating healthy habits. For some healthy and delicious meal ideas, check out our Eat It To Beat It Recipes page.
  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach: Expensive and unhealthy foods look like a quick fix when you’re hungry.
  • Avoid the junk food aisle: The foods in these aisles are often very expensive and offer no nutritional value.
  • Buy in season: Fruit and veg that’s in season can be up to 35% cheaper on average.
  • Frozen or canned is just as good: If you buy canned fruit, make sure it is in juice (not sugary syrup), and pick low-sodium (salt) canned vegies where possible. Frozen fruit and veg are often cheaper, and just as good for you.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard. All it takes is a little bit of planning and some smart shopping.

[1] National Institute of Health, 2013