5 Grocery Shopping Hacks That Will Help You Stick To Your Healthy Eating Plan

Finding it hard to do a diet-friendly grocery shop? We asked nutritional coach Lyda Borgesteign how to make the healthiest choices at our local supermarket.

Woman Grocery Shopping

Are you guilty of doing a supermarket sweep-style grocery shop and haphazardly grabbing everything you come into contact with – sugary treats, greasy carbs and all? Well take stock ladypal, cos a new study by Public Health Nutrition has shown that the people who are most likely to stick to their healthy eating plans are those who cook with clean, fresh ingredients six or seven nights a week. That means it’s absolutely essential to have your cupboards jam-packed full of healthy, wholesome ingredients.

The lesson? Make the right choices at the local grocery shop and you’ll be more likely to eat healthy the whole week through. We asked nutrition and wellness coach Lyda Borgesteign how to buy the healthiest eats.

Be wary when buying dairy

Think you’re doing a good turn by buying low-fat or fat-free? Think again, says Lyda. “Low-fat, light, no fat or fat-free are claims that can only be made on items that have been specially processed, altered, formulated or reformulated so as to lower, or completely remove the amount of nutrient in the food. Although you’re consuming less calories, you are also gaining more chemicals, preservatives and artificial ingredients, while missing out on the good fats.”

Stock up on fresh fish

Another tip? Fish is a great choice if you’re trying to be healthy. “To get maximum benefit, choose oily fish first for the omega-3 profile,” suggests Lyda. Think mackerel, salmon, trout, sardines and kippers.

Choose bread carefully

When buying bread, multigrain or fibre-rich doesn’t necessarily mean that it has a high nutritional value. “Where possible choose spelt, rye, buckwheat and sourdough varieties which are usually rich in fibre, less processed and have a better nutrient profile compared to the standard loaf,” Lyda recommends. And, as a rule of thumb, the lower the number of ingredients, the better.

Don’t be fooled by gluten-free. These foods are not always as good as they seem.

Steer clear of gluten-free

“Don’t be fooled by gluten-free,” says Lyda. “These foods are not always as good as they seem. Most are laced with even more artificial ingredients in an effort to make them resemble the normal foods. Instead, stock up on plain nuts and seeds and fresh fruit.”

Keep tinned items to a minimum

“This aisle can have some cheaper protein options like tinned tuna, salmon, sardines and legumes which are good options to have,” says Lyda. But they do come with a warning. “Although canned beans are convenient, they can cost twice as much per gram vs the dried kind and have a lot more sodium.

The fix? Make your own. “Soak dried beans in water overnight,” instructs Lyda. “Drain them in the morning, and freeze what you don’t use. They’ll last up to six months, and no defrosting is required.”