6 foods to avoid in the supermarket
Learn how to outsmart the supermarket and avoid foods that are high in salt, fat and sugar. Here are 6 foods to avoid at all costs!
What to avoid and why
- Cup-of-soup: Very high in salt, very little nutritional value
- Instant noodles: High in salt, fat, high GI, negligible nutritional value.
- Flavoured yoghurt: Packed full of sugar and fat, although often marketed as healthy.
- Creamy pasta sauce: Very high in fat.
- Soya sauce: Mega-high in salt, particularly the cheaper brands.
- Breakfast cereal: Most breakfast cereals, including toasted muesli are high in fat and sugar.
Big brands Vs supermarket brand
Bread is one of the areas where there is still a wide gap between generic products and name brands.
“The best brands of bread out on the market are Burgen and Helgas, and yes they are the most expensive,” says Maston. “This is mainly due to the quality of ingredients found in the bread. Both brands are low GI and contain a large variety of seeds and wholegrains in the mix which are really good for our health, but are a little tough on the wallet.”
“Unfortunately, home brand and other cheaper brands cannot compare with the quality, taste and texture of these breads. Tip Top 9 Grain is a good wholegrain cheaper alternative, however it’s not as low GI.”
Milk has progressively become more streamlined and standardised (some might say boring) in the last 20 years. The exceptions come with the more natural organic, bio-dynamic and, if you can track them down, unhomogenised milks. These may contain more fat (upwards of five per cent), but have a fuller, richer flavour. For the bulk of milk we consume, however, there is little difference, says Maston.
“There is no quality difference between home brand milk and boutique milk. The differences are more based on what they have enriched the milk with: plant sterols, iron, vitamin D or omega-3, and the percent of the fat taken out of the milk,” she says.
The milk ‘Code’ from Dairy Australia states that packaged whole milk needs to contain at least 3.2 per cent fat and three per cent protein. Reduced fat is made to two per cent fat, and low-fat to 1.5 per cent. Skim milk separates buttermilk almost completely from the rest of the milk and contains added powdered milk, making it as low as 0.15 per cent butterfat.
“Soy milk is a good alternative, however, it is higher in carbs than cows’ milk. The protein in soy is also not absorbed as well as cow’s milk,” says Maston.
There are differences in the quality of bottled and packaged juice, but even the good stuff should be avoided most of the time, says Maston.
“Regardless of being processed or natural, they are all high in either added sugar or natural sugars and should only be consumed occasionally,” she says.
“In terms of goodness, natural juices don’t have added sugar. The sweetness comes from the fruit itself and is low GI and better for your blood sugar levels. Natural juice also tends to have more pulp in the mix which is the fibre of the fruit. Fibre is great for our digestive systems. Processed juices don’t have this. So if you’re going to drink juice ever, choose the more natural gourmet juices.”