Your ultimate shopping list
How to improve your shopping list
Fruits and vegetables
Packed with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, a rainbow of fruits and vegetables should take up the majority of your shopping trolley. Enjoy fruit as snacks and bulk up main meals with plenty of sliced, grated or roasted vegetables. Look for what’s in season for the best tasting and cheapest produce, and aim for five serves of vegies and two serves of fruit per day.
Protein is essential in a healthy diet, as it helps build and repair body tissues and transports nutrient around the body. When buying meat, choose lean cuts such as premium lean beef mince or chicken breast fillets with little visible fat and the skin removed. If you’re vegetarian, good non-meat sources of protein include eggs, tofu and legumes.
Milk and dairy
Dairy is important not only for maintaining strong bones, it helps keep the immune system healthy too. If you’re lactose intolerant or you don’t like milk, try low-fat soy milk or rice milk, fortified with calcium instead. But remember, even people living with a lactose intolerance can still tolerate a small amount of lactose each day – hard cheeses and yoghurt are usually well tolerated. Try incorporating more dairy into your day with a skim milk latte at breakfast and a tub of low-fat yoghurt for afternoon tea.
Wholegrains are packed with nutrients and fibre, which can help keep you feeling full. The body uses most of its energy supply from carbohydrates so it’s important to include them as part of a healthy diet. Look for wholegrain varieties of breads, pastas and cereals. Try quinoa, barley or wild rice for more exotic flavours.
Fluid helps carry nutrients around the body, as well as helping to remove waste. Stay hydrated by sipping water throughout the day. Keep a bottle of water handy when you’re on the move or keep a jug at your desk with a squeeze of fresh lemon or some mint leaves to make it more enticing.
Healthy oils have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. They contain antioxidants and a range of other vitamins and minerals. Healthy oils include olive, safflower, canola, linseed, flaxseed and sunflower oil. Drizzle a teaspoon of oil over lunchtime salads or spray over chopped vegetables with some spices and roast in the oven.