How a dietitian navigates the supermarket

By Christina Ross – Accredited Practising Dietitian

You run into the supermarket to grab a handful of itemsonly to find yourself leaving with half a trolley full of ‘2 for 1’ deals and 50% off items. We’ve all been there! And this is, in a large way, the result of a tricky store layout (designed to make you walk through the whole supermarket for the essentials), cleaver product placement (watch those deals at the end of the aisles!) and enticing marketing. So next time you do your grocery shop, keep these tips in mind, to keep you on track and leaving with only what you need. 

Tip 1: Have your game plan set before stepping foot in the supermarket by writing a shopping list and sticking to it. This will not only ensure you have all the ingredients you need for the week, it can also save you money by eliminating the ‘extras’ the end up in your trolley. 

Tip 2: Don’t shop hungry! Shopping while you are hungry can lead to impulse purchases and poor food choices. If you are hungry before heading to the supermarket, have a small healthy snack such as a handful of nuts. 

Tip 3: Stick to the perimeter. Have you ever noticed the fresh wholefood – which should comprise the majority of our diet – can be found around the perimeter of most supermarkets? Use this as a strategy to ensure you leave the supermarket with a trolley full of colourful, vibrant and in-season fruit and vegetables, as well as eggs, dairy products, and lean proteins. Then you only need to walk those aisles that contain items on your shopping list (allowing you to skip the junk food aisle). 

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