Five Foods To Always Avoid At The Supermarket


Want to stack the nutrition odds in your favour? The key is good food so here are five things to never let into your shopping trolley: lollies, cookies, sugar-sweetened drinkings, potato crisp and processed meats.

Known as discretionary foods, all five are highs in either added sugars, saturated fat or salt. Discretionary foods offer kilojoules but not many nutrients.

Consuming a lot of discretionary foods and drinks increases the health risks of weight gain, obesity, heart disease, form 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Unless youre exceedingly active, it is unlikely that you can eat a lot of these foods and also be a healthy weight.


Dental caries or cavities( holes in your teeth) are the most common and costly preventable diet-related problem. Its bad enough that one in five adults rate their oral health as fair or poor, the prevalence of dental caries in children is also increasing. If you or your kids are lolly addicts, the most effective ways to avoid dental disease is to give up grazing on confectionery.

Dump the lolly purse and swap to sugar-free chewing gum to save the kilojoules and your teeth. Susan/ Flickr, CC BY

Sugar and other fermentable carbohydrates from highly processed foods are major risk factors for both the start and progress of dental cancer .~ ATAGEND The more lollies you feed, and the more often you eat them, the bigger the risk.

Whats more, theyll construct you fat. Only 100 grams of gelatin newborns has over 1,400 kilojoules and over 50 grams of sugar, which is about ten teaspoons. Dump the lolly purse and swap to sugar-free chewing gum to save the kilojoules and your teeth.

Sugar-sweetened drinks

Sugar-sweetened liquors include sweetened soft drinks, athletics drinkings, energy beverages, fruit juice drinkings and cordial.

Drink soda water if you want the fizz of soft drinks without the kilojoules. arbyreed/ Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

In a trial of over 15,000 adults who were followed up for 15 years, researchers procured drinking one or more beakers of soft drink a day increased health risks of developing type 2 diabetes by 29%, compared to drinking less than one glass a month. And a US study estimated drinking one can of soft drink a day could contribute to over six kilograms of weight gain in merely a year, if the kilojoules were not offset by increasing physical activity or by cutting back on food intake.

Since we know these extra kilojoules are usually not offset, you can see why drinking sweet drinkings regularly increases the risk of weight gain.

Swap to diet beverages, or soda water if you want the fizz without the kilojoules. Better still, drink water. Unless youre an elite athlete, plain water is all this is necessary during sport.

Crisps of all kinds

Crisps, including potato chips, Burger Rings, Twisties and corn chips, are some of the most popular snack food in the developed world. And the bigger the container, the more we eat.

Crisps are one of the most popular snack foods in the developed world. Alan/ Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

A healthy low-kilojoule alternative is air-popped popcorn. So set the multi-bag of crisp back on the shelf, grab a bag of popcorn kernels, and pop them yourself at home.

Popcorn is wholegrain, more satisfying and cheap. One cup of air-popped popcorn has 150 kilojoules, compared to 550 kilojoules in a 25 -gram individual packet of potato crisp. This approximately 400 -kilojoule saving being equal of the energy burned up in about a 25 -minute walk.


Most biscuits are eaten with a cup of tea or coffee. But the problem is that cookies offer more than crunchiness. They contain large amounts of kilojoules, unhealthy fats and highly processed carbohydrates. Whats more, theyre mostly low in fibre and whole grains.

Biscuits are mostly low in fibre and whole grains. Rob Faulkner/ Flickr, CC BY

Look at it this style: two cream-filled cookies contain around 860 kilojoules. Youd need to push your shopping streetcar for about an hour to burn that up.

Instead load up on fruit and save on kilojoules. One beaker of strawberries has 150 kilojoules, a small bunch grapes 350 kilojoules and a medium banana 365 kilojoules.

Processed meat

Processed meat includes meat products preserved by smoking, curing, salting or the addition of preservatives including nitrite, nitrates, phosphate, glutamate or ascorbic acid. They include bacons, ham, pastrami, salami, corned beef, chorizo, devon, fritz, luncheon meats, some sausages, hot dogs, cabanossi and kabana.

Theres no altogether safe level of intake for these foods. The more processed meat you eat, the greater your risk of developing bowel cancer over a lifetime.

Processed meat are preserved by smoking, curing, salting or the addition of preservatives. Alpha/ Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA

Keep processed meat for when there are no other choices available. Whenever possible, load up with tomatoes and mushrooms, and swap the breakfast bacon for an egg with baked beans and a mixed vegetable grill.

Grab a pack of fresh chicken breast and cook it for employ on sandwiches, or buy reduced-fat cheese, canned tuna and salmon, or small cans of four-bean mix.

If you have a recipe that calls for chopped bacon, replace it with diced browned onion and garlic, mixed with a couple of tablespoons of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or pine nuts.

Avoiding the five foods discussed here and replacing them with the suggestions I have outlined will put you on track to a long, healthy life. Ideally these foods will never appear in your shopping streetcar, unlike the five foods that should be there every time youre filling up the shopping trolley.

Clare Collins, Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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