With Australia’s obesity and health related problems on the rise, 63% of adults and 1 in 4 children are overweight or obese.
It is incredibly important as a family to eat healthy and nutritional meals. However, it can be hard to establish what is healthy and what isn’t.
What we perceive as healthy can sometimes be deceptive. For instance, a lot of low fat products contain a lot of sugar to make up for the lack of fat (like yoghurt, ice cream, cereals and bread).
There are so many food products at supermarkets vying for our purchase, but as shoppers we don’t always have the time to fully understand the choices available. Really, who has the time to stand in the supermarket aisle and read the complicated nutrition guide on the back of packaging? Let alone comparing one product to another. You would be in the supermarket all day!
Thankfully, there is a new Health Star Rating system to help us out.
The Health Star Rating is designed to take the guesswork out of reading labels. They will help you quickly and easily compare the nutritional profile of similar packaged foods and to make informed, healthier choices when shopping.
The easy to see and interpret Health Star Rating is located on the front of packaging, which also makes it easy to compare similar food products. The more stars, the healthier the choice!
The Health Star Ratings are one tool to assist you in following a healthy diet, and consideration should be given to eating a wide variety of nutritious foods, many of which may not be packaged.
I’ve used the Health Star Rating when deciding which cereals to buy the boys (there are so many cereals that are full of sugar) and products like muesli bars and snacks for school lunches. Like I mentioned above, low fat yoghurt can be full of sugar.
The boys usually take yoghurt as part of their school lunch every day, so I make sure we go for a Greek yoghurt based product (which are usually low in fat and sugar). It is low GI too, which gives the boys a slow release of protein for the rest of the day. No sudden sugar hit and then subsequent sugar low.
Of course, ideally most of our grocery shopping should be based on vegetables, fruits, lean meat and low fat and sugar dairy.
When choosing pasta and breads, look for wholegrain and/or low GI products. The Health Star Rating can help with choosing the right pasta and bread products you need.
High amounts of saturated fat, sugars, sodium (salt) and energy (kilojoules) can increase your risk of obesity and diet related chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart diseases, so it is best to avoid these foods.
Next week we share our favourite easy to prepare, healthy family meal recipes (perfect for mid-week dinners). Keep an eye out for those.
For more information on the Health Star Rating system go to: http://healthstarrating.gov.au/internet/healthstarrating/publishing.nsf/content/home
Thank you to the Health Star Rating system for this sponsored post collaboration, which was in accordance to our Disclosure Policy. All opinions are our own.