When you’re fighting the battle of the bulge, doing the weekly shopping can feel like a minefield – tempting treats, 2-for-1 offers and buy one get one free on bags of chocolate can add up to a derailed diet.
But supermarkets don’t have to be your enemy – although they stock tons of processed foods that aren’t particularly good for you, they also contain lots of healthy foods. You just have to know where to look and what to buy! The Lose Baby Weight team have come up with our A to Z list of healthy foods that will help you to cook healthily and eat healthily – so you know what should go into the trolley, and what should be put back on the shelf.
Almost all of the items on the list are totally natural, unprocessed foods, and they are fantastic for basing all of your favourite meals on, along with healthy versions of foods that are processed that you can eat in moderation! You don’t have to cut everything you love out – just be sensible with your choices!
When you’re pushing your trolley around the supermarket, stick to the very outside lanes – this tends to be where the fruit, vegetables, meat, yoghurts, milk etc are kept, and then just pop into the inner aisles when you’re done to grab essentials like cereal and bread.
- A for Avocado: Delicious mashed into guacamole or spread on toast and packed with vitamins
- B for Berries: Packed with antioxidants and vitamins, low in calories, high in fibre and full of flavour
- C for Coconut Oil: A great alternative to other oils with a subtle flavour. Use as a substitute for butter in cakes, or roast your favourite veggies in it
- D for Dates: Sweet and chewy, dates make a great choice, containing iron, magnesium and calcium
- E for Eggs: Full of protein and low in calories, eggs and egg whites are a fantastic base for many meals – scrambled eggs, frittata, omelette and much more
- F for Figs: Higher in calcium than any other fruit, figs are soft, sweet and delicious and they work particularly well in salads or roasted and served with yoghurt and honey
- G for Green Tea: Containing tons of antioxidants, green tea is incredibly good for you and can fight all sorts of potentially damaging free radicals. Bottled iced green tea contains less in the way of antioxidants, so boil your green tea and just leave it to chill if you’re craving iced tea
- H for Honey: All-natural honey is actually very good for you – just use it in moderation to sweeten tea or to drizzle over yoghurt
- I for Ice: Great for whizzing into smoothies or serving with plain water to quench your thirst on a hot day
- J for Juice: Fruit juice and vegetable juice when consumed in moderation is actually incredibly good for you. Drink one or two glasses a day.
- K for Kale: Kale is really versatile – boil it, saute it or bake it in the oven with salt and oil to make crispy kale chips
- L for Lemon: Delicious in sweet and savoury meals, lemon juice and zest is delicious added to your favourite salad dressing, sprinkled over a pasta dish or your favourite salad
- M for Mushrooms: Filling, nutritious and a great way to pad out meals, mushrooms are ideal for vegetarians, but they taste wonderful in a bolognese or with pasta or risotto. They are packed with fibre and numerous vitamins and nutrients
- N for Nuts: Packed with protein and heart-healthy fats, nuts are a great on-the-go snack
- O for Oats: Healthy grains will keep you fuller for longer and release their energy slowly, preventing spikes in blood sugar
- P for Pumpkin: A great alternative to potato, make pumpkin fries or bake it and serve it in a salad with feta cheese. Pumpkin also contains lots of nutrients, including riboflavin and potassium.
- Q for Quinoa: A rather nifty little grain, quinoa is full of protein and contains all of the essential amino acids, and it is a great alternative to rice or cous-cous.
- R for Rice: Brown rice is a wonderful alternative to regular rice as it is lower on the glycaemic index and will release its energy over a longer period of time
- S for Salmon: Experts recommend eating two portions of oily fish per week, as it contains essential omega-3s that will improve the health of your heart, eyes and much more
- T for Tomatoes: Packed with vitamins, calcium and potassium, tomatoes are delicious in salads, chopped into salsa or cooked into pasta sauce
- U for Unpackaged: Opt for fresh, whole foods that are unpackaged versus processed foods that are packaged for the most nutrients
- V for Vanilla: Vanilla is actually a spice, and it is an excellent way to add flavour to all of your sweet meals – try whole vanilla pods or unsweetened vanilla extract
- W for Water: You don’t have to buy water, but you have to drink at least 2 litres a day
- X for Xtra Virgin Olive Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil is full of heart-healthy fats and consumption of it is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease. Whisk into salad dressings or use to fry veggies.
- Y for Yoghurt: Particularly yummy for breakfast, you can serve yoghurt with almost anything
- Z for Zucchini: Delicious in stir-fries, lasagne, roasted or fried, zucchini is sweet and perfect for munching on whatever the weather. Zucchini is also 95% water – so it is super low in calories.