Shop by food groups & lose weight the healthy way.

This-Your memory might be a little hazy on those foods groups you learned about in school, you might even have a fuzzy image of a pyramid pop up in your mind, but this is probably not going to help you too much.

That’s why we are going back to basics and reviewing the food groups, and what to shop for in each, so that your trolley ends up full of the right stuff, and the glossy new food products and fad diet items can be bypassed without a second glance.

As with all foods, there are healthy options and less healthy options. No food is “bad” or not allowed, it’s all about making mindful choices. If you choose to indulge sometimes as part of a balanced diet that’s                                                                      perfectly ok!

The foods below are just a guide for foods you should try to choose the majority of the time, so that when it’s time for a treat you can enjoy it knowing it all balances out.

Breads, cereals, and grains


  •  Grainy and wholemeal breads, wraps, english muffins, and rolls
  • Wholegrain or wholemeal crackers
  • Basmati or brown rice
  • Durum (wholemeal) pasta
  • Rolled oats, high fibre (>6g/100g) and low sugar (<15g/100g) cereals such as All Bran, Guardian, Shredded Wheat, or natural low fat muesli
  • Soba (buckwheat) noodles, whole semolina noodles, quinoa noodles, kelp noodles
  • Other wholegrains for cooking, baking, and home made muesli mixes- rye, oats, spelt, barley, corn, wholewheat
  • Air popped popcorn

Less healthy:

  • White bread
  • White rice
  • White pasta
  • Two minute noodles
  • Sugary cereals
  • White wraps
  • Flavoured quick oats
  • White crackers or rice crackers
  • Buttery salted popcorn
  • Sweet biscuits
  • Cakes
  • Pastries

Fruit and vegetables


In moderate amounts

  • Potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Corn
  • Peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Parsnip
  • Lentils
  • Beetroot
  • Avocado
  • Whole fruit

In plentiful amounts

  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach and other green leafy veggies
  • Carrots
  • Capsicum
  • Onion
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Shallots
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Sprouts
  • Tomato
  • Any other non-starchy vegetables

Less healthy:

  • Fried veggies like chips or potato gems
  • Some oven bake frozen veggies (added fat/sodium)
  • Some canned vegetables have added sodium
  • Canned fruit in syrup or with added sugar
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit desserts, sorbet, or frozen yoghurts

Meat and meat alternatives


  • Fresh lean meat
  • Lean poultry without skin
  • Fish – grilled, oven baked, steamed
  • Eggs- boiled, scrambled, dry fried, baked
  • Tofu
  • Lentils
  • Unsalted nuts (just 10-12 nuts at a time though)

Less healthy:

  • Cheaper cuts of fatty meat
  • Skin on poultry, fried or deep fried (especially if crumbed)
  • Processed meat like sausages, salami, bacon rashers, devon, burgers,
  • Salted or sugar coated nuts



  • Low fat milk
  • Low fat and sugar yoghurt
  • Non fat plain greek yoghurt
  • Low fat and unsweetened soy and nut milks
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Cottage cheese
  • Light custard

Less healthy:

  • Fruity flavoured yoghurts, especially the full fat varieties
  • Cream
  • Ice cream
  • Sour cream
  • Full fat creamed cheese
  • Butter
  • Full fat cheese
  • Condensed milk

Although this guide doesn’t include everything, it’s can be a great tool to help get you on track with stocking your pantry and fridge with healthy ingredients so eating healthy is a breeze.