Over the last 18 months I have succeeded in losing 4 stone in weight (56lb) and have spent a lot of time in the supermarket checking the nutritional values/calories and fat content of various items as well as the prices.
One of the surprising things I noticed was that the “Diet” versions were not necessarily the best choice from a calorie or fat content.
I noticed when checking the stores economy versions that many of these items were not only considerably cheaper, but comparable or lower in calories and fat than the “Diet” versions. As fat content was an important part of our “Diet” for some medical reasons as well as the desire to lose weight this of course was very useful when trying to keep a hungry hubby feeling full while having to eat a healthier diet on a limited budget.
Now many people will say that these economy versions are inferior and in some instances I would agree and would prefer to pay that little extra occasionally for something that we prefer. However the vast majority are perfectly adequate, edible and sometimes even taste better.
I went into one supermarket today and checked a couple of items that we have discovered to show a comparison.
An occasional treat is a pot of Houmous – in this supermarket the standard version was 99p for a 200g tub. It had 325 calories per 100g and 27.1g fat. The diet version in this instance was the same price and was 255 calories per 100g and 18.3g fat. The economy version was 55p for a 150g pot (which equates to 72p for 200g) and was 243 calories per 100g and 18.9g fat, which is comparable to the “Diet” version (and in our opinion tastier).
The diet version of coleslaw was 65p for a 300g tub containing 126 calories per 100g and 10g fat, while the economy version was 25p for a 250g tub(30p for 300g) and was only 86 calories per 100g and 6g fat.
Obviously this is not always the case (the economy mozzarella I used in the pizza was higher in fat than the “Diet” version but was only slightly higher in calories but nearly half the price) and there are many “extra light” versions of different products available (but they are usually more expensive)
So the “message” is: do not automatically assume that the “diet” version is the best when trying to control your calorie intake – it’s worth checking the economy versions and save yourself a little money at the same time