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Healthiest Supermarket Food Brands Revealed

A new study has rated the healthiest food brands, and you may be surprised with the results.

Forget the price wars, there's another supermarket battle brewing: which chain has the healthiest own brand food?

The George Institute for Global Health has rated just how healthy the supermarkets' own-brand products really are.

Woolworths was the winner when it came to the healthiness of its own brand food, with an average health star rating (HSR) of 3.2.

Coles came second with 3.0; Aldi scored 2.7 and IGA scored 2.6.

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More than 32,000 packaged food items on sale across Australia were analysed as part of an annual snapshot. The new report also found almost half of all processed foods on supermarket shelves are discretionary foods -- foods that are not a necessary part of a person’s diet.

Aldi had the largest proportion of discretionary -- or processed -- foods on their shelves, making up over half its range.

And only around 4 in 10 items on IGA's brand could be considered healthy -- with rating of 3.5 and above.

The healthiest 'established' food brand is The A2 Milk Company, which scored 4.2, while both Sanitarium and Nudie Foods tied for second, on 4.1.

And coming bottom of the list?

Bundaberg Drinks, and the company Mondolez -- which includes Cadburys, Oreo, BelVita and Philadelphia -- came in at just 1.2 on the HSR.

Professor Bruce Neal from the George Institute told 10 News First that Australia's nutrient-poor but accessible food offerings are negatively impacting our health.

"Poor diet, particularly obesity and [being] overweight are some of the biggest health problems in Australia, and they're caused by us having a food supply that is really sub-optimal," he said.

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Image: Getty

The George Institute says it wants health star ratings on all packaged products. Until that happens, people can download the FoodSwitch app to see the HSR for most packaged foods. The app helps consumers make better food choices by providing simple health information by scanning a product barcode with their smartphone.

The Institute also want the Government to put more pressure on food manufacturers to make their products healthier, and says food retailers need to step up and only stock products that have minimum health standards.

Nutritionist Clare Farrand also told 10 News First that it's important for consumers to think about any food choices they're making.

"Ideally you want to choose products which have a health star rating of 3.5 or above -- the more stars the better," she said.

Feature image: Getty