It’s becoming pretty relevant that we are oblivious as to what is in the food we eat. But, it’s completely understandable when products are being branded as ‘healthy’ by having low carbs, low fat or high protein. But how can brands be claiming this and their food products still taste pretty good? Before I continue, this isn’t a post shaming brands, it’s just to make you think about the food/drinks you choose.
Ever thought about what’s in that ‘high protein’ cereal you’re eating? What about that diet fizzy drink you have twice a day? How about that prepared pasta you bought earlier for lunch? All these products which the supermarkets are branding as ‘healthy for you’ and ‘natural’ just mislead the public, so no wonder why you don’t really know what you are eating. Looking further into these products and at the ingredients list, and you will soon see that they have lots of hidden ingredients.
HAVE A FULL-FAT COKE INSTEAD OF THE DIET VERSION!
Let’s first talk about ingredient lists. I personally go by the rule of if I can’t pronounce it or if I don’t know what it is, then I won’t eat it. There are SO many ingredients which brands can call different things, especially different sugars!! Sucrose is one of the main sugars in food, it’s basically table sugar. If this isn’t mentioned but Sucralose, glucose syrup, maltodextrin or fructose syrup are included in that ingredients list, they are ALL just a different form of sugar. But that’s the thing, they are forms of sugar, usually worse than table sugar as they have been highly processed and are genetically modified to taste sweet, and this allows the brand to say that the product is ‘low in sugar’, when in fact it’s just full of other ingredients in different forms of sugar to keep it tasting nice. But, because it’s not Sucrose(basic table sugar), it can be advertised as low sugar. Crazy right!!
Glucose syrup, Fructose, Maltodextrin..huh??
I know it can be confusing and difficult to understand but you just need to be aware of these kinds of ingredients in products as they can be dangerous. If you think about Coke they have the full-fat version, diet coke, zero coke etc. some claiming to have low sugar or zero sugar, which yes they have a low/no sucrose level, but all those other hidden sweeteners are twice as bad! They all taste very similar, I don’t care what you say, personally, I can’t tell the difference. Coca-Cola isn’t going to make a product which doesn’t taste nice are they?! But by having the different options is just a great way for them to make more money. As weird as it sounds, it’s better to just have a normal full-fat coke which has been less tampered with and has no modified sweeteners in, than having that zero coke with all those genetically made sweeteners.
High Protein foods are better for you…or are they?
So many products are out there now advertising there ‘high protein’ products with low carbs and low fat. Or 30g protein per serving and only 200calories, which is covered in chocolate and has caramel cookies inside. Of course, people are going to buy it! You’re going to fix your chocolate craving whilst still eating healthy right, or are you? Yes, if you are on a calorie controlled diet and want lower calorie snacks this might be an option as protein keeps you fuller for longer. But why not just make up your own protein ball from natural ingredients like dates, almonds, cashews and ginger? If you think about the bigger picture and take a step back, that protein bar which is saying it’s good for you yet tastes amazing and is covered in chocolate! It’s a devil in disguise! It’s got to be too good to be true! Again look at the ingredients.
You can make your own natural protein ball snack at home!
I’ll admit I’ve been there and I would always go for the protein bar rather than the chocolate. It’s basically a healthy chocolate bar, right? But if you pick up a good quality bar of dark chocolate, let’s say 75-80% cocoa, and look at the ingredients, there will be little on there. You won’t see polydextrose, oligofructose or worse, high fructose corn syrup on any real natural health food. When you have a look at the back of a pack of chicken the ingredients will be 100% chicken. Simple. It’s a great protein source, low sugar and low in carbs. Exactly what all the current brands out there are advertising!! However, you will notice that recently I have been reviewing some natural protein powders and I can confirm that they do not have any of those nasty ingredients in, I would never recommend or promote something I hadn’t fully looked into!
A protein bar had 20g of sugar in!!
I actually picked up a Protein bar the other day from a company who’s ingredients are 100% natural, no additives or preservatives and guess what, I assumed it would be healthy because it’s natural and it said it contained 15g plant protein. Winner winner! BUT, when I got back in my car and had a look at the back of the packet, I was appalled to find it contained 20g of sugar!! 20 GRAMS!! I jaw dropped down onto my lap I was utterly stunned. Yes, it’s all natural sugars from dates etc but come on that’s still a mega amount of sugar for something so small. For me, I knew I wouldn’t’ be able to eat the whole bar at once as it would play havoc on my stomach so it was going to be done in 2 sittings, which was actually fine. This has been an eye-opener for me too! Just because something says it’s high protein doesn’t always mean it’s healthy.
Take the TIME to PREPARE food!
I understand it can be difficult to eat completely natural in this modern world, but if you start becoming more aware of what’s in the products you pick up, soon enough it’ll be second nature. Instead of buying the dressings and sauces for your food, make them. Yes, it’ll take a little more time but your body will be thankful for it. Make them in larger batches so you can use them throughout the week. Dressings and sauces that are on packed meats are, again, full of preservatives and additives. The product needs to be on the shelf in that shop long enough for it to sell so understandably, the shop has to include these into the ingredients for their own company reasons, BUT that doesn’t mean you have to consume it. You can quite easily make your own honey and mustard dressing in a matter of a few minutes, lemon juice, honey and mustard. So so simple! Buy it pre-prepared and you’ll find mustard, honey, sunflower oil, malt vinegar, just to name a few. Last but not least, you’ll find glucose-fructose syrup…modified sugar as well as sucrose. Ludicrous!
Eating a balanced diet with everything in moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle
I’m not saying that sugar is bad, or fat is good, what I am saying is that everything in moderation is healthy. You shouldn’t completely cut something out of your diet unnecessarily, it’s not needed. It could even have detrimental damage to your health without you realising. Your body needs a mix of all different nutrients from all different types of foods. What I am saying is to be more aware of the ingredients these companies are putting into their so-called ‘healthy’ food products. There’s no harm in looking at the label on foods, in fact, it’s going to help you in so many ways, may even shock you! You’ll feel the benefit of eating a more natural based diet too. I suffer from IBS and I can honestly say from changing the way I eat more natural foods, has done the world of good for me. I still suffer from certain foods, but I can really notice the change. I’m less bloated, get fewer pains, and, not to mention, I don’t feel as sluggish after meals!