Avoid being mislead in the supermarket, or when looking for recipes online. Being aware of these five popular terms will make sure you make healthy choices when it comes to food.
A clever marketing strategy used by food manufacturers to lure buyers into believing their packaged product is healthy, organic does not automatically mean it is packed full of nutritious ingredients. For example an organic muesli bar may use organic oats, but is also packed with added sugar, oil and covered in chocolate.
Brands which use organic in their name may not necessarily be a healthy choice either. That chocolate bar by ‘Organic From The Earth’ company is still a chocolate bar and may not even contain any organic ingredients.
Organic fresh produce is a great way of avoiding chemicals, though organic fruit and vegetables contain no more vitamins or minerals than non organic do.
Raw and Vegan desserts
Originally designed to cater for dietary requirements such as dairy intolerant or vegan, these desserts have become popular in the nutrition world as they use less processed sugar and contain nutritious ingredients such as nuts and seeds. They are not necessarily guilt free, with many of the recipes containing just as many calories if not more than a normal piece of cake. This is because the recipes use ingredients high in fat and calories such as coconut cream, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds. Although they contain more nutritional benefits that your average slice of cake, these benefits do not outweigh the negative effect of weight gain that consuming these desserts regularly may lead to.Keep in mind that they are still a dessert, a special treat not an everyday food.
Products labelled as sugar free often use strange sugar replacements or boost the fat to create flavour. The sweet recipes which have become popular labelled as sugar free are very deceiving, with most of them using maple syrup or rice malt syrup. The problem here is that those ingredients are still a sugar, regardless of their fructose content, containing the same number of calories as normal table sugar.
Switching from a normal to a gluten free biscuit does not necessarily equate to a healthy switch. Packaged gluten free products often still contain the same levels of added sugar and fat as normal products, and sometimes more. They also use ingredients with a high GI (Glycaemic Index) to replace the flour which contain very little nutrition, particularly fibre. A gluten free biscuit is still a biscuit and a gluten free lolly is still a lolly.
A product may contain only natural ingredients, though many unhealthy ingredients are natural. Take sugar,salt and oil for example, these are natural ingredients though not ones which we should be eating a lot of. An ‘all natural’ muesli bar can contain high levels of fat and sugar as well as being high in total calories.