Diet this and protein that – it’s all Bridges too far and it’s not necessary
Don’t follow the foodie quack pack
A FEW years ago the only people drinking protein shakes were body builder types in singlets with hairy backs and no necks.
And remember those guys in chemists with gold chains and shiny suits selling crazy liquid weight- loss diets? And those women in G- string leotards on late- night TV shows pushing dodgy diet powders?
But now the health food industry and its potions and powders has moved from the margins to the mainstream. These days even supermarkets and discount stores have aisles packed with Protein Fx Lo Carb bars, Rapid Loss Chocolate Shakes and Go Natural Protein Breakfast Bars.
Yep, the inmates are taking over the asylum and they’re all on wheat germ smoothie diets with added ancient grains.
It’s no wonder people are losing track of what healthy eating is. ( Let me give you a tip: it’s sure as hell not Go Natural Protein Breakfast Bars in coffee flavour with glucose and honey as the two main ingredients.)
Leading the health food quack pack is TV trainer Michelle Bridges and her Blackmores range. This makes her the latest celebrity health food hack. In my eyes she’s just as bad as Sarah “I quit sugar but got hooked on rice malt syrup” Wilson.
And Gwyneth “lose weight by steam- cleaning your colon” Paltrow.
I wish Bridges would stop pushing her range of Blackmores products that are unnecessary for the average person, hugely expensive and packed with hidden nasties.
Thanks to people like Bridges, we’ve got our heads so far jammed up our ( organic, locally harvested) dates that we think a healthy diet needs the addition of products such as cherry coconut protein bites, chia and organic linseed breakfast sprinkle and vitality reds body boost.
All from Michelle Bridges’ Blackmores range, of course. It’s ridiculous.
Take, for instance, her breakfast sprinkle. It is 50 per cent fat – twice that of a Mars bar. Now those are “good fats” but they’re still saturated fats and could be a real trap for someone trying to lose weight.
And her popular protein balls are highly processed and have no less than 26 ingredients, many of which are chemicals you have never heard of and wouldn’t recognise as food.
The protein powders also are unnecessary; if you want protein you are much better off having a piece of lean red meat or fish, a few eggs or a handful of nuts. And why eat something with strawberry powder when you can have a handful of strawberries?
The Blackmores’ website notes the protein powders should be used “in conjunction with a balanced diet and appropriate exercise program”.
But if you have a balanced diet, then protein powders and shakes are exactly what you don’t need.
I spoke to Tim Cassettari, an accredited practising dietitian about this issue. He told me that while such products are not harmful, they are mostly not necessary.
The only people who might benefit, Tim said, are body builders, people who are ill and vegans. He said most Australians easily meet their protein needs with their daily diets, particularly through tion of red meat.
It’s the hypocrisy that bugs me. Bridges has long talked about the benefits of eating healthy, homecooked simple food, so why is she promoting these products to people who mostly don’t need them?
In fact, we are so tuned into believing this stuff will make us more healthy that we don’t listen to warnings from the real experts – the dietitians. We don’t listen when they tell us to be wary of the hidden calories in supposedly sugar- free foods. We don’t listen when they tell us that coconut oil still contains calories and that agave syrup still contains sugar.
So why is Bridges pushing this muck? This stuff is more expensive than normal food. Take her vitality greens body boost, which is $ 19.99 for 100g, which makes it $ 200 a kilo.
No wonder Bridges has just made the Forbes Rich List.
The problem is that she has enormous credibility in this area. People like her and trust her and believe her products will be good for them.
So here are my questions for her: how do these products fit in with your mantra of health and fitness? Why are you promoting them to average people who don’t need them? Doesn’t this go against everything you preach about whole foods, getting fit and respecting your body?
susie. obrien@ news. com. au