(Not-so-healthy) Health Foods
Feeling saintly after that rice milk latte and sushi lunch? You might want to read this…
Sushi, honey, tofu… so far, so healthy, right? Well, maybe not. According to nutritionists, certain foods we think will improve our health could actually be pumping sugar into our body and making those kick-flare jeans feel that bit tighter. Meet the eight health-food fraudsters to avoid on your next shop…
‘the amount of protein and vegetables you get in sushi is often tiny in comparison to the amount of white rice in each serving. it’s healthier to have a fist-sized portion of protein with half a plate of vegetables and an espresso cup portion of brown rice,’ says Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at Superfooduk.com.
2 Wholemeal Bread
‘Always choose a loaf made with wholegrain wheat as the main ingredient. Avoid those that just say “brown” bread – this can be made from refined grains with colourings added to make it look brown,’ explains Shona.
3 Rice Milk
‘plant milk is great for people who can’t tolerate animal milk, but rice milk is made from white rice, which releases sugar quicker than brown rice. try Rude health Brown Rice milk instead,’ adds Shona. Rude Health Brown Rice milk, £1.85, Sainsbury’s
4 Tofu Burgers
‘Soya foods like tofu burgers are often touted as being “healthier” than meat. However, soya has some plant oestrogens, which are not necessary for a lot of women. Limit soya to once or twice a week,’ says nutritionist Cassandra Barns.
5 Pre-made Smoothies
‘Shop-bought fruit smoothies can easily contain 25g of sugar or more – that’s five to six teaspoons! make your own with 100g of berries, ¼ large avocado and a handful of spinach, topped up with unsweetened almond milk. as well as containing less sugar, it will fill you up for longer,’ explains Shona.
6 Low-fat Fruit Yogurt
‘Low-fat yogurt can contain up to eight tsps of added sugar. this makes it a high Gi food, causing your body to release more insulin – the fat storing hormone,’ says marilyn Glenville, author of natural alternatives to Sugar (marilynglenville.com).
7 Butter Spreads
‘Butter spreads often combine a smaller amount of butter with buttermilk or other oils. Those that contain a higher content of vegetable oils may not be a good choice as they’re “trans” fats. Consumed in large quantities, they may be linked to a negative effect on the heart. Real butter might be high in saturated fat, but it’s a natural fat,’ says Shona.
‘although this is a natural food, you should use it sparingly. honey is a simple sugar, made up primarily of glucose and fructose, and is absorbed into your bloodstream quickly. it’s not ideal for controlling your blood sugar or helping to lose weight. the fructose content can be up to 40 per cent,’ explains Dr marilyn.
Going bananas? Try drinking a homemade smoothie instead of a shop-bought one