BITTER SWEET TRUTH
THINK YOU’RE DOING YOURSELF A FAVOUR BY CHOOSING A SMOOTHIE BOWL OVER A DOUGHNUT? THESE SO CALLED HEALTH FOODS AREN’T ALWAYS WHAT THEY SEEM
A registered nutritionist and F45 Training’s Global 8-Week Challenge director, Lyn also holds a Bachelor in Health Science (Nutritional Medicine) and a Certificate 3 and 4 in Fitness. READ MORE AT f45challenge.com
From veganism and no-sugar diets to consuming excessive amounts of quinoa, goji berries and muesli, we’re all jumping onboard the health food trend as a way to lead healthier, better lives. Everyone from school teachers to tradies and working businessmen is enjoying their smashed avocado toast and double - shot three-quarter latte on soy milk. It’s funny to think that there was a time when eating healthy felt like a punishment. But the bittersweet truth is that not all these “healthy” foods are actually very healthy for you. Don’t be fooled by labels such as “organic”, “all natural” or “no added sugar”. Many health foods are jam packed with honey or artificial sweeteners that give them more calories and sugars than traditional foods. Here’s some common culprits to avoid at your next weekend brunch or trip to the supermarket:
These Insta-worthy bowls can pack up to 490 calories and 67g of sugar. That’s because many smoothie bowls found in juice shops and cafes are full of fruit juices, purees and sweetened yoghurt. By adding a hit of protein into the bowl, you can significantly reduce the spike of glucose in the blood. By having protein, carbohydrate digestion and absorption is slowed, which leads to reduced levels of insulin (known as the fat-storing hormone).
Hailed as the natural substitute for honey and sugar, agave nectar is often billed as a healthier alternative due to its low glycaemic index. In truth, agave contains 60 calories per tablespoon, and at least 80-90 per cent more fructose than white sugar. Next time, try substituting agave for stevia, which is a plant containing zero calories that doesn’t affect glucose and insulin levels after consumption. Being 200 times sweeter than sugar, it is the perfect alternative.
Many gluten-free snacks available in the health food aisle at your local supermarket contain hidden sugars, making them less healthy than snacks that contain gluten. If you are coeliac or gluten intolerant, check the ingredient list on the back of food products to ensure there is no added sugar or sweeteners.
A cup of crunchy topping can average a whopping 597 calories, 28g of fat and 24g of sugar. Buckinis are a healthier replacement. Used regularly in the F45 8-Week Challenge, buckinis are a rich source of protein, essential minerals and B vitamins. They’ll add crunch to your smoothies, cereals and porridge without increasing sugar levels.
Juicing extracts all the fibre, vitamins, minerals and nutrients that whole foods contain. The sugar fructose, which is naturally found in fruits, will raise your glucose levels more after digestion with the removal of fibre. Fibre is a carbohydrate that is not broken down by the body and absorbed, therefore it keeps you feeling fuller for longer and reduces blood glucose levels. Smoothies are a better alternative so you don’t miss out on fibre, vitamins and nutrients.