The truth behind “health foods”
Cutting back on meat is great for your health and the environment, however you might want to reconsider that frozen veggie patty on your meat-free Monday. Often over processed and light on real vegetables, we’d suggest you swap an easy oven option for your own gourmet creation. From homemade Mexican burgers to delicious halloumi and aubergine, check out these recipes and make any meat-eater green with envy…
An innocent energy boost? While marketed as a healthy alternative, these often contain more sugar than your average chocolate bar. A healthy tip to avoid the artificial ingredients and preservatives these bars contain is to always read the labels, and opt for those with the least ingredients.
Many reach for this exotic grain when they are ‘being good’, unaware that couscous is heavily refined with no more nutritional value than white pasta. If you are looking for a healthy side we suggest quinoa – high in many nutrients, it is often referred to as a “superfood.” Find fifty creative ways to eat quinoa here.
We’ll forgive you for thinking a fresh sauce-less snack would be good for you. The truth is that sushi rolls contain a lot of rice and very few vegetables. Most shop bought versions make for a very high carb lunch, leaving you still hungry. For a healthier option choose sushi rolls wrapped in cucumber that are “easy on the rice” and add a side of protein-packed edamame.
While including any veggies in your diet is great, if it’s convenience you are after we recommend swapping canned vegetables for a frozen variety. Tinned vegetables have decreased nutritional quality and are often loaded with sodium, while experts believe that frozen veg is just as healthy as fresh. What’s more, you won’t end up wasting fresh vegetable that go off before you’ve had a chance to eat them.
Originally hailed as a heart healthy substitute for butter, margarine actually replaces its original fat for trans fats, a type of unsaturated fat. This is distressing given that we now know trans fats are linked to heart disease and an increased risk of developing diabetes. While trans fats have since been removed from most margarines, some still contain heavily processed fats. Steer clear of this product and opt for ghee or extra virgin olive oil instead.
Caramel rice crackers
Thanks to their light, airy texture and clever marketing, rice crackers became the ultimate diet snack food. However their healthy qualities are largely a myth, and despite being low in calories they have very little nutritional value. These snacks are also considered carb dense relative to their weight, so ditch them in favour of Greek yogurt and berries when you’re craving something sweet.
Martin Ricketts is CEO of Plutus Health