Do we really know what we’re buying when we buy ‘healthy’?

It is important to understand how labelling works, just because you are buying produce in the health food aisle or in a health food shop, or it is labeled as natural or healthy, don’t be fooled – your “health” foods could actually be junk food in disguise.

Is it as healthy as we think?

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Fruits juices – many people think these are healthy, but they are often incredibly high in sugar. Fruit juice can actually contain a similar amount of sugar to sugar sweetened drinks.

We all know the harmful effect of sugar and people have been looking for alternatives, one of these supposedly “natural” sweeteners is Agave either known as Agave nectar or Agave syrup.

The problem with this is that it is no better than sugar, gram for gram, Agave is worse than regular sugar.

“Natural” doesn’t always mean healthy

Gluten is also problematic for a lot of people and the food manufacturers have jumped on the band-wagon. You can find all sorts of gluten-free foods in the health foods section but they are usually highly processed, low in nutrients and often made with refined starches.

With the food labelling guidelines these foods can still contain a small amount of gluten and be labelled “gluten free”, so I always recommend choosing foods that are naturally gluten free like fruit, vegetables and protein.

Gluten-free junk food is still junk food!

A few others foods to look out for are:

Vegetable crisps: the nutrition is lost in the processing and many of them are made with unhealthy vegetable oils.

Coconut water and nutrient-enhanced waters: many of these contain high amounts of sugar and the claims that they have added vitamins are little more than marketing hype. You are better off taking a daily high quality multivitamin and mineral.

Pre-made smoothie and bottle fruit juices: most of these are pasteurized, can be loaded with sugar and in reality contain very little nutrition. You are better off making your own fresh juices and smoothies, ensure you use about 80-90% green vegetables to 20-10% fruit.

healthy food that are bad for you_2Probiotic drinks: many of these are pasteurized and have added sugar which in kills the love and active cultures so you won’t be getting any probiotic benefits.

It is important to understand the law on food labelling which states…

To sell food and drink products, the label must be:

1. Clear and easy to read

2. Permanent

3. Easy to understand

4. Easily visible

5. Not misleading

You don’t have to show particular information on the label for every kind of product, but if you include it you must be accurate.

This means that a product does not have to contain everything in it on the label, just that what you do put on the label must be accurate. So if you are eating foods, whether they are “health” foods or not, you cannot be certain of what is in the food and what you are putting in your body – so don’t be fooled!

Key Points to Consider

1. Read the Ingredient list: if you recognise the ingredients and think you could have made it yourself then that’s great, if not leave it on the shelf.

2. Check the sugar content: avoid artificial sweeteners in any form and while natural forms of sugar are better sugar is still sugar – 5grams of sugar is one teaspoon, so consider the grams on the label

3. Refined grains whether gluten free or not are still refined and have a lower nutritional content

I always recommend focusing on whole foods whenever possible. Read your labels and know what you are putting in your body. You have the choice.

I would love to hear from you, connect with me by clicking here and if you are ready and have a desire to embrace and find wholeness in your life, then connect with me and find out how I can help create a bespoke plan for you, and get you started on your wellness journey straightaway!

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