Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they? where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…
This week it’s…Is it really healthy!
Healthy eating …I wish it was that simple …Don’t you??
We are continually bombarded by “Healthy Food” ads through TV and social media. I know when I went shopping with kids in tow or in my lunch hour I didn’t have time to scour the shelves or read the labels and to be honest some of those labels even if you had 20/20 vision you wouldn’t be able to read it…that means more than 3 ingredients and its back on the shelf!
In an ideal world, we would all shop at farmers’ markets every day, buy locally and or cook from scratch and grow our own fruit and vegetables…The reality for many of us is very different we may live far from our food sources and need to buy food which stores well on the shelf, sometimes we barely have time to eat dinner let alone cook it!
This means we have to be smart and plan...We had 6 children and both worked full time which meant I could sink or swim…sometimes my head was barely above water and pennies were tight at times…that meant between my slow cooker, oven timer, cheap cuts of meat and lots of beans and lentils there was always a nutritional and healthy meal on the table…
Of course, now there is the air fryer and the Instant Pot..neither of which I have but they are under consideration…as is an ice cream maker…just saying…
Is it healthy or not?…what a minefield that is when you are busy…
I hope this helps…
Yoghurt…How many different types of yoghurt and yoghurt drinks are there on sale? Who knows… All packaged to catch your eye or the kid’s eyes we have Miss Kitty drinks, Barbie yoghurts, Ben 10 Yoghurts, Munch Bunch, you name it and they have that yoghurt…Kids are the manufacturer’s dream and our nightmare…
Most fruit flavoured yoghurts have alarmingly high levels of sugar they are high in calories and fat. A good example of what sounds healthy is the Total fat-free yoghurt and which contains 18.8gm of sugar that is nearly 40% of our daily sugar allowance in one go.
Weight watchers and Shape yoghurts if you want something you can eat on the go hover around the 3.1g of sugar so are better.
UK NHS guidelines:
- Adults should have no more than 30 gm of free sugars a day, (roughly equivalent to seven sugar cubes).
- Children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24 gm of free sugars a day (six sugar cubes).
- Children aged 4 to 6 should have no more than 19 gm of free sugars a day (five sugar cubes).
- There is no guideline limit for children under the age of 4, but it’s recommended they avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and food with sugar added to it.
Me...I use natural yoghurt or Greek Yoghurt and until recently bought both I am however now experimenting with making yoghurts and finding it surprisingly easier than I thought …
Natural yoghurt is higher in calcium than Greek yoghurt and cheaper but I also use it when I make an Indian curry plus I like it with fresh fruit as it has a sharper flavour than the creamy Greek yoghurt. I also use it when a flatbread recipe calls for yoghurt so I find it more versatile than buying fruit flavoured yoghurts.
Greek Yoghurt I love it…It is more filling and higher in protein made from milk from grass-fed cows lovely with fresh fruit or my favourite frozen raspberries… I also use it when I make protein drinks or smoothies also if you use it instead of sour cream when you make dips, tacos or on your jacket potatoes you will save whopping 78 calories and 7 gm of saturated fat per 1/4 of a cup.
Although a big pot is initially higher in cost it is healthier, more versatile which then makes it cost-effective as well as being good for you.
The bottom line for you and your family’s health and teeth ditch the fruit flavoured yoghurts.
Nothing in life is free… It costs us somewhere along the line and in the case of sugar-free sweets, it is our health. What cost do you put on your health?
Although sugar-free sweets contain no carbohydrates they contain sugar alcohols which if eaten in excess can cause stomach discomfort and or diarrhoea.
What are they sweetened with aspartame, saccharin, sucralose or other non- calorific sweeteners?
Aspartame the controversy lumbers on some say it is safe and some say it is not…personally so many things once deemed safe are now proving not to be …I don’t trust a government agency to keep me safe…
Saccharin...Another artificial sweetener and more research and testing have been carried out on both of these over the years. Drug and food agencies swear they are safe however health professional and consumer safety groups do not agree. Scientific studies conducted on animals have found links between both these sweeteners and cancer.
The bottom line for you and your families health ditch the sugar-free sweets.
This brings me on to low-calorie sweeteners or artificial sweeteners it seems everyone wants sweetness but without the calories of sugar. A popular natural low-calorie sweetener is Stevia.
The worry among health professionals is that using these in excess is that many people will then find foods that are less sweet like fresh fruit and vegetables unpalatable thus healthy, filling and nutritious foods are being replaced with artificially flavoured foods with less nutritional value to health. The sweetness then may cause many to stop thinking of sweetness with a higher calorie intake and veer towards eating a sweeter diet and gain rather than lose weight.
Personally, I think this is a dangerous road to take with our health… Many chronic ailments are preventable… That is it in a nutshell… not everything can be put down to unhealthy diets and added sugars but much can and that is a major worry for future generations.
We are guardians of our children’s health and we have a duty as parents to guide them. Children learn habits and if they see us consuming and letting them consume all of this unhealthy sugar-laden food they will see it as the norm… We need to teach them good eating habits …To teach them to love food, to teach them the joy of watching things grow and then cooking and eating it…We owe them the best start in life we can give them.
But I am also the guardian of my own health (and) hubbies and I see some of my friends and acquaintances whose health is on a downward spiral maybe I have good genes or was lucky to have a mother who fed us healthily as children…however some of the ailments which befall us as we age we can prevent …I have changed my diet drastically over the last few years…
I do put some of that down to where I live as some foods I used to love and quite honestly ate in excess sometimes I can’t get here…that means my palette has changed for the better…I don’t crave desserts/ sweets and some of the foods I used to eat…The bottom line is I have lost the excess weight plus feel and sleep much better…so far I don’t have creaky joints…phew…how long that will last probably not forever… the inevitable will happen at some point but until it does I will take more care over what I eat and drink…plus I walk far more…I have never done gyms ..all those sweaty bodies,,, but each to their own…my goal is 10,000 steps (most) days and some days I top14,000 other days it’s only 5,000 so I am not fanatical but have at least one walk a day…I find early mornings are better for me and then 1 or 2 short walks in the late afternoon…
Let’s be clear on this all this sugar-laden food and drink has a cost on our purses and our health…
I hope this has helped clear up a few points on what foods to avoid …Do your own research and see what you find out I scared myself but the more I research the more I want to know and also wonder how much I don’t know how much is being kept from us which affects our health.
Thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend as always I look forward to your comments x