There is so much written about what we should eat and what we shouldn’t eat, how much sugar or salt foods contain, how much of this, how much of that…I can’t blame anyone for feeling like ..What do we eat then?
This small list is not exhaustive but it covers a few of the main food groups things most of us eat or cook with on a regular basis and often there are so many choices for alternatives that we at loss as to what we can replace our regular food with. I hope this makes it a little easier for you.
I am also not going to bombard you with statistics and ingredients we can all look at a bottle or a can to see what is in it…If we don’t know ..google it… ask…question…we should all know what we are eating and feeding our families…It is then our choice as to whether we change or continue.
Sugary drinks: Unhealthy:
When we enter a supermarket, restaurant or corner shop we are met with chilled cabinets and shelves full of enticing drinks all screaming at us to buy me or the kids are….and that is the difficult thing saying no to your kids or grandkids when the drink bottle shouts Miss Kitty or the latest fad or you have just watched your favourite TV personality endorsing a drink. We all know or should by now know just how much sugar is in them and that is without the other nasties like colouring even the ones that scream I am healthier than the bottle next door..buy me! They are lying!
What does this say…???? Is that blue tongue because of something healthy? I think not…
Expensive I hear you say ….no it is not… Most of what we eat is taught to us…we teach our children, our parents taught us…some folks when they grow older make their own choices…That’s fine…but make an informed choice and try an alternative you may like it.
Water is healthy. Coffee and tea are healthy it is maybe what you put in it which is NOT.
Soda water with ice and lime or lemon is a nice refreshing drink. Freeze some fruit orange slices or pomelo, and pop it in the glass with the soda water..very nice and refreshing.
Smoothies using fruit and vegetables that are in season..let the kids help, choose their fruits, make up little bags and freeze the fruit and then they can just pop it in the blender and make their own, it’s fun and healthy, no added sugar just natural sugars. Use fruit in season and add a slice of carrot, tomato, or beetroot it makes a lovely drink with no nasties. It also encourages them to eat their veggies…
Pizza is one of the most popular foods on this planet it comes in many guises savoury and sweet and the majority of the fat in most pizzas is saturated fat. If you eat too much saturated fat, you increase your risk for heart disease. Many frozen pizzas also contain trans fat, which is the most unhealthy kind. It raises your cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart damage.
Does that mean you can never eat Pizza again…No!
Make homemade pizza instead ..Let the kids help… Make your own pizza sauce by pureeing cooked, peeled tomatoes with oregano and fresh garlic Use low-fat mozzarella cheese so that your child gets plenty of calcium from his slice without all of the saturated fat. Skip the pepperoni and high-fat meats and add some chicken or prawns and add their favourite vegetables. If they like olives even better add black olives for some heart-healthy unsaturated fat. One of my grandsons absolutely loved olives from the age of about one and a half, instead of sweets I used to buy olives…
Make your own base…I have made a cauliflower base and it is lovely, Portobello mushrooms, a sweet potato base..there are so many options for bases but that is another post…..It is all about experimenting and playing with flavours food should be fun and especially Pizza because it really is a fun food ..isn’t it???
You can never second guess a child and what they will like. Encourage them to help prepare their food…They are more likely to eat what they help prepare.
White Bread and Rolls: Unhealthy:
White bread is made from refined, bleached white wheat flour and most of the white bread sold in shops and supermarkets is tasteless, sticky and not nice.. it has no real nutrients and converts to sugar in your bloodstream very quickly. You can tell I don’t like shop bread, can’t you ?…. I love good bread.
White Bread: Healthy:
If you love white bread, opt for a brand that is made with unbleached white flour. Or try the bread with 100% whole grain unbleached wheat flour–
Or treat yourself to some of the lovely artisan loaves of bread available or make your own..with rapid, instant yeast it is now much easier and there are also so many recipes for sourdough starters…
Also, there is nothing more satisfying than making bread…It is great when your mood is less than happy a bit of kneading that dough works wonders…lol
Fruit Juices: Unhealthy:
How many of you have bought a bottle of fruit juice and when you read the ingredients it is little more than sugared, flavoured water…Hands up!
Even my favourite coconut juice has been ….. I can’t think of a printable word but…It’s just wrong… Leave my juice alone…
Fruit Juices: Healthy:
Photo by Kaizen Nguyễn on Unsplash
Coconut juice nothing else just juice and yes I know I am lucky… Or just fresh fruit in soda with ice ..don’t they look pretty?
A lot of the pomegranate and blueberry juices are as yet untouched…give them time…
And water…H2o…Nice and cold there is nothing better.
My advice before you buy read the ingredients or better still take your drink out with you…
Cooking Oil: Unhealthy:
- Canola Oil?… I have put this at the top because I have in the past agreed canola oil is one of the worst…but like everything that tends to change(I won’t)say with the wind…but it now seems that maybe it is not the villain.
- Corn Oil.
- Soybean Oil.
- “Vegetable” oil.
- Peanut Oil.
- Palm Oil
- Safflower Oil.
- Cottonseed Oil
Are all highly sensitive to oxidation and cause oxidative stress in the human body…my advice is to check out the oil you use from a few reputable sources and make a decision as it seems to change the more research is completed…
Cooking Oil: Healthy:
- Extra-virgin olive oil. …
- Pure olive oil. …
- Coconut oil. …I use it but every so often research suggests it maybe not be as healthy as we think or thought.
- Avocado oil. …
- Butter…should be on the worst list but used in moderation and if it’s grass-fed plus it helps your olive oil from burning.
One thing I will say is to check your oil if you are cooking at high temperatures because there are varying pieces of advice about some of the oils you can then decide for yourself…oil is a bit of a minefield regarding info…I think if you don’t fry often then what oil you use isn’t a problem however if you are eating fried food every day then therein lies the problem.
Margarine: Unhealthy Fat:
Margarine is an imitation man-made fat used for cooking and spreading which is loaded with trans fats. Even the margarine that claims to be “made from natural ingredients” isn’t really natural at all once they have been so heavily processed and heated at high temperatures that the oils have oxidized (which will actually contribute to inflammation in the body, rather than being “heart healthy.”) The debate lingers on still… But tests have been carried out and even rats and ants don’t touch margarine…Doesn’t that tell you something?
Butter: Healthy Fat:
Butter, on the other hand, is a traditional food that our ancestors have been eating for generations. Butter is a simple, natural food that doesn’t require any heavy processing at all. You could even make it in your own kitchen if you wanted. And, unlike margarine which has only oxidized oils and other ingredients that you probably can’t even pronounce, real butter from grass-fed cows has enough nutrients that it could be called a superfood. (And some ancient cultures actually revered butter as a sacred, life-giving food.)
Butter from healthy, grass-fed cows raised on pasture is an excellent source of nutrients.
Gluten-free junk food: Unhealthy:
Is high in sugar, unhealthy oils, and refined grains. I think that it is abhorrent that manufacturers make foods which they know that many people with a gluten intolerance buy and that are actually very unhealthy. Some people choose to take the label “gluten-free” to mean the same things as “healthy,” which is not accurate.
Gluten-free foods: Healthy:
Naturally, gluten-free foods include beans, pulses, milk, yoghurt, cheese, fish, shellfish, fruit, meat, poultry, nuts, seeds, butter, and oil.
I hope this has been of help when you are deciding which is healthier to eat and it doesn’t mean expensive foods it generally means fresh either home-grown or bought from local markets, food in season or food you have made in your own kitchen where you can count the chemicals.
Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as you have heard me say it is free, no nasties but watch out it is catching…lol