With so many health claims and hyped up marketing messages around the latest 'must have' food products, even the savviest of us can struggle to detangle fact from fiction.
It's easy to lose sight of what's healthy and what's not so healthy, which is exactly where the food industry wants us to be.
But fear not, nutritionist and weight loss expert Lily Soutter us setting the record straight, so this time round you can avoid those 'junk foods' in disguise...
Yep, they’re everywhere and in every shape and form. You may want to think twice next time you grab and gobble, as many of these bars are high in calories, sugar, hydrogenated oils, cheap fillers, binders and stabilisers. Just like sports drinks, many of us don’t need them.
Photo: Gather & Feast
If you’re an elite athlete, perhaps they could be a convenient way to increase your protein and calorie intake, but for the average person, the nutritionally void, low-quality ingredients can lead to weight gain and are hard for the body to digest.
If you do find yourself choosing a protein bar, one thing is for sure:
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. IF YOU DON'T RECOGNISE HALF THE INGREDIENTS, AND THE CALORIE AND SUGAR CONTENT IS HIGH THEN YOU MAY BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT!
A healthier alternative: Instead of snacking on candy in disguise, why not try making your own homemade, low sugar ‘protein bars’? All you really need is a blender and some wholesome ingredients.
There’s so much hype around the health benefits of coconut water but the truth is, it’s packed full of sugar. Did you know that the average 330ml carton of coconut water has more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut? And it’s so easy glug down within seconds.
Unfortunately, the additional potassium and other electrolytes you receive from this beverage simply do not outweigh the negatives that come with the additional sugar.
Coconut water, does however, have a place and it can be used as a hydrating healthier, post-workout sports drink. After working out your body is in more insulin sensitive state, therefore you can metabolise the sugar in a more efficient way.
The problem with coconut water is when we drink more than a chocolate bars worth of sugar before 9am, which inevitably leads to blood sugar spikes and crashes.
A healthier alternative: There’s no denying that staying hydrated is good for us but if you’re looking for a sweeter beverage without the sugar load, then try infusing water with berries overnight.
The frozen yoghurt movement has taken Britain by storm, and a halo has been placed on the tip of this ‘virtuous’ low-fat ice cream alternative.
The cold truth about frozen yoghurt is that it often contains more sugar than ice cream because in order to get rid of the tart taste, companies often have to add additional sweetness. So even if it’s fat-free, in reality, it is the sugar that will lead to the weight gain.
Photo: Lauren Caris Cooks
We haven’t even come to the toppings yet, many of which often negate the claimed health attributes of the frozen yoghurt.
It just goes to show that low-fat doesn’t always mean healthier!A healthier alternative:
Try blending yoghurt, berries and a pinch of cinnamon - freeze in ice-lolly moulds for your own low sugar, healthy frozen yoghurt alternative.
Lily Soutter, Nutritionist and Nutritional Therapist
Photo Credit: Lauren Caris Cooks
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