Do you really understand what you are consuming…?

So yesterday in the news we had the revelation that 73% of fresh shop-bought chicken tested positive for the food poisoning bug campylobacter (Link Here) and today the headline that sugar in fruit snacks is worse than ‘sweets’ (Link Here).  As  a nation, do we not connect the dots when we consume food?  Is is a case of mindless eating over mindful eating?  Are people putting too much faith in the food companies that process and sell the end product?  I suspect the answer to all of these questions is unfortunately ‘Yes’

As a nutritionist I always promote the idea of Mindful eating….actually taking a moment to consider what you are about to eat or drink.  Its of paramount importance if you want to stay healthy.  Would you expect a £3 whole chicken from a supermarket to be of top quality meat?  I suspect you already know the answer to that question…Making healthy food choices is something we should all strive for and a starting point is knowing where the food on your plate has come from.  Your health should matter as your body is the only one you’ll ever live in, so making it work as efficiently as possible should be your highest priority.  Unfortunately for most, health is far down the pecking order.  Food has become very convenient and because of time constraints, people don’t, won’t or can’t prepare meals from scratch anymore, so instead opt for highly refined highly processed foods.  Another issue is that despite trying to make good food choices food labels can be quite tricky to understand.  You’ll see a lot of negative press about sugar, however sugar is fine in moderation but what happens when sugar is added to food in a concentrated form?  A small glass of Orange Juice can be the equivalent of eating 8-10 oranges and there’s nothing moderate about that, also most of the fibre is stripped away and fibre is so important to your diet (A blog on fibre will come shortly!)

A quick note on what to look for in terms of sugar content.  On each food label there should be an item that says ‘Carbohydrates: of which sugars‘.  If the ‘of which sugars’ is less than 10g per 100g serving then that’s OK, anything above 25g per 100g and this should start ringing alarm bells as this is upward of 25% of calories coming from sugars.  (Take a look at a box of breakfast cereal!)  You then need to look at the ingredients involved and they always list them by largest to smallest.  So in the case of the fruit snack, If you’re not sure if the fruit snack you’ve bought is healthy, then air on the side of caution and opt for a serving of fruit instead, chances are its better for you anyway!

Any questions just pop them in the comments box.

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