AS HUMAN beings, when we are told not to do something, our instinct can be to do exactly that.
Indeed this can also be the case with food restriction, but as a nutritionist there are some foods that offer so little nutritionally that they are best avoided – especially when they are parading as ‘healthy’ choices. Here are the worst offenders:
It doesn’t matter if rice has been made into a snack bar, cake, puff or crisp, rice is a dense source of high glycaemic index carbohydrate, which means that it makes our blood glucose levels rapidly increase, along with the hormone insulin, which also promotes fat storage in the body.
While it may claim to have extra fibre and nutrients added, white bread is still not as good nutritionally as wholegrain bread. If you must go white, at least choose sourdough.
Given that a single serve of flavoured water can contain as much as five teaspoons of sugar, you are best to get your vitamins from grains, fruits and vegetables, and leave your water as nature intended it.
Muffins and banana bread
If you consider that the average muffin or slice of banana bread contains more than 60g of total carbohydrate, or the equivalent of four slices of bread, 20-30g of fat and at least four teaspoons of sugar, it is safe to say that there is nothing healthy about these café options.
Extruded cheese snacks
Puffs, rings or balls made using refined carbs, added MSG and lots of oil will never be a good choice, especially for children who need snacks that are as plain and minimally processed as possible.
It may sound healthy but sweet yoghurts can have as much sugar as ice-cream and just as many calories, especially when extra syrups, nuts and treats are added.
Chocolate nut spread
With the first few ingredients listed as sugar and vegetable oil, chocolate spread contains a lot more bad fat than it does good fat from nuts.
There is a big difference between natural unprocessed muesli and the processed mix of honey, sugar, dried fruit, fillers, gums and coatings that are found in most commercially available muesli bars – which also combine to give 3-4 teaspoons of sugar per bar.