You wouldn’t think twice whether a broccoli was healthy or not but what about ‘vegetable chips’ and that fruit smoothie you just bought? Somethings are inherently healthy and some well, there’s a bit of a grey area to them. What makes it even trickier is that some carry ‘health halos’ that can lead us to overestimate the healthfulness of a food at a glance, making it oh so easy to overindulge thinking you were doing the right thing when really you’re better off without out. To help you navigate some trickier food faves here are some products that sound healthy but may not be.
One of the easier ones to be mislead by, vegetable chips are usually made of cassava and tapioca flour (the starch extracted from the cassava plant) or a blend of corn and oat flour. Although cassava is a starchy root vegetable like the humble potato they are not particularly nutritious and contain double the kilojoules and carbohydrate content. The main brand you find on the supermarket shelf also carries a claim that they contain ‘90% less saturated fat than potato chips cooked in palm oil’ however, most potato chips are cooked in a vegetable oil like sunflower oil not palm oil and are lower in saturated fat anyway. The term ‘vegetable’ is also often in the form of vegetable powder so if you’re thinking yes, vegetable chips = more vegetables, think again. The salt and fat content puts these bad boys into the discretionary category and should be consumed only occasionally.
Yoghurt, especially Greek yoghurt offers health benefits that range from being a great source of calcium to also being a source of probiotics for your gut. The frozen yoghurt type you often find at self-serve shops with DIY toppings can however be higher in kilojoules and be a hidden (or not so hidden) source of sugar and saturated fat. Whilst the ingredients list varies from store to store, most do include added refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and/or sugar alcohols. The different sized cups also make it harder for some to control their portions whilst the toppings you add on after can quickly up your energy intake and count towards your discretionary intake (gummy bears anyone?). Long story short, consider these as a treat much like you would with ice cream.
READY MADE SMOOTHIES
It might not cross your mind, but a lot of store-bought smoothies include added sugars whether it be honey, fruit juice, syrup or ice-cream. Portion sizes also vary from 350ml to a whopping 610ml depending on where you shop which can pile on the kilojoules. Don’t get me wrong we’re huge fans of fruit and veg and know that a smoothie is an easy way to up your intake but the 4-5 servings of fruit all concentrated into the one drink can mean your sugar intake is higher that what you should be having. Good news is, Dineamic offers smoothie mixes where the only form of a sweetener are dates plus serving sizes of fruit that won’t make you go overboard for the day.
NUTRITIOUS MEALS WITHOUT THE BS.
Before we wrap up, we’re not saying that all products listed above should be avoided because they’re not as healthy as you might have originally thought. We just want to reiterate that it may be worth the extra few minutes to read through the ingredients and have a look at the nutritionals first before devouring a whole packet or cup. One thing is for sure though if you need a little help in the lunch and dinner department, Dineamic has your back with meals designed by dietitians and chefs according to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating so that you know you’re only getting nutritious meals without the BS.