What is actually unhealthy and why?
Five foods to eat less of and the reason behind it all. Sometimes we know it’s not great for us but we eat it anyway. If we know a little bit more about why it isn’t healthy – it makes it harder for us to be naive about it and empowers us to make better decisions for our health and wellbeing.
Here’s the nitty gritty of why these five foods are ‘unhealthy’.
It’s highly processed. Meaning that wheat is actually brown so for the bread to be white it goes through a process which takes out the nutrients. White bread is high GI – this is High Glucose Indicator. So this gives you the spike and then the crash. Opt for a brown bread and be cautions with multi grain because it is usually a white bread with seeds throughout.
We think orange juice is good for us because it’s made from oranges and fruit is healthy, right? Well kind of, but not exactly and it depends on the ingredients. We have to get good at reading the ingredients list on everything in a packet or a bottle. They might say healthy or light on the bottle but turn it around and check a few things (ingredients, sugar, saturated fat). Check the ingredient list, is there sugar? If there is added sugar in your fruit juice leave it where you found it in the shop. Fruit juice is only ok if the ingredients are the fruits that are in them. Remember that a cup of orange juice would be like eating 7 oranges which is quiet a lot of sugar – so to be honest it’s best to stay away from the juice isle.
Deli Meats/Processed Meats
I know that we all grew up on ham, cheese & tomato sandwiches but if we really want to improve our health, our cholesterol levels and our nutrient intake, steering clear from deli meats is a great idea. These meats contain a lot of fat and not the good fats. The fats in these increase out bad cholesterol (LDL) and decrease our good cholesterol (HDL) – which in turn increases our risk of diseases. If you would like a ‘toastie’ (as we call a toasted sandwhich in Australia), pop on some free range chicken or like me some tempeh that you have marinated.
Low Fat Dairy and Types of Fats
If you’re looking to lower your fat intake there are some secrets you should know and understand. Not all fats are equal. Some fats are healthy and essential to our health.
Here is a quick break down:
Polyunsaturated: healthy – found in: fish, tahini, flax seeds, chia seeds, pine nuts, walnuts.
Monounsaturated: healthy – found in: avocados, almonds, cashews (unsalted), olives, olive oils,
Saturated: eat less – found in animal and plant products: butter, coconut oil, biscuits, cakes, pastries, fat on meat, processed meats, skin on meat, ice cream, cream
Trans: eat less – naturally found in dairy and meat products: deep fried foods, biscuits, cakes, pastries, burgers, hot chips.
When yoghurt is made to be ‘low fat’ the flavour from the yoghurt is usually from the fat of the milk. So when they make it low fat – to create that delicious taste they have added sugar. So when you’re thinking to purchase yoghurt, turn the container around and look at that ingredients list. What are the first couple of ingredients? Is sugar one of the first few? Leave it on the shelf. If you need your yoghurt go for natural or greek yoghurt. Coconut youghurt is good too, just be mindful it is high in saturated fat so if you have high cholesterol avoid that one.
Cakes, Muffins, Cookies and the like
These guys are high in calories and low in nutritional value – meaning they cost you more than they are worth. These are a sometimes food. They contain processed ingredients, sugars and other unessential nutrition. Eating a muffin everyday is like buying a Porsche and putting the cheapest fuel into her. Or it’s like buying a secondhand car for the price of the latest model. Basically you’re ripping yourself off. These little goodies are a sometimes food and healthier versions can be made at home instead.
As ‘unhealthy’ as these foods are, they are a sometimes food. If you love cookies (like me) enjoy them every now and then. If you want your salad sandwich on a big fluffy white roll with a crusty outside – then go for it. It’s simply important to learn about the foods we are putting into our bodies and what they provide us with. Remember that food is our fuel, so if you want to be the best running Porsche then you best put some damn good fuel into you.
What other foods would you like to know more about? Or any other topic for that matter? Saying no to these foods, is a yes for a healthy body.
Love & Peace
Teags Lee x