Monday, September 2, 2013

Healthy Eating??

Eating a healthy diet these days can often be confusing.  Many foods are advertised as being health foods, but if you look at the nutrition labels they are actually just as bad as known ‘junk foods’. 

The dairy aisle can be particularly deceiving.  Yogurts are advertised as being healthy and even able to cure most of your ailments.  While yoghurts do contain some very beneficial probiotics that can help improve digestion, unless you are eating plain unsweetened yoghurt you may be consuming a large amount of sugar.  Jalna Low Fat Vanilla Yoghurt contains almost 11% added sugar.  Activia yoghurts, which are specifically advertised as being able to help you live a healthier lifestyle, contain from 6% to 13% sugar depending on flavour.  Compare this with products we all know to be unhealthy such as Paul’s Regular Vanilla Custard containing 14% sugar and cola soft drink containing 9% sugar.

Many people try to avoid sugar by eating ‘light’ products but these often contain artificial sweeteners.  Please refer to my previous articles on sweeteners for more information on these.

Many people choose low fat dairy products to try to cut down on their saturated fat intake.  There is still some controversy on whether or not saturated fats in dairy need to be avoided, but the main problem is that low fat products do not make you feel full and so you are more likely to eat more as a result.  The same is true for low fat ice cream. 

Yoghurt can still be part of a healthy diet by buying unsweetened full fat yoghurt and adding your own fruit.

Another product in the dairy aisle that can cause confusion is milk.  Some people consume flavoured milks to try to get their calcium intake.  Oak’s chocolate milk contains over 10% sugar.  When you compare this to the sugar content of the above foods it should be considered a junk food.

If you look in the ‘Health Food’ aisle of the grocery store, you can find some other unhealthy foods. Just because a product is labeled ‘all natural’, gluten free, or organic does not mean that it is actually good for you.  Mini Macro Wholegrain Apple Fruit Filled Bars contain the same amount of sugar as their Gluten Free Choc Biscuits – over 21%.

I’m not saying that you should never eat these foods, but just that you should check nutrition labels so you are aware that these are treats that should be consumed only on occasion along with your regular healthy diet.


Accessed 12 August 2013

Accessed 12 August 2013

Accessed 12 August 2013

Woolworths Online
Accessed 12 August 2013