Many of us would have no doubt heard the phrase 'super foods' in recent years, and yes, while there are definitely foods that are super good for our gut health, digestion, energy management and overall wellbeing, there are also foods that are not as super as they claim to be.
- Veggie snacks/chips
- Bottled smoothies
- Gluten free snacks
- Flavoured porridge sachets
- Plant based milks
Some brands use a lot of sugar to sweeten the granola and use processed vegetable oils. Look for granola that has no added sugar or is sweetened with honey and made with coconut oil or olive oil instead. Making your own granola is a simple and easy alternative - oats, or quinoa flakes, dehydrogenated fruits, unsalted nuts, coconut oil, cinnamon, and honey. Try our homemade granola recipe.
Yes, peas are healthy form of protein and veggies are of course good for us, but some health snacks that have a pea, lentil or veggie base can contain hydrogenated oils. Some of these products are often full of artificial additives -notice how addictive they are? As well as excitotoxin chemicals such as MSG (which has a myriad of names) which excites the brain causing it to want more. MSG is also an allergen for some people.
Always check the label. The colour may look the part - green, orange, purple or red - but the sugar content is not always so great. Full of sugars, concentrated fruit juices and less fruits and vegetables than you would hope. These bottled smoothies are also pasturised for preservation and therefore all goodness in any fruits and vegetables may become degraded through the pasturisation process, leaving merely a sugary fruit flavoured drink. It's often best to make your own fresh smoothies and drink immediately to reap all the natural benefits.
Gluten free is becoming more and more popular these days. It has become synonymous with health, and yes if you have an intolerance, it is better to avoid gluten, but as with any popular food or health trend, every food manufacturer has jumped on the bandwagon, making otherwise processed junk food appear healthy by keeping it void of gluten. Gluten free snacks can (and many do) contain as many unhealthful ingredients as gluten. Sugar, hydrogenated oils, and processed and refined grains - they may be GF but anything too processed is not good for us.
Porridge/oats is one of the heartiest fibres you can give your digestive system, but when flavoured with sugar or artificial sweeteners, the healthy benefits become a little less. It's best to make your own porridge or overnight oats and add naturally sweetening honey or fresh/frozen fruits.
Avoiding dairy has become as popular as avoiding gluten and while dairy is something you want to avoid if you have an intolerance, be wary of the replacements. Plant milks can be filled with unnecessary vegetables oil, sugars and preservatives. Look for those brands that have as little ingredients as possible.