Most fresh foods need to be stored in the fridge to prolong their optimum state. But not all of them are particularly healthy! Dietitian and sports nutritionist Robbie Clark (thehealthclinic.com) explains why some of these should be permanently turfed.
The mile-long list of ingredients that make up this product is cause for concern. ‘Most margarines contain industrial, highly processed fats that would never be found in nature,’ Robbie says.
BETTER OPTION: Avocado or natural nut butters.
2. Processed Cheese
While offering some calcium, the emulsifiers, salts and preservatives in processed cheese make it far removed from its more natural cheese cousins.
BETTER OPTION: Mozzarella, Swiss, cheddar, cottage and ricotta are good alternatives.
3. Sliced Deli Meats
Salted and cured meats are touted as a protein source, but Robbie says their health benefits are dubious. ‘They’re filled with sodium and nitrates,’ he says.
BETTER OPTION: Minimally processed proteins such as roast chicken, tinned tuna in spring water, boiled eggs and lentils.
4. Fruit Juice
This may seem convenient for meeting daily fruit intake requirements, but the problem is many of the nutritional benefits of the fruit are lost during the juicing process.
BETTER OPTION: Choose a piece of fruit over juice. ‘Whole fruits contain fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants,’ Robbie says.
5. Tomato or Barbecue Sauce
Drenching your meal in these store-bought sauces won’t do your health any favours. ‘These sauces are filled with sugars and artificial flavours. They have absolutely no nutritional value,’ Robbie explains.
BETTER OPTION: If you love condiments, make your own homemade sauces and relishes.
6. Creamy Salad Dressing
Just because it’s a salad doesn’t mean it’s good for you! ‘Creamy commercial dressings are usually high in calories, fat, added sugars and sodium,’ Robbie warns.
BETTER OPTION: Robbie suggests making your own salad dressing using olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. ‘Add a dollop of Greek yoghurt to create a creamier texture,’ he suggests.
7. Frozen Dinners
‘While these are handy for time-poor people, frozen meals are high in sodium and many nutrients are destroyed during the reheating process,’ Robbie explains.
BETTER OPTION: If you need to whip up a meal in a hurry, Robbie recommends you ‘buy a takeaway grilled fish fillet and side salad or a roast chicken and side salad’.
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