Think you know what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to healthy eating?
It doesn’t take an expert to tell you that fried food is out and wholegrains are in if you’re searching for a diet that’ll keep you feeling good and looking trim.
But according to Australian dietitian Susie Burrell there are some sneaky foods out there that you should know about.
These culinary offenders are commonly assumed to be healthy choices – but they aren’t in fact as good for you as you might believe.
Susie, who is the brains behind the Shape Me Kickstart Plan, has compiled a list of these foody fakers – and the things you need to watch out for if you’re determined to tuck in.
According to the expert, while spray oil certainly means you use less per serve than if you were pouring it from a bottle, the processing involved in making a spray product means potential health benefits are ‘negated as the antioxidants and vitamin quality will be affected’.
‘The take home message is utilise the best quality oils such as extra virgin olive oil in its natural state to reap any potential health benefits, and avoid processed mixed vegetable oils completely,’ Susie says.
It’s the commonly used accompaniment to a plate of ‘healthy’ sushi but Susie warns that a single serve contains more than 1000mg of sodium which is more than half a person’s upper daily limit.
‘Associated with fluid retention, thirst and increased blood pressure over time, on a daily basis Australians consume way too much added salt in their diet,’ Susie warns.
‘For this reason go easy on the added soy sauce when you are enjoying Asian cuisine and where possible look for salt reduced varieties of soy which contain almost half the amount of sodium as regular soy sauce.
Now Susie isn’t against this high-protein, low-fat food per se but she does warn that it doesn’t offer the same amount of omega 3 fats as other varieties of tinned fish like sardines and salmon.
‘The other issue with tinned tuna is that it is a source of mercury, an element that is unable to be excreted from the body,’ Susie says.
She advises Australians to eat it no more than two or three times a week.
Finally, Susie has a word of warning over rice crackers – as she says the carbs in just ten crackers is the same as two small slices of bread. As they can also contain MSG, she says the low-protein snacks often offer ‘empty calories’.
‘Better snack options when it comes to blood glucose control include corn and rye based cakes and crackers and always check ingredient lists to make sure flavour enhancers including MSG (621) are not being used as a flavour source,’ Susie advises.