EVERYTHING in moderation may be the go-to guideline for a good, balanced diet, but there are certain foods public health nutritionist and lifestyle consultant Yvonne Wake says she strictly avoids.
FAST FOOD/PROCESSED FOOD
Fast food is fast for a reason, and your intake should be controlled to make way for fresh, quality produce sourced from reliable suppliers.
Yvonne says she would never eat a meal from a fast food chain, order a takeaway, or indulge in any processed foods for the simple reason: “I don’t know what’s in it”.
“There’s no way of telling how much sugar, fat, or preservatives are in there.
"These types of food are sold for their taste, their ability to fill you up quickly and get you running back for more because it’s not expensive.”
We’re often warned of the dangers of fizzy drinks: high sugar, chemicals, and zero nutritional value.
And it’s not just the full-fat versions, with diet drinks options containing pesky artificial sweeteners. Choose to shun them altogether, Yvonne advises: “Anything that has been mass produced — the colas and the fizzy drinks — contains so much sugar.
"Worse still, it’s often hidden sugar, because it doesn’t state what kind it is on the label.
"If it mentions sugar, it will be a lot because it only has to be listed if it’s over a certain amount.”
It’s worth noting that most cereals lack protein and fibre, and you could end up on a sugar crash within a couple of hours.
“Cereals are the biggest culprit,” warns Yvonne. “But food producers don’t call it ‘sugar’: they call it maltose, galactose or anything that has an ‘ose’ at the end of it.
“We all know about fructose because it’s in the media, but if you look on the back of a packet, many camouflage it with a different name.”
Rice cakes are often deemed a go-to snack for dieters — particularly those wanting to avoid the lure of bread.
But they can in fact prove calorific and high in sugar and salt.
“I used to like rice cakes, but I realised there’s a lot of density in there, which means it contains more than it says,” Yvonne counsels.
“They’ve now been mass produced, so even if you buy organic rice cakes, they will still contain a lot of sugar — just organic sugar.”
You may want to perk up your salad, but you could end up undoing your good work if you slather it in a dressing or condiment.
“Dressings have quite a lot of oil and added sugar, and mayonnaise is hugely calorific. I make mine tasty by using a little bit of sesame oil, or cider vinegar.”
Real butter has always outshone its rival, the additive-heavy and coloured margarine; but only now are we being told it’s better for us.
“I love butter,” says Yvonne.
“It has to be proper butter though; when it just says ‘butter’ on the packet.
“Butter is best because it’s natural, and we do need some fats.”
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