How healthy is ‘healthy’ food?

I’m about as obsessed by healthy food as any other yogi on this path of attempting an optimal diet and a healthy life style. Moderation with everything is now my mainstay because at times I know I’ve driven myself nuts not knowing what I should or could eat that was right for my constitution. Over the years I’ve eaten ‘For my Blood Type’, Atkins, Paleo, gluten free, low glycemic, lectin free, vegetarian, vegan …… I am so much more relaxed now. At one point, I remember my poor mother despairing saying she didn’t know what to cook for us anymore and she couldn’t keep up with all our diets…. my sister and I were really ‘high maintenance’ visitors with our ideals as younger women. I am pretty sure she has relaxed now too and we are enjoying milk, eggs, cakes and coffee once again…..

I found these articles and though they are basic, I think are worth the quick reminder……segment_video_2

The ‘healthy’ foods that are actually bad for you

Dr Robert Lustig is the author of a radical new book that wages war on processed food – even the everyday staples in your shopping basket. The former paediatric endocrinologist and professor at the University of California says that due to a cocktail of added sugar, emulsifiers, flavour enhancements and pesticides, even some foods that are made to appear “healthy” are highly processed and contribute to chronic disease, including the trifecta of heart disease, cancer and dementia. 

“A nutrition label is a warning label. Real food doesn’t need a label as nothing has been done to it,” he says. His book argues that mass food production adds things that are bad for us and takes away things that are good for us at every stage of manufacturing. Here are the things to look out for… 

Sliced bread (even wholegrain)
According to Lustig, the current methods used to make mass-produced bread “strip away all the good stuff” for longer shelf life including dietary fibre, which is essential for maintaining a healthy gut, and the polyphenols and antioxidants in the wheatgerm. “As soon as that wheat is pulverised all those good chemicals are spilled.”Lustig also warns against assuming that wholegrain bread or bread with added fibre is automatically a healthier choice. It could still have added sugar for a longer shelf life. 

Pre-made smoothies
Lustig says bending destroys the fibre in fruit, meaning your body absorbs the fructose more rapidly, causing blood sugar to spike. Even if making a smoothie at home, “the blades shear

the insoluble fiber to smithereens, same as juice,” he writes. “As a result, the fibre is not protecting the liver from the onslaught of the sugar in the fruit smoothie.” Vegetable smoothies with fewer fruit ingredients are preferable, but still won’t be good for you as eating the fruit or vegetable whole. 

Ready-made deli items like houmous or falafel
Brace yourself: under Lustig’s dictate, any food that is not in its natural state is best avoided. This includes “healthy” supermarket foods like houmous and tzatziki, falafel or pre-packaged sushi. These can – although do not always – contain modified starch, extra salt, added sugar (such as dextrose) or preservatives. Look for a short ingredients list with as few additives as possible.

Metabolical: The Truth about Processed Food and How it Poisons People and the Planet by Dr Robert Lustig (£14.99, Yellow Kite) is out now