If you are someone who checks the ingredients list of the products you purchase, then you would know that many foods that are sold as ‘healthy’ aren’t really so. Sweeteners and fats are some ‘hidden ingredients’ that can be found in products sold under the healthy category. Which is why it becomes extremely necessary to know and understand each product you come across is the ingredient list.
“The demand for packaged and ready to eat food packets is on a rise especially amongst the millennial population who are away from home and are often pressed for time to cook home-made meals. These people are extremely fitness conscious and closely monitor their diets. The nutrition label on food packets can allow them to make healthier food choices,” Dr Kajal Pandya Yeptho, Head, General Manager, Dietetics, Medanta, The Medicity told indianexpress.com
She added that an effective way of reading the labels can be to look at the calorie count which indicates the amount of energy one can get from a single serving of the food. “One should compare the serving size on the package to the amount one eats. While it is easy to consume packaged foods and consume, one should not solely rely on the constituents listed on the package”, she said.
Flavored Greek yogurt
Wish to lose weight? Then you must keep a check on your sugar consumption. Flavored yogurts which come in mouthwatering flavours do not contain real fruit – they instead contain it in the pureed form which is high in sugar content.
“Popular nutritious foods like flavoured Greek yogurt are often preferred by people for its high protein and lower complex carbohydrate content. While many make it a part of their daily diet, it is not recommended for people who are dieting or watching their blood-sugar intake. This is because it contains more fat than regular yogurt and lower levels of calcium”, says Dr Kajal. Instead of flavoured yogurt, one can opt for plain yogurt.
Vegetarian wraps may come loaded with lettuce and tomatoes, but once you check the ingredients list you will notice that additives like potato starch, corn starch, refined flour, goes into the making of these quick bites.
Salad at food joints
Some fast food joints might promise to serve a green bowl of goodness, but it’s only when you go through their ingredients carefully you notice that they also add processed oils, added sugar, and artificial colours and mayonnaise. You’re better off making your own using olive oil, vinegar, and herbs. Not only is this healthier, but also costs a fraction of the price of store-bought. Salad dressing should also be avoided as it contains excessive calories.
Real fruit juices are good for your health, and those found at the supermarket cannot provide you with the benefits of real fruit juices as they also juice out the beneficial fiber in the process. So it is advised that you eat the whole fruit rather than going for its extract in juice form.
“Cold-pressed juices liquify the fruits and vegetables and have a shelf life of three to four days before microbes begin to spoil it, and it can pose some major food safety risks, especially for young children or women who are pregnant. Home-made is always the best option and it is easy to whip up home-made juices, salads and yogurt made from fresh produce”, said Dr Kajal.