People who are on a reduction diet or simply taking care of their health or figure often reach for products with the words „fit”, „light”, „without sugar”. What really lies behind these terms? Is it true and we reach for a product that is healthy and conducive to our figure? Or is it only a creation of marketing experts? Let’s get to know the secrets of some of the most popular snack food groups. We encourage you to read what’s below.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2. Candy bars and muesli
3. Flavored water
4. Ready to eat salads
Products that in their original form are a valuable source of calcium, protein and probiotic bacteria – in the fit version, which is shown as good for people who care about the line, is not necessarily conducive to health.
The elimination of fat from yoghurt reduces the absorption of calcium and fat-soluble vitamins. Therefore, choose skim yogurt to a maximum of 1.5-2% fat content, not 0%.
In addition, manufacturers often add sugar or glucose-fructose syrup to improve the taste of the product. These ingredients not only affect the caloric content, significantly raising it, but also increase the glycemic index, raise the blood sugar level faster than regular yogurt. We feel hungry faster and more often reach for other snacks. You should especially pay attention to fruit-containing yoghurts. Manufacturers often add food dyes to them, for example, basketry, beet, carrot or nettle concentrate. They give a nice color, but they are not able to replace real fruits, which is a source of vitamins.
It is definitely better to buy natural yogurt and add your own favorite fruit to it.
It is also worth paying attention to the presence of thickening substances. Contrary to appearances, the more velvety yogurt, the worse it is. The stratification of yogurt is a natural phenomenon. The addition of emulsifiers and thickeners cause a consistency change that is more pleasing to the eye, but definitely worse in terms of nutritional value. So let’s look for yogurt without the addition of pectins, guar gum, gelatin or magnesium phosphate.
So how do you choose a good yogurt?
We reach for the product:
– with the shortest possible composition;
– with probiotic bacteria;
– with a minimum fat content of 1,5%;
– no added sugar and glucose-fructose syrup;
– without thickeners;
– let’s reach for natural yogurts more often than fruit ones. We can add fresh fruit, nuts or seeds to natural yoghurt.
2. Candy bars and muesli
The bars are currently a group of products that most often has the fashionable addition „fit”, „without sugar” on the label. Bars are advertised as great meal replacements, healthy snacks that provide us with energy for a long time and on the occasion of many vitamins and minerals. The most popular are protein bars, which are recommended especially for physically active or busy people who do not have time to cook a standard meal. Contrary to the assurances of the producers, products commonly available on store shelves are not able to replace a meal.
These bars contain a lot of ingredients that should arouse our caution:
– glucose-fructose syrup – reduces insulin sensitivity in the cells, which increases the risk of diabetes. In addition, fructose causes lipidogram disturbances – it reduces the concentration of the beneficial HDL fraction in favor of the LDL fraction, which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, fructose in combination with glucose increases the amount of uric acid in the blood, which promotes the formation of kidney stones and gout. Glucose-fructose syrup also disturbs the functioning of the center of hunger and satiety by reducing the production of leptin, a hormone of satiety. As a result, people who eat a lot of products rich in this syrup, despite eating a large amount of food, feel hungry and have a big appetite. That is why overweight and obesity develop so often. It should be remembered that pure fructose alone does not cause such negative effects. Only the combination of it with glucose intensifies the synthesis of fats, which in a straight way leads to an increase in body weight. So don’t be afraid of fresh fruit – these certainly will not lead to such an effect, but only enrich our diet with valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber;
– trans fatty acid isomers – trans isomers have proven pro-inflammatory, especially on the walls of blood vessels. They promote the development of cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. They cause lipidogram disorders – they reduce the amount of HDL cholesterol, and raise the LDL. In addition, they promote the development of some types of cancer, especially breast and prostate. It is worth remembering that the term „vegetable fat” usually contains palm oil, which is the cheapest, and therefore the most popular fat added to food. Unfortunately, its quality and composition are the worst among available food fats and promote the formation of, for example, atherosclerosis;
– loosening substances – at the recommended dose they do not cause side effects. It should be remembered, however, that people suffering from intestinal dysfunction, such as IBS, as well as small children should avoid the conditioners due to the acceleration of intestinal peristalsis, and thus the possibility of inducing diarrhea;
– polyols – mainly sorbitol, but also xylitol, mannitol. They give a sweet taste, maintain moisture and the correct consistency of the product.
Unfortunately, sorbitol in a large dose disturbs intestinal peristalsis, accelerating it and showing laxative effects. In addition, it may impair the function of the kidneys, which is why diabetics and people with already diagnosed kidney diseases should be especially careful about it.
Interestingly, pure xylitol is an anticaries agent and it brings a cooling sensation when used in chewing gums. In the case of sweet snacks, however, this effect is slight, because it is abolished by the presence of other ingredients, e.g. glucose-fructose syrup.
Mannitol, on the other hand, has a diuretic effect. It can therefore put additional strain on the kidneys of people who suffer from kidney diseases. For healthy people, it is worth paying attention to a high supply of liquids if we eat products with mannitol;
– caramelised fruits – contain a lot of sugar, which increase the calorific value of the product. Sometimes the fruits are caramelized with the addition of fat, which additionally increases the caloric value of snacks and the supply of trans fats. Therefore it is best to give up buying ready-made bars and just make them yourself at home;
– preservatives – agents that can cause allergic reactions, disrupt the nervous system, increase the symptoms of ADHD in children;
– food coloring.
We present an alternative, homemade and above all healthy recipe for bars:
– half a glass of oily flakes
– half a glass of wholegrain flour
– 1 grated apple
– 2 bananas
– 2 tablespoons of dried cranberries
– 2 tablespoons of goji berries
– 1 tablespoon of honey
– 1 tablespoon of cocoa
– 1 egg
– 2 spoons of chopped nuts, for example, hazelnuts or Italian
– a little milk to make a cake
Mix all ingredients and knead them.
Arrange the dough on a rectangular plate lined with baking paper. Knead a little bit more.
Bake about 20 minutes at 180-200 degrees.
Cut into pieces shaped like candy bars.
For similar reasons, we should avoid muesli type flakes, which are advertised as the perfect meal for breakfast. Unfortunately, the high content of sugar and glucose-fructose syrup increases the meal’s glycemic index. The level of sugar in the blood rises rapidly, but falls as fast and we feel hungry again.
It is worth reaching for unprocessed oatmeal, buckwheat or barley flakes. Just add to them fresh fruit, cocoa, cinnamon, or honey for some extra flavor. We will get a quick and tasty meal without unnecessary chemical additives.
Below you’ll find a perfect recipe for fans of sweet breakfasts.
– 6 tablespoons of oatmeal
– a glass of soy milk
– 2 spoons of hazelnuts
– 2 tablespoons of dried apricots
– 2 cubes of dark chocolate with a cocoa content above 70%
– 1 banana
Pour the flakes into boiling water and leave to swell. We add soy milk, nuts, apricots, banana. Sprinkle with grated chocolate.
3. Flavored water
Consumers are bombarded with slogans „Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day”, „Drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day”. It is true that we need to care for the proper hydration of the body to maintain the state of homeostasis. It is not true, however, that every water is good. Be especially careful when reaching for the flavored waters. They contain:
– sugar or glucose-fructose syrup – they increase the caloricity of water up to 70 kcal per glass of water. In a simple account, drinking 1.5 liters of water a day instead of providing the body with adequate hydration, we provide about 400 extra calories!
It not only affects our figure, but also burdens our kidneys;
– aromas – to give a beautiful scent, but at the same time mask the lack of any added fruit juice. If the juice is present, it is usually in the amounts close to nothing and is made from concentrated juice. Such water will not provide us with what fruits provide – vitamins;
– preservatives – most often potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. They cause an allergic reaction, irritate the stomach and intestinal mucosa and are suspected of being carcinogenic. People with tendency to allergy should take caution, especially those allergic to aspirin;
– sweeteners – most commonly acesulfame K, aspartame, saccharin – aspartame has an irritating effect on the digestive system, it is carcinogenic, may cause damage to the nervous system. In addition, after eating it mood disorders may occur, such as excitement, frustration or headaches.
In turn, acesulfame K, can cause chromosomal damage, and thus impair the body’s cells and their functions.
Saccharin has a proven carcinogenic effect and may promote the development of allergic reactions and proteinuria.
If you don’t like ordinary water, you can add pieces of your favorite fruits, such as oranges, lemons and raspberries. The addition of mint leaves will enhance the cooling effect and give a refreshing taste. If we want to feel a bit of sweetness, we can add a teaspoon of natural honey. This beverage is very simple to prepare and definitely healthier than the flavored water from the store.
Below you can find our recipe for a perfect summer heat drink.
– mineral water 1 liter
– a handful of mint leaves
– 3 slices of lemon
– 5 strawberries
– 1 teaspoon of lime honey
Wash the fruit, cut into slices. Add all ingredients to water.
4. Ready to eat salads
Most people associate a salad with something healthy, which will always bring us beneficial health effects. There are a lot of reasons for this, but only if we prepare the salad ourselves, and we will not reach for ready-made, shop-type products.
First of all, the addition, which most often destroys the composition of the salad, are sauces. They contain mainly mayonnaise, which makes the caloricity of such a meal very high. Ingredients that can be found in mayonnaise sauce:
– food coloring;
They are generally safe for health, however, people struggling with eczema and allergies may have problems after eating it. There may also be gastrointestinal complaints, because guar gum swells in the gastrointestinal tract, and in excess or for sensitive people causes bloating or diarrhea.
It’s definitely better to spend a little time and prepare your favorite salad yourself. It will be definitely healthier and better for the figure than its store counterpart, if you make it out of fresh vegetables and pour it with yoghurt sauce or vinegret.
It’s worth being an aware consumer. Fashionable names, colorful packaging and catchy slogans, unfortunately, sometimes contain products of dubious quality. For your own health, you should read the labels of products. We should check and inquire whether the product advertised as healthy, conducive to our figure really is what the advertisement says it is. Therefore, you should choose products that make your everyday diet with your head and some distance. Remember – not every product advertised as healthy really is healthy. Awareness and knowledge will allow us to choose the best foods for our health and weight loss.