Food

Foods that aren’t as healthy as people think

It’s easy to get swept up by the language of “healthy” versus “unhealthy” foods and group everything into these two neat categories, and you might even think you can tell the difference at face value after a little experience. However, some of these common misconceptions might prove it’s more complicated than it looks. Here are some examples of foods that simply aren’t as healthy as you might be led to believe.

Fruit juices and smoothies

This is one of the top ones to watch out for. It’s easy to forget when you’re enjoying a fruit juice blend that it’s probably packed full of natural sugars, even if you’ve just blended it yourself. Bottled ones are likely to be even worse. Although the sugars aren’t as bad as what you’ll find in processed snacks, they’re absorbed straight into your body and quickly take you over the daily recommended limit.

Healthy cereal

Whole-grain, high-fibre organic cereals are much better than a bowl of Frosted Shreddies, right? Unfortunately, no – they might be almost as bad depending on the levels of sugar or sweetener. Many supposedly healthy cereals are also bulked out with refined grains and “added fibre” which isn’t so beneficial.

Cereal bars

Even the healthiest brands of snack bars tend to be hiding some undesirable ingredients. Fibre is usually packed in, but it doesn’t taste of anything good, so it’s most likely concealed behind sugar, oils and other processed additives. Keep an eye out for bars with very few ingredients if you want to enjoy the convenience without the added side effects.

Vegetable Crisps

Crisps are one of the most commonly recognised enemies of dieters, so manufacturers have become more sneaky. You might find vegetable crisps in shops that claim to be healthier options, but ultimately the biggest difference is the range of colours they come in. They still use potato starch or corn flour most of the time, and they’re still fried in oil, so you’re not really getting many benefits from the formerly fresh vegetables.

Gluten-free foods

If you’re intolerant to gluten then you may have no choice but to eat substituted versions of certain foods, but don’t be under any illusions about their health benefits. Swapping out the flour for an alternative in any bakery product will usually add nothing in terms of healthy nutrients, and sometimes they’re a little worse. You’ll still need to balance out your diet with other whole foods to improve your diet.

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Food

Growing your own food

As part of a healthier diet and overall lifestyle, many people turn to gardening and growing their own fresh produce. This is an excellent option for most people, as there are so many benefits, and not just in terms of nutrition.

Firstly, you can think about the physical health benefits. As we all know by now, processed foods contain high levels of fat, sugar and salt as well as other chemicals that humans don’t benefit from eating. In fact, the long term side effects of many substances we eat on a daily basis are completely unknown. Groceries from supermarkets have often travelled hundreds or thousands of miles to reach you and been treated with unknown chemicals along the way.

Whole foods, in comparison, offer better nutritional benefits that aren’t tainted by additives and preservatives. Fruit, vegetables and anything else you can grow at home will be much fresher and healthier than the equivalent supermarket produce. Home-grown foods tend to have higher levels of vitamins and other beneficial nutrients, plus they taste better almost every time.

People usually focus on these benefits, and sometimes the cost saving too, since growing your own food even on a small scale can work out significantly cheaper than buying the same food from your local shop. However, people often forget the mental health benefits associated with growing your own food.

For one thing, gardening is a great activity for people who have to deal with stress, anxiety and even depression. It provides a sanctuary for people to escape to, which can be very relaxing and enjoyable for people who struggle to find fulfilling hobbies. Making time to tend to your plants and enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your seeds grow into healthy food can be hugely beneficial, even more, people who simply want to find a new activity to fill their spare time, but especially anyone already struggling with their mental health.

Something everyone can benefit from when it comes to healthy eating is the issue of feeling guilty. This probably affects more of us than we realise, since we’re constantly bombarded with information about unhealthy food and the reasons we should stop harming ourselves by eating processed produce. Although it’s good to be aware of all the risks, the fact is that most of us still indulge in less healthy foods at times, or even every day despite knowing the risks. This can lead to a lot of guilty feelings which do not contribute to a healthy state of mind. Eating healthy, home-grown food is one of the best ways to alleviate the guilt without significantly changing the actual foods you can enjoy.

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Food

How to source local and sustainable ingredients as a food service operator

As a food service operator, you will realize that the most reliable and sustainable place of sourcing all your food ingredients is by getting them from the local market where it is always fresh and in plenty. However, this should not be done blindly since there are some sellers or farmers who could exploit you especially if you are not well conversant with the local market prices and trends. As such, there are a couple of guidelines that one can apply when going about seeking local ingredients for their food services. Whether the food is to go to a school, a hospital, university or restaurant, you need to be smart in planning before making a purchase. This article is going to cover these guidelines that can help one well.

Flexibility

It is very important for a food service operator to be flexible when it comes to the business’ menus. There may be times when the ingredients that you expect fail to mature in time or maybe the weather changes and it spoils all harvests in the local market. As such, one needs to be very flexible enough to have an alternative for the spoilt ingredients so that their menus have a cover and also explain to the customers if such a thing happens. The replacement ingredient needs to be just as good as the one that was unreachable in the market so as to fill its place in the menu well.

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