5 Things To Keep In Mind When Looking For Something Healthy

There’s usually one rule of thumb I like to follow when it comes to picking out a healthy snack or meal. 

 

If something feels the need to scream at you that it’s a healthy option, then it probably isn’t the healthiest option.

Yet, so many foods on the shelves of supermarket feel the need to shout these claims from the imaginary rooftop, and it's easy to see why it can be a little confusing.

 

That's why I wanted to put together a list of 5 of the most common claims on these "healthy" options, in the hope it can help you to decide between the healthy contenders and the healthy pretenders on your next visit to the shop!

 

LIGHT

 

Yoghurt comes to mind straight away. Remember Muller lights?? 😋 

 

However whenever something claims that it’s “Light”, it’s often another way of telling you it’s been somewhat processed to reduce the fat content, there for cutting the calorie content of what’s inside. This might seem appealing but just be aware that in order to maintain flavour in the absence of fat, these products are often packed with sugar or sugar like substitutes to keep it tasty. 

 

In other scenarios they’re often just simply watered down versions of the original. So even though it’s a lower calorie option, it’s probably never going to be as good as the real thing, and probably isn’t worth it! 

 

NATURAL

 

Natural foods are good foods, right? Even though a product claims it’s “au naturel”, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s just been plucked from the ground or pulled from a tree. All anyone has to do to qualify a product for this claim, is simply work with a single natural source at one point during production. 

 

Perhaps an apple or a potato was used at some point, but it doesn’t automatically equal health, if you consider what else might have been used or done during the making of this food!

 

ORGANIC

 

Organic meat, fruit & vegetables are often seen as being the much healthier option, and there are plenty of benefits to these options, despite the extra cost. However, it’s worth being mindful that anything outside of these groups that has Organic slapped across the label, shouldn’t automatically qualify as a health part of your diet. 

 

Organic sugar and organic ice cream, are still sugar and ice cream at the end of the day, and despite appearing as healthier alternatives, will still rack up the calories. 

 

LOW FAT

 

Firstly, fat isn’t bad, and shouldn’t be avoided. It’s actually quite beneficial for loads of reasons. It just simply has more calories per gram, meaning that foods high in fat (nuts, almonds, avocado etc), are just slightly more calorie dense.

 

When a product claims to be low fat, it sounds appealing because like the LIGHT versions, it has fewer calories. Great when fat loss is the aim. 

 

However, sugar and all of it’s hidden sidekicks, are usually used instead to try maintain some of the flavour lost through the removal of fat. Which could lead to cravings and energy dips later on in the day. 

 

Sometimes you’re better off with getting the original full fat version, and just being mindful of your serving sizes!

 

WHOLE GRAIN

 

It’s true, the product might have been made with whole grains, but it’s still worth checking the ingredients list. Ingredients are listed by quantity, with the most present being listed first, all the way to the least used ingredient being listed at the end. 

 

If whole grains aren’t in the first 3-5 ingredients on a packet, then the amount of whole grains actually used, probably isn’t enough to merit itself as a healthy snack. 

Keep in mind however, that this list is simply just to help you become more aware of your choices. There are foods out there that even with these claims on it’s labels, are still actually pretty healthy options. 

This list and an awareness of what these claims might mean in truth, is designed to help you establish, on the go, what the best option for you might be!