When A Portion is Not a Portion (part 1)

We were doing our weekly shop the other day when it struck me just how little of a typical supermarket is dedicated to foods that are good for us. 

Pretty much 90% of the store is dedicated to addictive food that destroys our health.

It made me realise that basically, anything with “ingredients” means it has gone through the food industry, which usually means it has been made as unhealthy and addictive as possible.

Food scientists play on the fact that the human brain still places a high value on salt, sugar and fat.  The brains reward centres have not changed for approximately 50,000 years. 

Every food in a bag, box or jar has been enhanced in some way to find, what the food industry refers to as the “bliss point” for each product.  The precise combination of salt, sugar and fat that excites your brain and keeps you coming back for more.

Funnily enough, the government is also in on this with what it classifies as a “portion” of fruit and veg, which, by the way, we should be aiming for 5 of to be super healthy.

The following foods apparently count towards your “5 a day”…

  • Heinz Tomato Soup, full of sugar, cream…
  • Peppa Pig Spaghetti Hoops
  • Shop Bought Ready Meals
  • Froot Loops (contain 41% sugar)

Do you know what food companies need to do to get the “5 a day” logo printed on their packaging?

To sanction use of its official logo, the government requires from manufacturers a cheque for £100 and a signed promise that the product contains fruit or vegetable matter.

I’m sorry, but products which are high in sugar, salt or fat do not magically become healthy because they contain a processed “portion” of fruit or veg.

According to the Government, you can have some Froot Loops for breakfast, followed by some processed cream of tomato soup for lunch and a ready meal for dinner, and lo and behold you’ve ticked the 5-a day box.

This systemic problem probably explains the 66.8% of UK men are overweight or obese, and the 57.8% of women, the massive issues with diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

So, remember just because it says “One of your 5 a day” on the packaging, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy!

The takeaways from this are to stick to whole foods (foods without ingredients) as much as possible.

It’s better to cook simple meals from scratch than any pre-packaged food.

  >>  You can get some great ideas for recipes in our recipe zone here

  >>  and boost your veggie intake by 5 – 10 portions in under 5 mins here.

You can read PART 2 of this blog post here.


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