We have heard so much, read so much, watched so much about it; in the mags, social media, brand campaigns or our friends… I’m talking about health food. Once a certain type of food is circulated to be “healthy”, you see new brands popping up to promote them, articles being written about them. And that’s all good, don’t get me wrong. Awareness is always a good thing. But I can’t help but notice the marketing and awareness that goes out with it is usually incomplete. Benefits are highlighted but that’s it. It stops there. It is crucial when something is labelled healthy because consumption will increase and some people may even throw moderation out the door just because they are deemed healthy!

I thought today I’ll draw out two examples of “health food” which are amazing and that I absolutely love, but they are also the two that many people may not be fully aware of “what they really contain”.

Health Food #1: Yoghurt

Yoghurt is a health food with plenty of health benefits. It provides good bacteria that helps with digestion and immune system, along with many other nutrients. However, with the amount of added sugar, flavouring and colouring that goes into most yoghurt you find in stores now, they may not be that healthy anymore. Yes, you still get your good bacteria, but what about the loads of processed sugar you’re feeding your body which affects your insulin sensitivity that is crucial in preventing diseases?

Have you checked the ingredients that goes into the yoghurt you consume daily? Taking an example of one I randomly pick up from the supermarket shelves:

A 135ml flavoured yoghurt;

Ingredient list: Milk Solids, Mixed Berries, Mixed Live Culture, Sugar, Stabiliser, Flavouring, Colouring, Permitted Food Conditioner

Sugar: 18.9g

Our daily recommended sugar intake is 37.5 gm and 25 gm for men and women respectively. And that’s not adding the fact that the sugar in these yoghurt is not natural sugar but refined.

I love my yoghurt and I found two that I go to regularly. And that’s Farmers Union’s Natural Yoghurt and Farmers Union’s Greek Style Yoghurt

Ingredient list: Milk, Milk Solids, Cream, Live Cultures.

It may be too tangy eaten on its own, but that’s where you can get creative with it. Add in your raw honey, or nut butter and you’ll have yourself a naturally flavoured yoghurt that’s delicious and nutritious.

Recipe: Honey-Berry Yoghurt Bowl

Ingredients:

Directions:

Mix yoghurt with raw honey. Add toppings and enjoy!

Health Food #2: Raw Juices

A bottle of raw juice, made with a kg of fresh produce with no added sugar or flavouring. Sounds good doesn’t it?

Ofcourse, if compared to many processed, refined sugar laden beverages, raw juices are great. But if you’re talking about going on a juice cleanse or consuming raw juices daily, we ought to know what makes up the juices and the science behind drinking raw juices.

Juices are healthy because you are basically getting a “hit” of vitamins and micronutrients (you can’t eat 1kg of produce but you can drink them), and because it is fibre-free, it promotes better absorption of nutrients and vitamins into your body. So that makes it good. But as much as your body is absorbing everything at its maximum rate, it is also absorbing the “natural sugar” just the same. With raw juices, to make it “tasty” many would add a multitude of fruits or even make a 100% pure fruit juice. Fruit itself contain natural sugar, eaten on its own with fiber, is great, but when it’s juiced and drank fiber free in a big dose, you are basically pumping your body with loads of sugar.

It is fine if you want to enjoy it once in a while (i mean you can’t always resist a freshly pressed glass of OJ right? 😉), but if you’re making it everyday as part of your “healthy habit”, then it would be best to minimize amount of fruits, and add vegetables instead. I love going with the ratio of 70:30 or 80:20. So you’re basically juicing mainly vegetables, topping it off with some fruits to sweeten it a little.

“Juice your greens and eat your fruits”

Recipe: Ultimate Green Juice

  • 250g Kale/Spinach
  • 200g Cucumber
  • 200g Green Apple
  • 20g Lemon
  • 10g Ginger
  • 20g Broccoli

I hope what’s shared today will encourage you to always read your ingredient list before purchasing any staple. You don’t have to avoid anything completely; if you love a good icy cold fruit juice or a favourite flavoured yoghurt, go enjoy it! But just not overdoing it is key, in addition to being aware of what you’re consuming regularly.

“Food is just like life itself, enjoy it but be sure to make wise choices as well” 😉

Alright, am leaving you guys with that. As always, don’t get too buried in the urgent things in life and forget the important ones that truly matter at the end of the day. Love, share, encourage, listen and give 😘

Lots of love, Erina

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I'm a foodie, health and wellness enthusiast, passionate content creator and an adventurous recipe developer. I'm no nutritionist (but it’s on the cards and in the stars for me!), but I do know a thing or two when it comes to health and nutrition; thanks to my crazy journey of extreme eating habits in the past. I'm finally now at a place where I'm comfortable in my own skin and on this amazing ride of building a healthy relationship with food. I'm not in a place to offer anyone “official” health advice but I am here to do what I love; to share my journey with you. "Staying healthy is more than just our physical condition, but also our mental and psychological state"

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