3 not-so-healthy food trends
If you've been following our health food heroes posts and have been inspired to kick start your new healthy eating routine, then good on you!
Starting out on your journey, there's the novelty of trying out so many different ingredients to make our diet interesting and colourful.
You might even try foods you've never tried before, or begin to change your snacking habits for more healthy alternatives. One of the most attractive ways of starting on your own personal health kick is to jump onto the bandwagon of the latest food trends.
This is particularly easy to fall into, as the diet or the food movement of the month may be all over the magazines and the internet, accompanied by pictures of grinning people who say the trend "worked for them!" You may even have some friends who are trying out the latest thing in healthy eating.
However, while it might feel good to get swept up in the idea of making better food choices, there are some not-so-healthy food trends, which rather than enhancing your diet may prove to be detrimental to your health.
Here we look three of these trends masquerading as healthy.
1. Raw milk
Please, please, please, do not join the raw milk club! According to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, recent studies have shown that there are considerable health risks associated with drinking unpasteurised cows milk.
"Consumers are nearly 100 times more likely to get foodborne illness from drinking raw milk than they are from drinking pasteurised milk," says the report.
The findings show that contaminants found in raw milk include salmonella and Campylobacter, along with a type of e-coli.
"Based on our findings, we discourage the consumption of raw milk, especially among vulnerable populations such as the elderly, people with impaired immune systems, pregnant women, and children," says co-author of the study, Cissy Li.
2. Made to go smoothies
We know they look delicious and are made with fruit. Fruit is good for us, isn't it? "An apple a day" and all that?
Unfortunately, what you're most likely tasting is a bucket-load of sugar from the fructose found in the myriad fruit pulverised into smoothie form.
In addition, some smoothies are supplemented by adding fruit juice to the mixture to thin it down slightly, and many juice products, especially non-freshly-squeezed ones, are highly sugary too.
Products which are high in sugar – natural or otherwise – can hike up our blood sugar levels before bringing them crashing down. Additionally, when sugary residue is left in our teeth, it encourages the growth of tooth decaying bacteria.
3. Fat free food
Part of the "fat is the enemy" movement in the 1990s, food products bearing the proud fat free label became prominent, with consumers believing that zero fat content would lead to slimming and health benefits.
However, we now know that fat actually plays an important role as part of a balanced diet. The Australian Healthy Food Guide recommends that fat should count for at least 30 per cent of our daily intake from various sources.
"In order to make many of these fat-free foods taste good and be shelf-stable, food manufacturers add extra sugar and unhealthy food additives," says registered dietitian Julie Rose, as reported by Livestrong.
Without it, health advocate Livestrong also suggests that we may experience issues such as nutrient deficiencies and skin problems as well as fatigue.
If you're dedicated to eating healthy, drop that calorie counting book and grab your Onya produce bag to pick up a rainbow of fruit and vegetables from the supermarket. Don't forget, until the end of April 2015, you can get 15 per cent off our large Onya Weigh bags with the code 'GOLARGE' on our online store!