Foods to avoid and foods to consume - Part 2

Last post, our Nutritionist Amy McKendrick, talked about four types of food that aren't good for us and what we can replace them with. The list continues...

5. AVOID - Sugary processed cereals. These foods should never have been created. It is not a great way to start your day with cardboard disguised as food. They are ladened with refined sugars, flavours and gluten (protein in wheat, rye, oats and barley). Gluten is highly indigestible and can wreak havoc in the digestive tract and cause inflammation. The high sugar content is also extremely high glycemic, which causes spikes in insulin causing fluctuations in energy levels.

REPLACE with homemade gluten free bircher muesli or poached eggs with vegetables such as spinach, grilled tomato, avocado. Bircher muesli can be made with nuts, seeds, quinoa flakes (rolled oats if you are okay with gluten) and almond milk to make it dairy free and gluten free. It is also high in fibre, protein and essential fats making it more satiating. Soaking it all overnight also increases the digestibility of the nuts, seeds and grains. Add some berries and yoghurt to add extra nutrients.

6. AVOID - Processed meats - deli meats including bacon, ham, chicken, turkey, salami, pastrami all contain a preservative called nitric acid or nitrites. Nitrites are known carcinogens. The more smoked and the longer the shelf life, the more nitric acid. They also have a high saturated fat content increasing bad cholesterol and triglycerides increasing your risk of developing coronary heart disease.

REPLACE with home prepared meats. I make roasted chicken, lamb, beef and then just slice them up to have over the next few days. I also use smoked salmon (the naturally wood smoked variety).

7. AVOID - Commercial chocolate. Regular chocolate contains an enormous amount of refined sugar and saturated fats. The worst of the bunch has to be M & M's, as they also contain 5 artificial colours which have been linked to various cancers. They have been banned in parts of Europe for over 30 years for good reason.

REPLACE with raw chocolate. There are so many amazing brands available which contain all natural ingredients. And the cacao is raw, meaning that the nutrients are alive and bioavailable. I like Pana chocolate or Loving Earth.

8. AVOID - Muesli or nut bars. These supposed healthy snacks are ladened with sugar and other flavours and food additives. Most of the ingredients in these bars are highly processed affecting blood sugar levels increasing insulin production and therefore your body fat storage.

REPLACE with raw nuts and seeds and a piece of fresh fruit. Here you are getting the nuts without the added glucose to bind them with the sweetness from the fruit containing natural sugars. Yes, it's that simple.

Add into your repertoire an abundance of colourful veggies and a small amount of fruit. Don't be afraid to add in some good quality fats, as they help to satiate you and supply your bodies with essential nutrients.

Avoid packaged food containing ingredients you cannot pronounce or if the ingredients list is a mile long.

The moral of the story, JUST EAT REAL FOOD (JERF)! Yes, it's that simple