The Problems with the ’Healthy Foods’ Trend
It is very clear to see that nutrition and healthy eating is becoming more popular than ever these days. You can’t go a day or two without some article or person on TV discussing the dangers of sugar, fats or promoting the newest diet. Some of the top selling books at the moment are recipe books and every celebrity that is in good shape is now a so called ‘expert’ on all things health and nutrition.
Protein bars and are available in garages and most supermarkets have ‘health’ food aisles and some are even selling sports supplements.
Now, the first thing to note about all of this is that is great. Nutrition is and has always been hard for people to get right and there are so many pitfalls that we can encounter everyday. You were considered the weirdo if you didn’t want the mcdonalds or takeaway and slowly that is changing now and as a nation, we are becoming more health conscious.
Unfortunately, once the possibility of making lots of money becomes involved, questionable morals and decisions come into play. The current trend of ‘healthy’ or ‘clean’ eating is big business, there is a lot of money involved and that is why big companies and chains are involved in it. For no other reason than to make money. They are trying to take advantage of the lack of knowledge people have on certain topics.
Good examples being gluten free foods and so called ‘high’ protein foods. We wrote a piece on Gluten recently here – Gluten
Take home point being gluten free cookies are still cookies!! Daily protein intake will depend on gender and body size, but at a bare minimum, most people should be aiming to take in at least 15 grams of protein per snack, and more at main meals. Don’t be tricked by something that says high protein if it doesn’t contain that per serving. Nature valley bars are loaded with sugar, their bars averaging about 15g carb (6g sugar) and 2-3g protein. Their ‘protein’ bars are the exact same amount of carbs and sugar with another 7 g of protein added along with all of the other ingredients and hidden sugars etc.. Not exactly high protein. For good healthy alternatives check out Wyldsson!
There are no advertising standards as far as I am aware that controls or monitors what companies can or cannot claim regarding protein.
When we look at other protein bars too, a similar pattern emerges. The majority of protein bars from supplement companies contain about 20g of protein along with 15-20g of sugars too! Perfect immediately post training but no good for you on a day to day basis. The sugar is there for taste because ultimately they want you to buy more and more.
Now the other big issue or concern we have with the current trend is the clean eating treats. You can find hundreds of clean versions of deserts, healthy alternatives to said deserts. While most are lovely and definitely better than the original, we can sometimes miss the point. These foods are meant to treats and not had everyday which is very easily done when you whip up a batch of our protein balls!
When it comes to nutrition, we are trying to get people to remove as much sugar as possible from their diets. Clean treats can be another way around satisfying that sugar craving thus not fully dealing with the original issue. The last major point of this rant is that we can put on fat and gain weight no matter how clean we eat! If you are shoveling protein bars and brownies in every day and other healthy foods beyond your requirements you will gain weight!
Start thinking about how much you can remove from your diet and still be healthy as opposed to how much you can add in