Tuesday, 27 March 2012
What are we really eating!
In the modern world that we live in I find myself always on the go, unfortunately I need to work, thankfully my kids are old enough to fend for themselves. I sometimes feel sad that we don't all have tea together but at the weekend we try make the effort on a Saturday night to sit around the table and eat and chat. I am the only one who eats low carb/Paleo but when I make food I cook it so we can all eat it. I make simple adjustments like they will have fajitas I will have my food in lettuce. It can be hard sometimes but my kids have got used to me not eating how they eat. I do encourage them to leave out Carbs as much as possible but they are old enough to make their own food choices. I just hope I can lead by example. One thing that annoys me is I make a choice to eat a certain way for me it has been low carb for a long time, but increasingly I noticed my progress slowed even stalled. Then I started looking at foods and looking at the ingredients. Thankfully in the UK by law they have to fully label the packaging with all ingredients. So you would think that when buying say Garlic Butter it would contain the ingredients Garlic and Butter, right? WRONG It contains Butter (75%) , Onion (10%) , Parsley (5%) , Garlic (3%) , Salt , Potato Starch , Tapioca Starch , Herbs , Pepper , Citric Acid , Natural Garlic Flavouring . Now the herbs and pepper and salt I can understand a bit of seasoning can enhance the product. But if it has garlic in it why then do we have to have natural garlic flavouring? Which I'm guessing is anything but natural. Why also does it have to have potato starch and tapioca starch? Ok so I want to buy some pre cooked chicken for convenience! If it is just plain chicken it contains stabilisers like triphosphates which supposedly keeps it moist. However if I want to add flavouring to that chicken that open up a minefield of additives! At home if making chilli chicken we'd add chilli, maybe some lemon, onions and peppers, salt and pepper And spices for seasoning. Buy it ready made and the food companies don't feel that that is enough. They think our taste buds need more. Most people have grown so accustomed to just accepting the flavour of food that they never look at what is really in the food they have eaten. In ready made chilli chicken the ingredients are as follows.... Cooked Chicken* , Sugar , Honey , Paprika , Modified Maize Starch , Salt , Rice Flour , Potato Starch , Chilli Powder , Cornflour , Stabiliser (Triphosphates) , Dextrose , Chillies , Natural Flavourings , Herbs [Marjoram, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Basil] , Vegetable Oil , Rosemary Extract , Maltodextrin , Colour (Paprika Extract) , * Made with 99g of raw Chicken per 100g of finished product . One of the first ingredients you will notice is sugar! When we cook at home who would ever think of cooking their chicken in sugar, but look at ingredients on pre packaged food and again and again sugar appears. If people choose to eat sugar that is fine they can choose to eat sugar in there foods but why take that choice away from the majority of people by putting it in everything. Most people have on their table salt and pepper, when I cook I don't use salt I let people add it at the table. Does this now mean I have to have the sugar bowl on the table for people to sprinkle on their food. As a young mum with two small boys I was always proud that I never gave my children ready made baby food. I knew from researching that one of the leading baby food producers used fillers in the food similar to the same ingredient in wallpaper paste. I also knew that nutritionally I would need to give my baby 6 jars for him to receive the correct amount of nutrients for one meal. I made the food myself usually from our meal the previous evening and blended it. After the cruise last year I realised that even with my busy life I have to choose my foods more carefully. I have moved towards Paleo I still eat low carb but by eating Paleo I do not eat processed food. If it lived or moved I eat it as long as the food industry hasn't got it's hands on it. But my relationship with food is a lifelong struggle and I realised today that often I miss out on vital nutrition because I am scared to eat!! I am also increasingly aware that even the good food choices I make may also be lacking in nutrients. So I am still learning and progressing in my journey, I try not to focus on my weight loss but on my glucose levels. With the increase in type ii diabetes you would think that the food companies would realise they are not helping in this. Only this week our government are trying to get leading food companies to cut the calories in their products, here is an article. I often think people should have the right to choose what they eat but when lots of the unhealthy ingredients are in foods that really don't need to be there, then I think these companies have a responsibility to the public. So when thinking you need to be watching what you eat, you really should look a bit harder at what is being put into your food. Even when choosing a healthier option they may not actually be healthy!