Beware of “Healthy” foods

Strange title right? But it’s so true!
Yesterday I was in Manchester city centre picking up some items for my wedding, and I needed food!

I popped in a a shop for a soft pretzel, and decided to supplement my snack with a lovely, fresh, “healthy” Boost smoothie (or so I thought).

As I waited in line for about 10 minutes with music the same volume to being in a club (I mean even the girl at the till had to shout to take my order, as did I) I began to look around the shop and noticed one thing; I didn’t see any of the apparent fruits and vegetables that make up their wonderful menu. Surely if their brand is all about real fruit and vegetables straight into your smoothie, there would be tons and tons of fruit and vegetables around that need to be blended and juiced?
I looked more and saw in a large mixing container two tubs of “real fruit” mango nectar, and one container of “real fruit” apple juice. When my order was put on the blender, I only saw real bananas in the jug; everything else looked like nectars or pulps.
Why am I saying this? I have no idea where the mango nectar or anything else in my drink came from! But since it is mass produced, and probably frozen or preserved (which greatly reduces its nutritional content), I don’t think it will be that healthy. I probably drank a BIT of real fruit, and a lot of preservatives and sugar yesterday, and it was very sweet; I know the taste of natural sugars, but that wasn’t what I tasted yesterday.
Last week also, I found 3 snack tubs of fruits and nuts in my house and thought “amazing! Healthy food for work”. I gobbled them down the first two days, but on the third, I decided to read the nutritional label on the back. To my absolute horror, inside my “healthy” snack was dried fruit “glazed in sugar syrup”. FRUIT GLAZED IN SUGAR!? I only ate the nuts after that. Fruits are already sweet, and have natural sugar content that is healthy sugar when consumed as a whole fruit. Glazing dried fruit in sugars makes no sense and is not healthy.
Why am I saying this? It’s always better to make your own. Here’s how & why:

  • Make smoothies at home that include the edible skins of fruits
    • Juicing fruit and vegetables is great, but it removes the fibre from the foods. Fibre is so important in our diets, and will help balance out the sugar content in smoothies by making the sugar slower releasing.
  • Read nutrition labels properly, and only go to these “juice bars” on necessity and infrequently.
    • If you do go, ask for what is in stock as a whole fruit, and get that blended. Please also bear in mind that my mango magic smoothie yesterday had almost 340 calories in it, which on the side of a full meal is a lot. Especially when I’m not sure of the nutritional content of what I’m drinking,

I think I’ll be keeping my Boost juices to a minimum and sticking to water when I’m out.
What I am going to do though, is go back to a Boost branch and ask the manager a few questions and next month I will update you all about the reality of the “fruit” behind the boost brand.

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