Have you been trying to eat healthy and switched to health foods or healthy alternatives recently?
Have you been wondering if you should be eating fortified noodles, oats noodles or atta noodles? Are they a healthy alternative to your regular maida noodles?
With our busy lives, fast foods have made their way into our diets. Unconsciously, we tend to choose easy-to-cook and easy-to-eat items whenever we want a quick-meal-fix. Instant noodles, chips, savoury items (farsaan), chaat pakoda, all have replaced whole foods and healthy choices.
A few of us decide to eat healthy and replace the unhealthy options with health foods like baked chips instead of regular chips, yogurt instead of ice creams, fortified atta or oats noodles, instead of maida noodles. But are these options really healthy for our body? Let’s find out.
What are health foods in the market?
When you see labels like fat free, sugar free, baked, fortified with vitamins, energy drinks, protein bars, etc. those are termed as health foods. We are buying food like noodles fortified with vitamins, baked chips, yogurt dips, low fat salad dressings, etc. without reading the labels carefully. We just take the products on their face value.
More often we reach out for food that is processed and packaged when we are starving. So, how do we avoid unhealthy food choices? The solution lies in understanding nutritional labels, in order to pick the healthiest out of the packaged foods available widely in the supermarkets today. Let us know more about these food labels:
Are fortified noodles with vitamins and minerals healthy?
Fortified packet of noodles doesn’t add any nutritional value to your diet. In fact it is best to avoid any packaged food on the basis of the fortified vitamins and minerals. The fortified vitamins and minerals in packaged food are insufficient and are not equivalent to the RDA, (Required Daily Allowance).
Sometimes, synthetic alternatives are used to fortify health foods. Instead of adding nutrients to your diet, these food items add additional calories and fat to your daily intake. Any kind of noodles are high in carbohydrates and are not nutritionally dense, therefore, they should be best avoided. Most of them are made from wheat and have gluten in it. Gluten is a protein found in wheat that may cause irritation in the bowl and may cause leaky gut. If you still feel that eating noodles gives you joy then opt for rice based noodles.
Moreover, most of the noodles are cooked in palm oil which is considered unhealthy for the heart. Some studies link consumption of palm oil to increased ischaemic heart disease mortality, raised low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other adverse effects. Even the ragi and millet noodles are high in carbohydrates and have not much nutrition. So it is advised to keep the consumption of noodles as an occasional treat.
Instead opt for zoodles.
Are low fat yoghurts healthy?
The low fat yoghurts are definitely low on fat than full-fat yoghurts. Usually, these yoghurts are flavored and contain more than 10g of sugar which is high for a regular intake and will add to calories to one’s diet.
Check the food label to know the amount of fibre and sugar content in the yogurt. It is important to check the sugar content in comparison with the total carbohydrate content.
Instead opt for full fat dahi/yogurt with stevia powder or some fruits.
Are Ragi/ Wheat light/ Oats biscuits healthy?
Biscuits are not healthy, even if they have these complex fibres. Per biscuit the fibre content is less and not sufficient to give any health benefits. Also, each biscuit has some amount of fat, sugar and maida combined with the fibre rendering ingredient like (whole Wheat atta, Ragi atta, etc.) which is not healthy. To eat ragi, oats or wheat, it’s best to cook them in their natural form and then consume.
Instead bake your own oat cookies with rolled oats, raisins and nuts for those quick snack times or create protein balls with healthy ingredients.
Is skimmed milk healthy?
Buffalo’s milk is full fat milk at 4% fat. Cow’s milk is toned milk at 2-3 % fat. Double toned milk is toned milk with lower fat content with process for further fat removal. Skimmed milk is the lowest in fat content with 0.9% fat.
Fat’s are essential nutrients required by our body. Animal fats, especially cream, ghee, butter is good for the body if consumed moderately (30 gms in a day) For a balanced meal, consume 25% out of your total calories from healthy fats like nuts, olives, eggs, cream, ghee, butter, etc.) It is better to go for full fat buffalo milk than double toned milk.
If some product has been labeled low fat, most of the times it is compensated with sugar to maintain its taste. Don’t fall for the low fat fad. Read the food label carefully. Go for natural food than packaged food.
Are baked products like chips and wafers healthy?
Baking is a process in which less fat is used over frying and deep frying. However, any food product which needs to be baked to be solidified needs a moderate amount of fat. Baking is better than frying but not better than roasting or grilling where minimal fat is needed. Any food label higher on saturated fat over 10g is not appropriate.
Also, note that most processed and packaged snacks are high on sodium, disguised sugar forms like fructose and corn syrup (especially found in breakfast cereals) and even high on saturated fat or trans fats.
So, on your next trip to the supermarket read the labels carefully and make an informed choice!
You can also read about low calorie drinks that you can consume during a diet.
If you plan to eat out, these are the restaurants that serve healthy foods and cater to special diet requirements.
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