Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Nude food



HeartActive is a delicious, 99% fat free milk enriched with plant sterols, which are proven to help reduce cholesterol. Research shows that consuming plant sterols everyday in milk can reduce cholesterol by an average of 10% in three weeks.  HeartActive is currently available in a 1L carton with an extended shelf life (45 days from production) compared to regular white milks with a shelf life of 14 days.


I don't know about you, but I like the food I eat to be as close to its original, natural state (hence my use of the word "nude" in the post title. Oh, alright, it was also an attention-grabbing ploy. Busted!) when I buy it as possible. I'm not some extreme earth-mother hippy type, sprouting my own mung beans and weaving them into kaftans or anything, I just like my food made of FOOD. So I mostly manage to construct my meals of fresh meat - I'm including fish and poultry in "meat" - eggs, dairy products, nuts and fruits and veggies.

Realistically, unless you happen to own a hugely varied mixed farm and can produce your own everything, you're going to have to rely on some packaged items from the centre aisles of the supermarket. Some of my regular purchases are things like rolled oats, rice, tuna, a few canned veggies, nut butters, vinegars, oils and flours. The odd block of chocolate may also find its way into my trolley. I have no idea how it gets there.

Really, NO idea.....
Still, most of the stuff I use that comes in packages is also whole foods. But when I do pick up a bag, carton or box containing a mixture of ingredients, I want to know what's in it. Reading nutrition panels and ingredient lists has become just a normal thing for me; I've been doing it for years.

How do I decide whether or not a product is OK? I have a few criteria, and my first one is this: Ideally, all of the ingredients must be real foods. If the list descends into things that have numbers instead of names, or those that look like they belong in a science lab, not on a farm, then I'm immediately wary. I also use a LOT of common sense and don't get all angsty just because A Current Affair ran some dodgy story about a particular product/additive/production process.

Additives aren't all bad. Some are essential so that the food doesn't spoil. For instance, salt has been used as a preservative for millennia, and whilst we don't want to over-consume it, the mineral itself isn't evil.

My view is that stuff that's added to foods in this country isn't likely to be a problem for most people - but that reactions to certain substances are often dose-dependent. Which means that a tiny amount of additive X probably won't cause a drama for someone who's a little sensitive to it, but a large amount might. Which only backs up my approach of keeping those things to a minimum.

I'm not playing down the impact of some additives on susceptible people, but the folklore that often grows around these things can get a bit hysterical.

One additive that the rumour mill went a bit wild over in recent years is milk permeate. It's bad for you; it's good for you; it's just the dairy producers trying to save money by watering down our milk. Personally, permeate in my milk is not one of the things I worry about. And all of the sources I checked - which included registered dieticians, government health bodies, as well as the dairy industry - agree that there's no reason to worry. But if you do still happen to have concerns, relax. There is a wide variety of permeate-free milk available. Heart Active (my anti-cholesterol secret weapon) is one of them.

I'm a lot more concerned about consuming artificial sweeteners (or an excess of natural sweeteners, for that matter), trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and my list goes on. But whatever your concerns, it's good to know that there are products available that you can buy with confidence, knowing that they don't contain X, Y or Z that you're trying to avoid.




Sponsored Series by Nuffnang Australia
HeartActive is a delicious, 99% fat free milk enriched with plant sterols, which are proven to help reduce cholesterol. Research shows that consuming plant sterols everyday in milk can reduce cholesterol by an average of 10% in three weeks. HeartActive is currently available in a 1L carton with an extended shelf life (45 days from production) compared to regular white milks with a shelf life of 14 days.


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2 comments:

Debbish said...

Perfectly timed post Kerryn as I'm starting to look into foods to lower my cholesterol. The fats vs sugar thing is interesting as someone asked me about that in my latest post... if they should be thinking more about one than the other. (Guess it depends on your level of health and priorities also!).

Deb

Kek said...

It depends on a lot of things, Deb. For my money, a little bit of sugar in my diet, a fairly liberal amount of "good" fats and staying away from nasties like trans-fats is a wise approach.

Everyone needs to analyse their own needs though, taking into account medical conditions and their goals and make up their own minds. :)

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