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Don’t fuss over fads. Eating well shouldn’t mean you can’t indulge and reap rewards at the same time. These simple food-shop swaps, courtesy of nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, provide maximum benefits with minimum dietary adjustment.
1. Blood Sausage
It may not be the most palatable option, but it is rich in protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium and fibre. Ask your butcher or deli owner for help.
A no-brainer when it comes to snacks – this offers plenty of protein and healthy fat. The best option: any kind of venison, and make sure you don’t have huge portions.
3. Red Peppers
They’re bursting with beta-carotene and lycopene – both key for eyesight. They have a high water content, too, so eating masses doesn’t equal masses of kilojoules.
A number of studies published since 2009 show nitrates found in beets aid exercise performance after being converted to nitric oxide by enzymes in saliva. The last point is key – better to sip cold- pressed juice than bolt a supplement.
5. Goat Meat
Data from the US Department of Agriculture shows goat meat is both leaner and has less kilojoules than beef, pork and chicken. It has more flavour too, meaning your hunger is likely to be satiated by smaller portions.
Go further still and quaff kefir, a fermented dairy drink, higher in vitamins B1, B12 and K than the milk it’s based on. Its superpowers include a digestion-aiding probiotic element.
From the latest immunity-boosting liquefied plant shot to your mid-afternoon energy bar, these nutrition myths and fads are fast falling out of favour. Whether overrated, outdated or plain harmful, your body deserves better.
1. Coconut Water
“Hydration-wise, studies have shown that water is just as effective after a workout,” says nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert. “And while coconut water does contain electrolytes, it’s often full of sugar, too. To avoid undoing the benefits, read the ingredient list on the back – it should just contain one ingredient: coconut water.”
“Okay, you can’t argue with its ridiculous vitamin A, B6, C and K content,” Lambert admits. “But the prevalence of an indigestible sugar, called raffinose, can cause bloating, and the leaves’ goitrogens can disrupt iodine uptake in the thyroid, leading to fatigue and weight gain.”
3. Goji Berries
The BDA does not recognise any evidence goji berries boost immune system and brain activity, protect against heart disease and cancer or increase lifespan. The advice? “Stick to a range of fruit and veg, rather than spending money on this one item with no proven benefits.”
4. Convenience Salads
Your “go-to” salads won’t do you any favours, packed as they are with kilojoules and sugar-heavy dressings. Lambert recommends check- ing all labels before you tuck in.
5. Frozen Yoghurt
“Frozen yoghurts are a dairy minefield,” Lambert declares. “Often the freezing process destroys the healthy gut bacteria that makes normal yoghurt healthy, with most brands adding tons of sugar, too.” Lambert suggests forgoing the lot in favour of WheyO Ice Cream.
6. Almond Milk
“Many – though not all – almond milks are highly sweetened and have minimal natural nutritional value. In fact, they won’t give you many benefits unless they’re fortified,” says Lambert. For dairy alternatives, consider switching to soy, which is a much better source of protein and calcium.