The pros and cons in your kitchen
When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, there is so much advice out there it can be hard to know what's best. But one clear way of looking trim and being healthy on the inside is by giving your fridge and kitchen cupboards a good detox. The food you keep in these places can say a lot about you, so by getting your kitchen in order will mean your healthy living routine will fall perfectly into place. Nutritionist Amelia Freer has told British newspaper The Daily Mail exactly what needs to be binned and what should be taking pride of place on your shelves.
Breakfast cereal: Amelia recommends getting rid of every kind of breakfast cereal as they are all processed packets full of sugar and preservatives. This sugar rush can lead to mid-morning concentration dips and energy slumps.
“It’s the worst way to start your day,” she said.
Processed foods: Not much of a surprise here, but Amelia urges us to chuck all cans, ready meals and anything in a packet that comes with a long list of ingredients. Highly processed foods contain barely any nutrients and huge amount of chemicals that take their place can leave your body crying out for fresh produce. She advises dedicating a whole shelf to protein such as chicken, fish and red meat as this is what should be in every meal you make. Likewise, mix and match lots of fruit and veg every week so you get a nice variety.
Margarine: Even the ones claiming to be healthy should be ditched and if you must have some in your life, go for organic butter instead.
Gluten grains: Wheat flour (even wholemeal), barley, bulgur wheat, couscous, pearl barley, rye and semolina all contain gluten, a protein that the body finds particularly difficult to digest and can subsequently cause nausea and bloating. Try experimenting with alternatives and see how your body responds without it.
Yoghurts: There are so many ‘healthy’ yoghurts now, claiming to have high levels of calcium, protein and probiotics, but Amelia believes you will get more probiotics from a capsule and highlights that most yoghurts have as much sugar in them as a can of fizzy drink.
Diet oil sprays: Chemically derived vegetable oils, such as soya, sunflower, safflower and corn oil go through an extraction process that uses industrial solvents.
“Do you really want to eat oils that have undergone heating treatments and chemical processes - such as using a petroleum solvent to extract the oil?” Amelia questioned.
Use olive oil cold for added flavour and dressings, and cook with coconut oil, butter, ghee or avocado oil, which have a slightly higher tolerance for heat. This means they are more stable when heated and their nutrients are not degraded by heat.