How processed is your health food? And an easy home made hummus recipe

Are your convenient health foods really healthy…. and a cheeky quick simple hummus recipe

Processing plant pm

I get that world moves at a very fast pace these days. So many demands are made on people to keep going at the speed of light (or at least that’s how it feels sometimes) that being healthy, eating healthy as become thought of as something that has to be more convenient.

The big food companies have worked a great line in marketing strategy to get us all believing that these re-packaged healthy foods will keep you looking and feeling great. So, if there are so many options out there of convenient healthy food, food that you can make up in a jiffy, foods that can be said to just cost a £1 a day to use, I had to pause and think, how can that be.

Myself and of my colleagues have been taking stock and decided to take a look at some of the ingredients in health food, and I wanted to share a small snippet of what we found.

Mannitol – Mainly derived from Quartz and used as a sweetner in products. For many food products, this is made in a plant, extracted via using several processes, ready for it to be to add to foods to sweeten it up, making it taste better.

Anti-caking agent, Silicon Dioxide – This little fella has its own E number. Again this product is usually manufactured in an industrial plant; usually added to products to prevent lumps and makes it easier for transportation.

Palm oil – Or may be listed as vegetable oil.  Many of the palm oils used as an additive will by some degree have oxidized through it being processed. The oxidization process, takes this additive from being something healthy used as fresh to not so used as an additive. The World Health Organisation are signaling that there could be increased health risks with its usage as evidence is growing that consumption of this ingredient increases risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Thickening agent, Guar gum – This comes from the guar bean. In order to get what manufactures need from this product, it under goes several processes; heating, grinding, and polishing. At this point they are able to separate out the ingredients, treated once again to get the valuable powder.

This list goes on and on, and the ones I have listed here aren’t even the ones that that are classed as ones to REALLY avoid.

People deserve and need to know what they are really putting into their bodies.

Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally eat packaged food, I eat out to dinner which no doubt will include ingredients that have been processed in some shape or form. This isn’t about being perfect or puritanical, this is about getting down to the truth, the more effort you make to eat real whole foods, cook from scratch, the healthier you will feel in the long run, the more you will be protecting your body from disease.

It’s time to switch the focus away from convenience and back to YOUR health,  and that means eating real whole foods, making the time and effort to plan, cook, get organised.

This hectic everyday crazy fast paced life tempts people into thinking that the grab and go lifestyle is ok as long as you are consuming “healthy” off the shelf products. It’s a temporary fix.

If your “healthy” food you’re eating has over 10 to 20 ingredients, most of which you can’t pronounce or even could say where they come from, then it’s not really healthy.

The bottom line is, if it’s a plant EAT IT, if it’s made in a plant…. then avoid it at least 90% of the time.

So what ingredients are you eating today?

Recipe – Home Made Easy Hummus

Aubergine Hummus – Serves 8 (1/3 cup each) Home made hummus picm

1 (15ox) can of chick peas

1 aubergine

2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed

2 tbsp of lemon juice

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of water

1 tbsp of sesame tahini

Ground black pepper & salt to taste

Roast aubergine in oven for around 40 mins on gas mark 5, then let cool. Once cooled removed skin and combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Chill and serve with mixed veggies sticks.






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