Kate Hawkesby: We are stuck in the harmful habit of convenience foods

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Tue, 10 Dec 2019, 11:22AM
Anyone who thinks a 2 minute noodle is nutritious, is not thinking clearly. Photo / Getty Images

Kate Hawkesby: We are stuck in the harmful habit of convenience foods

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Tue, 10 Dec 2019, 11:22AM

I see that as the same time we’re being told we don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables, Consumer has put out a list of all the products we’re eating which are being marketed to us under the guise of health, but are actually terrible for us.

Who knows what to eat anymore? It’s so confusing. 5+ a day.. then it was 8+, then it was low carb high fat, then no sugar, now the world seems on a plant based movement trying to turn everyone vegan, we have meatless meat, edible cups, who knows what we’re eating these days.

But only a third of us apparently eat our 5+ a day.

We're stuck in the habit of convenience foods, grabbing something on the go, we’re busy, we’re not planning ahead or stopping to check the nutritional values. We see a roll at the bakery, or a café sandwich and we grab it, we don’t stop to count the vegetable content. We should of course. We should plan ahead, eat seasonally, choose fresh, all those sorts of things, but like a lot of good advice it’s more theory than reality.

The reality of the daily hustle is we’re often tired or time poor and we make poor choices. Then we try to appease our conscience by eating an apple at the end of it all. Which is like going to the gym then eating a donut to reward yourself. Or is that just me?

But Consumer says there’s more in our pantry causing us more harm than good. And often times we don’t even know it.

It’s the stuff we buy thinking it’s fine, yet it really isn’t. Even things labelled ‘a healthy choice’ are often not.

Sometimes products marketed as ‘nutritious’ are more than 20% sugar.

Nestle Milo Duo cereal is one of them. It promises energy, calcium, vitamin D and whole grains. Yet it’s 28% sugar.

Having said that, if you’re buying a chocolatey looking cereal and thinking that’s nutritionally sound then more fool you.

Lots of cereals fall into this category.

But also muesli bars. Tasti Fruit and Nut Snak Logs claim to be “wholesome” and “Nature’s Power Pack”.

But Consumer NZ says they contain five different sweeteners – sugar, brown sugar, glucose, honey and apple juice concentrate.

With the added sweetness from dried fruit, these bars are 38% sugar.

And don’t even get me started on 2 minute noodles.

Mind you, much like chocolatey cereals, anyone who thinks a 2 minute noodle is nutritious, is not thinking clearly.

Yes it’s a battle keeping junk out of your kitchen (especially when you have kids), but the onus is on us to check before we consume.

Maybe if we start with the 5+ of fruit and vege, we'll do a better job from there.