Fitness

Are these 6 foods REALLY healthy?

Coconut water, fruit... is there anything we unanimously believe is healthy these days?

By Bronte Chaperon
It seems new information becomes available each day about whether or not a certain food is healthy.
Take fruit for example, most people would assume fruit is an obviously healthy option. Turns out fruit has health nuts divided because of its sugar content.
A simple sugar in fruit, fructose, is the reason for fruit's mixed reception. Fructose is not bad for us though, like all things it's all about moderation.
In fact, the body uses fructose as energy (although glucose is the body's preferred energy source).
It's when your fruit intake becomes excessive (two pieces a day is the recommendation) that we see why it can sometimes have a bad rep: an excessive consumption of fruit can mean the body doesn't need to use all the energy you're consuming, so it stores it as fat for later.
So despite fruit being healthy and providing the body with many important vitamins, it can still have a bad reputation.
In light of the confusion surrounding are-they or aren't-they healthy foods, Now To Love spoke to Chloe McLeod, Sports Dietitian and Co-owner of Health & Performance Collective, to get the lowdown on six foods we think are healthy to check they are indeed good for us.
1. Smoked salmon:
Smoked salmon might be delicious, but is it good for us? Chloe says it's "a great way to up your fish intake, with salmon in particular being rich in omega 3s. Do make sure to choose one that is cured with salt rather than sugar, and keep in mind that it is a higher salt choice, so keep your intake of salt from other sources low the days you're choosing the smoked salmon." Smoked salmon contains iron and lots of protein, which keeps our muscle tissues strong.
2. Coconut water:
We've all reached for a coconut water at some point in our lives with the intention of being healthy, but it pays to read the nutrition label - some of these are loaded with sugar. "Delicious and refreshing, and a great source of potassium. Some brands add sugar, so ensure whichever you choose, this is not the case. Definitely a healthy choice, but also not the wonder drink that was being claimed a few years ago."
3. Almond milk:
Some of us choose to order soy or almond milk in our coffee because we believe it's healthier, however this is reducing our intake of some vital nutrients. "A great vegan alternative to milk, however it is lower in protein and calcium than dairy-based options. If almond milk is your go-to, ensure you're getting enough calcium and protein from other sources. Also, many almond milks are sweetened with sugar; aim to choose an unsweetened one."
4. Greek yoghurt:
Think a big dollop of Greek yoghurt is doing you good? It is, within reason... "Rich in protein, calcium and probiotics, this is a great choice. Do keep in mind full fat options can be around 10% fat, so very high in calories, so do be mindful of your portion size."
5. Dried fruit:
PSA: stop shoveling handfuls of sultanas into your mouth thinking it's healthy. "Dried fruit can be very high in sugar, as sugar is often added in the drying process. Also keep in mind dried fruit is easy to over eat; 10 sultanas is 10 grapes, but it is very easy to eat more than double this!"
6. Porridge:
How about everyone's favourite winter brekkie? "Traditional rolled oats or steel cut oats are a great, low GI option. Quick oats have been chopped into tiny pieces, and are digested more quickly. Steel cut or rolled oats are the best option when it comes to porridge-making, though quick oats are still okay, just not quite as healthy from a GI perspective."