Life

Six foods nutritionist Yvonne Wake bans from her menu

Nutritionist Yvonne Wake is the first to admit food labels can be confusing and it isn't always clear what's actually 'healthy'. Here are some of the foods she chooses to avoid

It's no to cereals as many don't contain protein or fibre but do contain loads of sugar

:: Fast food/processed food

Yvonne would never eat a meal from a fast food chain, order a takeaway or indulge in any processed foods for the simple reason: "I don't know what's in it."

"There's no way of telling how much sugar, fat or preservatives are in there. These types of food are sold for their taste, their ability to fill you up quickly and get you running back for more because it's not expensive. Basically because it's not real food; it's not clean food."

:: Fizzy drinks

We're often warned of the dangers of fizzy drinks: high sugar, chemicals and zero nutritional value, while diet versions options contain artificial sweeteners.

Choose to shun them altogether, Yvonne advises: "Anything that has been produced or mass produced – the Coca Colas and the fizzy drinks – contains so much sugar.

"Worse still, it's hidden sugar because it doesn't state what kind it is on the label. If it mentions sugar at all, it will be a lot because it only has to be listed if it's over a certain amount."

:: Cereals

Most cereals lack protein and fibre and you could end up on a sugar crash within a couple of hours.

"Cereals are the biggest culprit," warns Yvonne. "But food producers don't call it 'sugar': they call it maltose, galactose or anything that has an 'ose' at the end of it."

:: Rice cakes

Rice cakes are often deemed a go-to snack for dieters – particularly those wanting to avoid the lure of bread. But they can in fact prove calorific and high in sugar and salt.

"I used to like rice cakes, but I realised there's a lot of density in there, which means it contains more than it says," Yvonne counsels. "They've now been mass produced, so even if you buy organic rice cakes, they will still contain a lot of sugar – just organic sugar."

:: Ready-made dressings and sauces

You may want to perk up your salad but you could end up undoing your good work if you slather it in a dressing or condiment.

"Dressings have quite a lot of oil and added sugar and mayonnaise is hugely calorific. I make mine tasty by using a little bit of sesame oil at the end or cider vinegar."

:: Margarine

Real butter has always outshone its rival, the additive-heavy and coloured margarine; but only now are we being told it's better for us.

"I love butter," admits Yvonne. "It has to be proper butter though; when it just says 'butter' on the packet. Butter is best because it's natural and we do need some fats."

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