Apologies if this blog sounds like we’re on our high horse… Ok so we are. But you should be aware of what food manufactures are doing to our foods and how they deceive us on their food packaging.

The announcement of the “Sugar Tax” in the UK has got us really mad. And its not often that we get political. But this tax hits you and me in the pocket, pushing up our supermarket bill every week. Which is crazy, its just another “Stealth Tax” which is going to have zero effect on the health of the nation.

The obesity statistics in the UK are a worrying read. 66% of men and 57% of women are classed as overweight, obese or morbidly obese. And those living in deprived areas are more likely to be overweight.

Whilst the sugar tax may be implemented to deter people from buying unhealthy food, we all know that when you do your weekly shop that healthy, fresh food such as fruit, veg and fresh meat, is way more expensive than the unhealthy foods in tins and packets. Making this very difficult for anyone on a lower income or with a large family to feed.

Its a shame that the Government doesn’t actually address the problems at the root cause and hit the food companies with hefty fines, taxes for the production of high sugar and fast food. And they should also have restrictions on the marketing of unhealthy foods. And if it were up to us we would subsidise healthy food such as fruit, veg and fresh meat.

Food manufacturers are should be held largely responsible for the obesity epidemic in the UK. If you research you will find evidence of certain food manufactures funding research and studies that were instrumental in what and how we are advised to eat since the 1960s!

Fast forward to present day, companies continue to manipulate what we buy with clever marketing, hitting the “sweet spot’ just when you’re ready to buy. Or even worse marketing to your children.

Deciphering food packaging and nutrition labels needs a keen eye to spot the unhealthy snack dressing up as a “healthy alternative”.

And don’t be fooled by the Supermarket Giants who now promise to keep sweets and chocolates away from tills and checkouts. Have you noticed that these days, where there was once Mars bars, Snickers and Skittles, these have been replaced by Granola bars, Flap Jacks, Protein bars? Whilst you would be forgiven thinking that these are heathy alternatives, the truth is most of them are as bad (and sometimes worse) than the original offenders.

Tips On Understanding Food Packaging

Don’t believe everything you read on the packet.

“Sugar Free” = It may be sugar free but it will most likely be full of artificial sweeteners and fat

“Vegan Friendly”  = Ok if you are avoiding animal products but can still be filled with unhealthy fats and refined sugar

“Gluten Free” = Whilst it might be OK to eat if you have a gluten allergy or intolerance these foods can still be filled with fat, sugar and salt

“Fat Free” = To maintain taste, whilst the fat has been removed, these foods are normally pumped full of sugar

“Light or Lite” = For a food to be Light it must contain at least 30% less in one value (ie calories) than the normal variety. But this can be deceiving. Read the whole label to see if it is a healthy option.

Snacks such as these can actually CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN yet people are being fooled into think they are the healthy option!! When in reality they are just the same as eating a snack from a vending machine.

Its time people knew of these nutritional hazards and learnt how to stay away from them. Try following these simple steps and take one BIG step forward with your health and fitness goals.

  • ALWAYS turn the packet over and read through ALL of the ingredients.
  • DO NOT get lured in by the extravagant packaging no matter how enticing it may look.
  • ALWAYS stick to real, whole foods instead of processed.

Hopefully by following these 3 simple steps it can lead you to a healthier lifestyle. For more information on food labels check out HERE