Recent research has found that ultra-processed foods make up 63% of the average Briton’s diet. These foods: white bread, cakes, burgers, chips, processed sausages, pizzas, biscuits and cake have been found to increase our risk of obesity, high blood pressure and risk of cancers.
These foods are typically higher in refined sugars saturated fats and lower in good quality nutrients and fibre which may be one explanation for the hike in mortality risk. Although, researchers are also questioning the role of the additives, chemicals leaching from packaging and high cooking temperatures on these risks too.
I suppose you’re wondering why I’m telling you all of this. We know that people are opting for these ultra-processed foods as a way of convenience and lack of time for meal prep. So I’m sharing my 5 top tips for helping you make healthy eating, simpler, delicious and more accessible.
1. Ensure your freezer is always stocked. I’ve said this time and time again but frozen vegetables will forever be my saviour. They’re pre-chopped and so saves big time on the veggie prep.
2. Go for simplicity. Sometimes a quick omelette or scrambled eggs and avocado make for a perfect simple dinner. This takes less time than waiting for the oven to heat up to cook a pizza.
3. Pre-prep your breakfast. Overnight oats are the fastest breakfast to make and perfect for taking on the go. Simply combine oats with milk (any of your choice), cinnamon and berries the night before. Leave them in the fridge and grab them on your way out the door in the morning.
4. Stock up your snack cupboard at work. Watching people go to the vending machines can sometimes be tempting to tap in for your snack too. So I suggest stocking up your desk. Some of my favourite brands include: Brave peas, Squirrel Sisters snack bars, Nakd snack bars, Pip and Nut almond butter sachets and Ape snacks coconut curls.
5. Switch the flavoured varieties for the more natural options. Flavoured yoghurts, milks, coffees all tend to be higher in sugars. Opt for the more natural varieties and then add a squeeze of honey and cinnamon if you need (maybe not in the coffee!)
There you have a few simple tips for helping you move over from the Ultra processed foods to some healthier options.