Mixed messages

I am very partial to a magazine or three. But some of their messages around weight and health are truly awful.

Yesterday, I was reading one such article on the train. It offered readers ideas for a ‘healthy barbeque’.

These healthy options included gluten free bread, wheat free wraps and egg free sauce. An accompanying by-line suggested this would remove the ‘stodge’.

I call bullshit.

Taking ingredients out of foodstuffs does not make them healthy. Even when you remove ingredients like fat and sugar that we all know we are supposed to eat in moderation they don’t necessarily become healthier – mainly because then to make them taste okay they are usually replaced with other, equally or even more unhealthy junk.

You only need to stop eating food like gluten or eggs if you have an actual food intolerance. Preferably one diagnosed by a professional and not merely with the assistance of something found on the internet.


In the same way that taking something out of food doesn’t make it healthy, neither does adding something in. This morning I saw a poster at a bus stop advertising a popular chocolate bar with added protein – accompanied by a photograph of beautiful people exercising.  Now protein is good for you.  It builds and repairs muscle and can help with weight-loss.  It is an essential food stuff, available in food and through supplements for those who want to consume more of it.  But in chocolate? Not so much.  Adding some protein doesn’t negate the fat, the sugar, the additives.

With advice and marketing messages like these it’s no wonder that people are confused about what to eat. If you do feel you need a little nutritional advice, the best place to get it is the NHS.

They are experts – and perhaps equally as important – they have nothing to sell you.

Don’t fall for the hype.


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