These ‘healthy’ foods are worse for you than a Big Mac
There is more "healthy" food out there than ever before, specifically designed to meet the growing market of time-poor, health-conscious Australians.
But dig a little deeper and a surprising number of these so-called healthy options are actually worse for you than a Big Mac.
To its credit, McDonald's makes no secret of the fact its Big Macs aren't designed to be good for you. It says it right there on the box: Fat, 31g, sugar 7.1g, sodium 1040mg.
But the same can't be said for those "healthier" options that market themselves as better alternatives but can actually be worse for you than everyone's favourite McDonald's order.
GRILL'D HEALTHY BURGERS
It's funny that a company that actually has the word "healthy" in its name unfortunately doesn't always live up to the "healthy" hype. In fact, many Grill'd burgers are actually worse for you than a Big Mac.
Grill'd's Crispy Bacon and Cheese burger contains a whopping 37.7g of fat, 11g of sugar and around 1500mg of salt. Healthy, you say? Not exactly.
When you walk into any Thai restaurant and watch the simplicity of the ingredients that go into every dish, it's easy to think you've landed in tasty health food heaven.
But there are some dishes lurking on the menu that pack an unbelievable amount of fat and salt - take that perennial favourite pad Thai, which, according to Deliveroo, is the most popular takeaway dish in Australia.
Are you ready for this? A chicken pad Thai contains as much as 40g of fat, and an incredible 2600mg of sodium and up to 20g sugar.
Youfoodz is now one of the largest "healthy meals on the go" companies around with their clever advertising to busy people who want to eat healthily. And yes, like McDonald's, they too have healthy options. However, does Youfoodz live up to all the hype? Take their Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad - yes salad it says, however this meal is actually worse for you nutritionally than a Big Mac with 31.4g fat and 10.6g sugar.
Sushi is the go-to pick for a healthy snack, and to be fair, if you're ordering sashimi (up to 40 calories per piece), it genuinely is good for you. That's largely the meal of choice in Japan, for example, a country with one of the longest life expectancies on the planet.
But do you know what you never see in Japan? The fried chicken rolls and Teriyaki chicken options paired with white rice, slathered in mayonnaise, then dunked in the salt bath that is soy sauce.
Just one roll has up to 13g of fat and 960mg of salt, and that's before the soy sauce. And most of us have 2-3 of these little rolls which can blow out to over 30g fat, 20g sugar not to mention 2000mg of stroke-inducing sodium.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret - banana bread is not actually bread. It's cake. And it's delicious. But it has had a very clever marketing job pulled on it.
No surprise, then, that a single, 128gm slice will serve up 16.3gm of fat, 411mg of salt and, wait for it, 30.3g of sugar.
I guess the point is all restaurants have healthy options but you need to look for them very carefully and be aware that not all foods labelled "healthy" end up being good for you. I guess, as the saying goes, if it tastes too good to be true it probably is.
Belinda MacDougall is the Founder of The Lady Shake