Pretend foods are out of children’s games for everyday life – 05/23/2023 – Maria Inês Dolci
Back in the day, pretend foods were those that we kids would pretend to cook in plastic pots and ovens.
Today, they are fermented milk drinks; condensed milk mixtures of milk, whey and starch; corn glucose food; whey cheese; dairy compound with fibers. It is not forbidden to manufacture them, obviously, but they should carry more evident indications on the labels that “they look like, but are not”.
They are less nutritious and cheaper than yogurt, honey, cheese, powdered milk. There are also curds that, well, are not traditional curds, but a mixture of cheeses, vegetable fat and starch. And the mini chocolate bars, each time with less grams. Before, a bar used to be 200 grams, today, they average 90 grams or less.
For those who intend to lead a healthier life, through physical exercises and food, there are other pitfalls: whole grain breads with high levels of sodium and more white flour than unrefined flour. Cereal bars with excess sodium and sugar. Diet products that replace sugar with fat and sodium. Diet sodas with chemicals such as dyes, preservatives and sweeteners.
Recently, the WHO (World Health Organization) advised against the use of sugar-free sweeteners for weight loss, because they would increase the risks for non-communicable diseases – cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Therefore, they are indicated only for people who cannot consume sugar due to diseases such as diabetes, but always under medical guidance.
How to escape so many food pranks? It’s no use, we have to read the labels carefully. Real cottage cheeses often boast about this, including the word “traditional” on the label. Foods with information such as “based on”, “dairy drinks”, “mixtures”, “compounds” already indicate, in the name, that they are very different from the originals.
On the label of so-called wholemeal bread, see what it is made of. It should have more whole grains than refined. And low sodium, please. The ideal way to reduce glucose consumption is to drink liquids without sugar. If not, use little, very little sugar.
Processed products should be avoided: canned goods in brine, fruit compotes, wheat flour breads. Avoid ultra-processed products: cookies, ice cream, snacks, chocolate drinks, soft drinks, industrialized broths and soups, etc.
The golden rule for a healthy diet, according to the “Food Guide for the Brazilian Population”, from the Ministry of Health, is to have a diet with in natura (unprocessed) and minimally processed foods (vegetables, vegetables, fruits, rice, corn on the cob, beans, unsweetened fruit juices, milk, yogurt, eggs, meat, fish, pasta, tea, coffee and water).
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