Eat Well, Live Well – The Big Fat Sugar debate
Food feeds our bodies but bad food can cause us damage. Scientific research shows that an excess of the wrong food can lead to a range of debilitating and sometimes fatal illness such as diabetes, obesity and heart problems. Apart from which good food also feeds our souls – enjoying a succulent taste sensation is one of life’s great pleasures.
As purveyors of good food, made with natural ingredients we are passionate not only about serving a positive experience at our restaurant but also about serving good food that will enhance your health.
Naturally produced food is good for us. Processed food, manufactured with profit rather than health in mind, can be bad for us. So an easy choice for you to make, right?
Not, it seems, when the bad food creates what amounts to an addiction – or at least a habit. Fat has long been seen as the baddie in our diets and now sugar hits the headlines.
The sugar vs fat debate rages on, with a recent BBC2 Horizon documentary based on twins taking on the different diet challenges of cutting carbohydrates (which transform into sugars in the body) or cutting fat from their daily lives. They both found it hard and both had different side effects. It appears we are in an all or nothing world, where we now have to exclude things totally to bring discipline to our lifestyle choices.
However, as far as we can see it doesn’t really need to be that deliberate. If we were all honest with ourselves we know that any kind of ‘processed’ food or drinks are not going to be as good for us as homemade, wholesome, basic ingredients. Personally, we understand when we’re eating a chocolate bar that it will contain a lot of sugar, and therefore know it is not a healthy choice. However, the amount of sugar found in processed ‘savoury’ foods such as tomato soup is quite shocking. According to the Telegraph newspaper ‘A can of Heinz tomato soup contains the equivalent of four teaspoons of sugar’ (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10559671/Sugar-is-as-dangerous-as-alcohol-and-tobacco-warn-health-experts.html). Therefore, limiting the amount of sugar in certain processed foods may be a good idea in the long run for the health of the nation.
In our opinion we are probably now at a time in the UK where most people do understand what they should be eating, however maybe we need to talk more about the wonders of specific wholesome ingredients and snacks that people could eat instead of other choices, rather than simply telling them what they can’t eat.
For example, ingredients such as olives are actually high in calories and fat, but are one of the world’s healthiest foods. It is thought they may hold anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous properties, and they can reduce blood pressure. Another high fat food is almonds; however again they have wonderful benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol and again blood pressure. Avocado is a high fat, low carb, low sugar food that promotes good heart health and helps to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. It also thought to have anti cancerous properties. While artichokes were used before the invention of some prescription drugs to successfully lower cholesterol, it is thought they may also help with the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
At Retro Bistrot we use these ingredients and more. For example, the Kale found in our duck dish is high in fibre, has 0% fat and is full of iron and is also considered to have anti-inflammatory properties. While the Puy lentils (named from the region of Le Puy in France) also in the dish, not only add a wonderful gastronomic quality, but are packed full of protein and can go towards one of your five fruit and vegetables a day.
These ‘super’ foods are really what we should be talking about more and trying to incorporate in our diet which is why we have them on our menu.
Come in and try one of our dishes – we would love to hear what you think.