Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Junk food junkie


Cocao beans, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I always thought , apart from not eating enough green vegetables, that I had a good diet. But today, it seems as if I am a junk food junkie, should I chose to believe the British Government. The reason is that I like Marmite on my toast, cereals for breakfast, camembert on crackers, tomato ketchup in my cheese sandwiches and low-calorie mayonnaise with my fried or roasted potatoes, cooked in olive oil. All junk food, apparently.

Instead, if I went to a fast food joint and ate hamburgers and chips washed down with diet coke, I would be OK.

I know this because the British Government decided it wanted to intruduce new rules on advertising junk food to children, which meant they had to investigate what is and what is not junk food.

This list has been published and, surprisingly, companies such as McDonalds, Burger King, Kentucky Chicken and Cadburys will be allowed to carry on advertising, whilst Marmite, olive oil brands, low fat magarine and Heinz Tomato ketchup ads will have to stop.

The nonsensical results and findings seem to have come about because the researchers did not look at what one normally eats in a portion. For sure, Marmite is very salty, as Jon noticed when we gave it to him to taste (being an Australian he only knew Vegemite) last weekend. But the point is that one spreads Marmite very thinly over ones toast (on top of the low fat magarine), so one's intake of salt is therefore very small.

Tomato ketchup is similar, in that it IS salty (and a bit sugary) but it IS healthy! It contains Lycopene, a substance also found in papaya, mango, water melon, guava and pink grapefruit. More than carotene, which has a good press already, Lycopene is an even more potent antioxidant, and this might be one of the reasons why it lowers heart disease risk. It also seems to reduce the risk of skin cancer. Amazingly, the lycopene, which is inherent in raw tomatoes as well is more easily absorbed into the body when the tomatoes are processed, as with tomato pastes for pasta sauces and also tomato ketchup.

Anyway, I was feeling a bit miserable a bit earlier, having brought home a basket fo groceries including sprouts, carrots, hummus, garlic, ginger, peppers and mushrooms (ready for a stir fry later) that I went out again and bought some bars of chocolate, choloclate digestives, gangmakers and cocoa powder and now I am feeling abit sick!


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