Eating Clean – by Choice or Necessity?

Salmon-TDFWhat do your food choices say about you? Do you have to read the label carefully because of a health condition, do you like to be seen to buy the latest trends, or do you just buy things because you like the taste?

These days, many people are choosing to go the extra mile, and putting more effort into their food awareness. And not just because of allergies or intolerances. For some, it’s a lifestyle choice, and the health and fitness benefits easily pay off the effort they put in.

According to the latest statistics, more than half of Britons are now buying ‘free from’ products. That is, products free from such ingredients as gluten, wheat or lactose. Only around 1% of the population suffer from coeliac disease (which requires them to avoid gluten) and it’s estimated only 15% are lactose intolerant. That’s way below the 55% now buying products that cater to these conditions. So are people buying them just because it’s the latest trend (certainly helped by high profile celebrity endorsements), or are there health benefits to be had for everyone? The fact that you’re thinking about your diet enough to choose these products means you’re likely to have a pretty healthy diet, so it may be hard to pin down specific benefits.

Could it just be down to the perception that it’s better because of the way it’s made? By ensuring products are free from certain ingredients, the producer gives the message that they have put more effort into making the product. More effort equals better, healthier product, right? It’s the same with organic food, which hit the headlines again recently.

According to the latest statistics, more than half of Britons are now buying ‘free from’ products.

Previous studies had suggested that organic foods show no significant health benefits over non-organic food. But new studies contradict this, and say that organic foods are richer in antioxidants and lower in harmful metals, equivalent, they say, to an extra one or two portions of fruit and vegetables per day, which sounds extraordinary. However, the reports were quickly followed by claims that the study and its findings were misleading. Some scientists said that while organic food may be higher in antioxidants, these are not part of the essential nutrients we need, and so benefits would be minimal. Often, people are choosing to buy organic and free from products not for their health benefits, which may or may not exist, but in support of the method of production – environmental concerns, such as sustainable farming techniques.

Or maybe it’s as simple as taste. Over recent years, we’ve seen an explosion in the range and flavours of beer and chocolate available, and a subsequent rise in popularity of real ale and dark chocolate. That was down to small pressure groups such as CAMRA running successful campaigns.

Now there’s a new group aiming to change our perception of unpasteurized milk. Pasteurizing may kill off various bacteria that can cause food poisoning and other illnesses, but it also kills off the desirable bacteria that can have health benefits. And it neutralizes the flavour, they say. Unpasteurized milk is a living food with a complex flavour that varies according to breed of cow, and what they feed on. The Food Standards Agency has found a widespread appetite for it, and is considering the case. If that starts appearing on your supermarket shelves, what would be the most persuasive argument to make you try it? One that’s based on the health benefits, the social benefits or the taste benefits?

Whatever your reason for choosing to eat something or not, that’s your choice. And we fully support you in all your diet decisions. If it’s just because you don’t like the taste, that’s as important to us as if you have an allergy. We listen to what you need and what you want, and we tailor every plan to the individual. So you get the freshest, healthiest and tastiest food delivered right to your door.

Author Bio

Total Diet Food is London’s premier personalised daily diet delivery service. Contact us 7 days per week on 020 86269360 between 9.00am and 21.00pm or via www.totaldietfood.com.

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