After more than 3 months of quarantine, Covid-19 cases are still rising. With no end in sight, many people have learned to adjust to the new normal and started working from home. The problem with that is that there is so much temptation to eat! Whether you are stress eating or eating out of boredom, we Filipinos can’t help but snack on whatever is nearby.
Well its time to be proactive instead of reactive and get back on track to having a healthy lifestyle. After all, staying healthy is important now more than ever. Here’s a list of some of the worst things you can eat while working from home.
1. Canned food
This quick and easy invention has saved us a lot of time for now but it has some very harmful effects in the long term. Canned food often has a lot of sodium and chemical preservatives. Studies have found that most canned food contain a chemical called BPA or Bisphenol A, which can lead to cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
Switch to: Food in glass jars and raw frozen food.
2. Bacon and Sausages
It may be heart breaking to hear but this beloved childhood favorite is actually quite bad for us. According the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, bacon and sausages contain high levels of sodium and nitrates which can be categorized as carcinogens.
Switch to: Real whole foods like grilled liempo or if you are feeling adventurous in the kitchen, try making vegetarian bacon made from eggplants and mushrooms.
3. Instant Noodles
This Filipino merienda favorite is so easy to make any child can do it. Unfortunately, it also can contain about 1500mg of sodium and MSG. It also has a lot of empty calories that may make you feel full but it won’t get you the nutrients you deserve.
Switch to: Planning and preparing your meals ahead. Don’t know how to cook or don’t have the time? Check out Simple Roots PH as they provide ready-to-cook meal kits with healthy Filipino recipes. Each meal kit comes with measured and prepared ingredients with easy to follow recipes delivered right to your door step. Order at https://www.simpleroots.ph/
4. Breakfast Cereal and Granola Bars
Despite the clever marketing of these “healthy” treats, they actually contain much more sugar than desserts! Even if they claim to have added vitamins and minerals, it can be negated with the amount of sugars, dyes and preservatives they have.
Switch to: Making your own granola by mixing your favorite nuts, oats and seeds! This way you can control how much sugar and what type of sugar goes into your food.
5. Soda and Sugary Drinks
Yes, even if it’s diet or sugar free soda, they are still harmful for you. Soda’s usually uses the chemical, aspartame, to claim that they are sugar free but as we talked about in our previous article, excess sugar can lead to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and so much more. If you’ve tried the recent Dalgona trend, you can see how much sugar is added on top of the sugar you already have in your instant coffee.
Switch to: Kombucha, lemonade, and buko juice
6. White Bread
Commercial bread often contains bleached flour. The problem with bleached flour is that for them to turn it white, they use the chemical called alloxan which is also used by scientists to produce diabetes in test subjects. Switch to unbleached, whole grain and different flour alternatives.
Switch to: Hearty Bread PH as they offer a wide variety of keto and gluten free bread. Go to their website and they even have complete nutritional facts for all their items. https://www.heartybreadph.com/
7. Fruit Juice
While most fruit juices contain lots of vitamin C, they also usually have lots of added sugars. Swap out the bottle and buy the real thing! Eating whole fruits can give you more fiber than its juiced counterpart and all the natural vitamins you need.
Switch to: Whole fruits or fruit smoothies
8. Chips and Junk food
This is my personal weakness. We do love salty crunchy things but potato chips and other junk food can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. You can replace these with different kinds of nuts which are usually high in omega 3 and antioxidants.
Switch to: Raw Bites PH and their wide selection of healthy snacks and beverages. They have hundreds of brands to choose from and they deliver nationwide too! https://www.rawbites.com.ph/
9. Desserts and Pastries
From ube pandesals to cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip cookies, everybody seems to have suddenly become a baker overnight! Our bodies have always been out to look for pleasure and sugar gives us that high that we might be craving for especially during these depressing times. But just like any drug, your tolerance will increase as well as your cravings.
Switch to: Raw cacao sweetened with coconut sugar and sugar free desserts
10. Ice Cream
Its hot and we all just want something to cool us down. Ice cream usually hits the spot but this frozen dessert contains a lot of dairy and sugar. Combined, it can lead to weight gain, high cholesterol and diabetes. Can’t resist the urge? There’s no harm in having a bit of ice cream once in a while. Look for healthier alternatives
Switch to: Vegan ice cream with Super Scoops made by Superfood Grocer. You can order online and try their best sellers like “Strawberries and Cream”. Each pint is made with coconut milk and coconut sugar that supports local farmers.
At the end of the day, there is no one diet that fits all but one thing we know for sure is removing unnecessary and unhealthy foods in our everyday diet can already drastically improve our health. A treat every now and then won’t hurt as long as we eat whole natural foods for the most of the time. We may not be able to control what happens to the world but we can control ourselves. Health is wealth and it starts with what we eat.