Fruit smoothies: Often marketed as “healthy” and part of our “5-A-Day”, they are packed with vitamins and fibre but often high in calories especially when containing banana, concentrated apple juice, mango, pineapple and grape juice. So, look carefully at labels.
Green juices: They can be a healthy drink option high in minerals and phytonutrients but check labels as they may also include avocados and concentrated fruit juices which raise their calorie content.
Dried fruit: Often part of healthy breakfast cereals such as muesli or a healthy snack option, it is a good source of fiber and antioxidants. But when fruits are dried, their sugar concentration and therefore calories increase and can be 2-3 times higher than their fresh counterparts. So, to be consumed in moderation…
Fresh orange juice: A good source of Vitamin C and phytonutrients but also high in natural sugar and calories. This is because there are on average 3-4 oranges in one 250ml glass and most juices have had the pulp removed, so the sugar is more concentrated.
Nut spreads: Great source of healthy fats, protein, Vitamin E, minerals and fibre; they are very appealing to vegans as a dairy butter alternative, they help feeling full and satiated but should be spread sparingly due to their calorie content. Read labels to avoid the ones with added sugar.
Olive oil: An important part of the “healthy heart” Mediterranean diet due to its content in monounsaturated fats, it is of course high in calorie, so go easy when using on salads, preferably pouring with a spoon or use a spray when cooking.
Coconut oil: Its increased popularity has been linked to its immune boosting properties and widely adopted by paleo dieters. Coconut oil is highly resistant to oxidation at high heat, and therefore ideal for frying but as per other types of oils, it is high in calories: using it sparingly is wise!
Mince beef: A great source of protein, Vitamin B12, Zinc, Iron and Selenium but also high in saturated fats. Fat content is often in the area of 20% so opt for leaner versions with less than 5% fat to reduce calorie intake while benefiting from the whole range of nutrients.