Avoid ‘healthy option’ mistakes

Not everything billed as good for you by supermarkets is. To ensure you choose the healthy option every time you shop, check out these common pitfalls, and how to avoid them…

Brown bread

This will often just be white bread, made with the same refined flour, with colouring added to make it brown. Always look out for wholemeal bread, which will be made with flour that retains the fibre, vitamin B and iron content of the original grain. 

Reduced-fat ready meals

Check the packaging carefully if you’re heading down this route as ‘reduced’ fat does not necessarily mean low in fat. In addition, many low-calorie meals have significant amounts of salt added to enhance the flavor. Pre-packaged food is rarely a healthy option. 

Low-fat cheese

Low-fat cheeses gets a lot of attention because the full-fat variety has a bad reputation, but studies show that a little of the latter goes a long way. This means that full-fat cheese can keep hunger at bay for longer than the low-fat kind and reduce calorie intake later in the day. 

Vitamin-enriched water

Nothing could sound healthier, could it? Everyone knows water is healthy, so vitamin-enriched water must be even better… Except that some of these waters can be packed with sugar, particularly flavoured varieties. Water doesn’t need enriching, it’s naturally good for you. 

Granola breakfast bars

The supermarket shelves are piled high with granola or cereal bars, offered as a healthy alternative to people on the go. In truth, while granola itself is certainly healthy, many of these bars have their flavours enhanced with sugars and sweeteners. If you fancy a chocolate bar, it might be just as well to have one. 

Discover more great features on every aspect of cycling and get ahead of the pack with a subscription to Cycling Plus magazine. Prudential RideLondon participants can click here for an exclusive offer.