A cookie covered in coloured icing!
My Sunday afternoon shop in Supermart is usually a pretty relaxing experience. Chloe follows me round the aisles munching on an apple or some raisins, or sits in the cart, elbow-deep in a box of a ridiculously healthy wholegrain cereal. But not last Sunday, noooo. Last Sunday, as I was browsing the organic bean selection, Chloe came out with: MUMMY, MUMMY CAN I HAVE A DOUGHNUT, PLEEEEEEASE?? ONE WITH ICING ON??? PLEEEAASE, JUST ONE, ONE OF THE ONES I ALWAYS HAVE?? I looked at her in astonishment, I mean she's never even had a doughnut…has she? My first mistake was trying to reason with her: 'But darling, what do you mean you want a doughnut? You don't even know what a doughnut is!' BUT I WANT A DOUGHNUT. I REALLY REALLY WOULD LIKE A DOUGHNUT!!!' My second mistake was trying to keep her quiet: 'Ok Chloe, let's just use our inside voice shall we? Sssshhh! I hear that you want a doughnut, but let's find you something else!' BUT A DOUGHNUT!! A PURPLE DOUGHNUT!! PLEEEEEAASSEEEEE!!' And so it went on. Surrounded by a shop full of people I knew, I confess I tried every trick in the book to halt the apparent 'nutritionist buys child doughnuts' exposé. Bribery. Corruption. You name it. Eventually, defeated, I even tried to find her a doughnut. The irony being that Supermart doesn't sell doughnuts, so what was she on about? My career in tatters, I took great pains at the checkout to pile up the fruit and vegetables. And then just as I thought it was over, Chloe came running up with a fairly benign packet of cookies: LOOK MUMMY I FOUND THE DOUGHNUTS. I FOUND THEM!! CAN I HAVE ONE? A PURPLE ONE?! PLEASE??? 'Yes Chloe, you can have a Ferrari if you stop shouting about bloody doughnuts,' I muttered, and reached out for the packet. And so it seems that Fox's 'party rings' turned out to be the 'doughnuts' in question. Why? Because they have a hole in the middle. Of course they do. In the end, I felt quite proud, I wanted to announce to the whole of Supermart, that not only was she just talking about cookies, but some without any artificial colours or flavours. My little munchkin wanted a cookie covered in purple-cabbage-coloured icing! That's not so bad is it? I mean, it's WAY better than a deep-fried, sugar-crusted doughnut. I actually thought I was home free and clear. And then what happened? The lovely husband piped up with: ON NO…WE FORGOT THE BACON! Seriously, next time I need to shop I'm going by myself and I'm only buying mung beans and spinach. That of course, is precisely why they don't like me to shop by myself and taking the family does help to keep me grounded. Whilst I would love to get you all doing shots of wheat grass for breakfast and sprouting your own beans, I'm aware there is a happy medium and even that, is 100 times better than a diet of fried chicken and mac n' cheese. So let's aim for a happy medium shall we? Now, while that doesn't include doughnuts sorry, but the combination of deep fried fat and sugar amounts to nutritional suicide bacon is up for debate. But there are rules, and I want you to pay attention carefully. When it comes to bacon, the cut matters drastically. Regular American bacon such as the Oscar Mayer brand is loaded with fat. In fact a 100g serving (about six to seven slices) serves up a whopping 43.2g of fat. What does that look like? It's over ten teaspoons of fat. Imagine that swimming through your arteries. Even if your portion size is smaller (but let's be realistic here) it's a lot of fat. Of course, for the health-conscious, there's turkey bacon. 50 percent less fat than regular bacon so it's a healthy choice, right? Wrong. It may be healthier, but it's far from healthy and there's a difference. Look at the table per 100g, turkey bacon serves up 233 calories, 20g total fat, 6.7g saturated fat and 1200mg of sodium. In reality, the best choice is a Canadian, British or Danish cut of back bacon rather than any kind of streaky bacon (pork or turkey). And it's obvious when you look at the cut of meat it's just much more lean. Further, if you want to cut the fat even more, it's easy to trim. Try trimming the fat off streaky bacon… there'd be nothing left to cook. If you look at the chart you'll see that the Applegate Canadian bacon and British back bacon fare really well in comparison to their American counterparts. They are still really high in sodium, so keep portion sizes small. You will also find them to be much more expensive than mainstream brands, but as I always argue, it's better to have less, better quality meat, than more of the alternative. And the best tip I have is to offset the cost of quality meat, by having several vegetarian meals a week too. If you can, I would encourage you to buy the Applegate (or Niman Ranch) brand, in support of ethically sound farming methods. At the same time you'll avoid antibiotics and synthetic nitrates/nitrites. Careful though both brands offer streaky bacon too, so use your discretion. Always look for a lean cut. So in summary, the rules are as follows: 1) always opt for a lean cut (back bacon), 2) easy on the portion size (pad out a cooked breakfast with baked beans, wholegrain toast and grilled tomatoes) and 3) go natural if possible (Applegate or Niman Ranch.) That's not so bad is it?
The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is a fully qualified nutritional therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a registered dietitian. She can be contacted at nourishbda[AT]gmail.com American streaky bacon American turkey bacon British back bacon Applegate Canadian bacon (Per 100g) Calories 504 233 190 160 Fat (g) 43.2 20 12.6 7.1 Saturated fat (g) 14.4 6.7 4.6 2.7 Sodium (mg) 2088 1200 1060 890 The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the U.K. Please note that she is not a Registered Dietitian. She can be contacted at