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The 50 Best

& Worst Foods Foods go in and out of fashion quicker than


trouser hems. And with the constant flip-

To Eat
flopping of health studies, todays superfood
can easily become tomorrows chopped liver.
So to offer some clarity, this is our definitive
rundown of what you should be piling high

Right Now
and what you should be pushing to the side
of your plate, today. Tomorrow never knows
WORDS BY ED SMITH - PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL HEDGE

THE MH NUTRITIONAL MAVERICKS

The Vegan Fanatic The Fat-Controller The Carb King


Plant enthusiast Dr A Harley St nutritionist Nick Barnard strives to
Laura Thomas promises (Gregg Wallace is a master all things grain-
to help you hack the fan), Rhiannon Lambert and oat-based as co-
sh*t out of your food at specialises in weight founder of Rude Health
laurathomasphd.co.uk. control at rhitrition.com. (rudehealth.co.uk).
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50 Best &

25 Instantly
Worst Foods

07 11
Stichelton Sauerkraut

Devourable
Milk contains nutrients that Cabbage is full of goodness,
get lost when its heated and but in its raw, fermented
treated pre-curdling. Which form its also revered for its
is why Nottinghamshires digestive health benefits,
Stichelton which is made says Lambert. Preserving
from unpasteurised milk it in brine encourages the
09

Health
trumps Stilton as our blue growth of gut-friendly
cheese of choice. Parmigiano Soybeans bacteria vital for processing
Reggiano, Comt, Roquefort Theyre on the health shelf an increased training day
and Swiss Gruyre are all for a reason, says Lambert. protein intake. Basic Biona
good, board-filling options. These little beauties contain organic sauerkraut is a good
plant-based isoflavones that place to start.
help reduce the build-up of

Enhancers
arterial plaque. Plus, 100g
05 has 20-40% of your daily
Beef jerky intake of protein, fibre, iron,
Typically at least 50% protein, magnesium, manganese,
this marinated cowboy staple phosphorus, thiamin, folate
is your new post-gym go-to. and vitamin K. Save the
It contains half as many effort of podding by picking
calories and about an eighth up Yukata frozen soybeans 12
Dont fuss over fads. Eating well of the fat of the equivalent on your next weekly shop. Sprouting grains
shouldnt mean you cant indulge amount of crisps. Mens In his book Eat Right, Barnard
and reap rewards at the same time. Health Fuel beef jerky claims microgreens and
contains only 3.5g fat per 10 sprouted grain flours are
And were not talking about the 100g, is salt-free, and comes India pale ale bursting with flavour and
latest triple-cooked, hipster rehash direct from British cows. Recent Chinese studies have a greater concentration
rather, simple food-shop swaps suggest hops-heavy beers of proteins, vitamins, minerals
providing maximum benefits, with 08 could protect against diseases and enzymes than at any
Kefir like dementia. Were not other time in their life. To
minimum dietary adjustment 03 Go further still and quaff saying down tools and head activate your own seeds,
Raw whole milk kefir, a fermented dairy drink, to the pub immediately, but soak them in a salt solution
Recent Scandinavian studies higher in vitamins B1, B12 and a compound in these drinks for 12 hours, then dry.
02 have debunked years of bad K than the milk its based called xanthohumol does
Black pudding press relating to saturated on. Barnard reckons it has guard against neuronal cell
The surprise superfood of fat, concluding high-fat superpowers, including damage, making craft beers
2016, black pudding is no dairy products are actually a digestion-aiding probiotic like Brewdogs Hardcore IPA
longer just a Sunday morning inversely related to obesity. element. Dont just take his solid health investments.
treat. A good stick is mostly So swap your skimmed milk word for it; try Nourish Kefir
pig blood and oats, meaning for a blue-topped bottle. in place of yoghurt as a post-
its rich in protein, potassium, Or take it one step further dinner palate cleanser.
magnesium, calcium and with unpasteurised raw milk
01 fibre. The Fruit Pig Company from Hook & Son, which
Peanut butter in Norfolk is among the 5% ispacked with nutrients.
But its full of calories and of UK manufacturers using 04
oversweet, no? If you shop fresh blood to optimise the Bitxo peppers
smart, then not necessarily. nutrients available. Cant see the results of 06
Peanut butter is high in fibre your workouts in the mirror? Nori
(so, satiating), and numerous Red peppers are bursting As in seaweed. Or, more
studies point to its high with beta-carotene and specifically, a dried and
FOOD STYLIST: LUCY-RUTH HATHAWAY

levels of antioxidants and lycopene both key for pressed seaweed high in
immune-boosting B6. eyesight. They have a high protein and sparse in calories.
Avoid those containing water content, too, so eating Antipodean food regulators
palm oil or emulsifiers. masses doesnt equal deduced that a single sushi
Bionas crunchy peanut masses of calories. When it roll wrapped in nori contains
butter is just peanuts comes to beta-carotene, the almost two-thirds of our
and salt, nothing else. sweeter the better, so go for recommended daily intake
the long, thin, bitxo variety. of metabolism-boosting
iodine (92 out of 150
micrograms). Another great
excuse for a working lunch.

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50 Best &
Worst Foods
15
Sourdough
Studies show the glucose 24
and insulin response to 16 Duck eggs
sourdough is significantly Chinese greens Studies released over the
lower than with bread made Pak choi might seem too last 10 years have dispelled
through the commercial watery to be worth it there rumours that eggs contribute
Chorleywood process, which are just 13 calories per 100g 19 to heart disease. In fact, we
makes this ideal as part of but researchers at Oregon Polenta 21 now know their stomach-
a reduced-carb diet. Slow State University have found Often seen on supermarket Almonds filling protein assists weight
fermentation (and a chewier these cruciferous greens shelves as cornmeal, polenta A 2014 study published by control. Plus, high levels of
crust) also means its easier tobe high in sulforaphane, is an adaptable carb quietly the International Society of lutein and zeaxanthin support
13 to process gluten from a sour acompound (also found in dominating brown rice in Sports Nutrition found that eye health. For maximum
Scotch whisky slice. Oh, and its tastier, too. broccoli) thats known to the iron and fibre stakes. nutrients in almonds, such as effect, swap hen eggs for
The odd dram of quality, have anti-cancer properties. Thomas cites its antioxidant riboflavin, magnesium and Clarence Court duck eggs.
matured whisky has multiple carotenoids and abundance manganese, contribute to
health benefits, according to of complexion-boosting more effective use of oxygen.
merry Japanese scientists. phytonutrients as yet more Unblanched, skin-on nuts
Natural phenolic compounds reasons to fill your cupboard. like those supplied by Sussex
absorbed from oak ageing Agnesis La Polenta Bramata Wholefoods are ideal.
barrels include ellagic acid, comes highly recommended.
which improves gut health and
may even reduce your cancer
risk. Scottish single malts like 20
Balvenie DoubleWood have Fruit and veg crisps
particularly high levels. Opting for alternative crisps
skims fat and carbs and has
the benefit of acting as one
14 of your five-a-day, enthuses
Beetroot Lambert. Yeah, but theyre
A whole bunch of studies not Skips, are they? Freeze-
published since 2009 show drying locks in antioxidants,
nitrates found in beets aid potassium and fibre, so stop 22
exercise performance after complaining, Lambert says. Sprouts
being converted to nitric The Giving Trees range is Studies prove that Brussels
oxide by enzymes in saliva. an easy toe-in-the-water. aid the livers detox capacity,
The last point is key 17 says Thomas. Still think
its better to sip cold Goat meat they should be confined to
pressed juice than Data from the US Department Christmas? They also help
bolt a supplement. of Agriculture shows goat clear carcinogens produced
meat is both leaner and less by cooked meat and support
calorific than beef, pork and DNA repair mechanisms. Go
chicken. It has a richer flavour organic to reap the benefits. 25
too, meaning your hunger Sweetbreads
is likely to be satiated by We should take a cue from
smaller portions. Meat our ancestors and eat more
from British company offal, says Barnard. The
Cabrito is a good place pancreas and thymus gland
to start. No kidding. used in beef, lamb and pork
sweetbreads are packed with
protein, zinc and selenium.
Theyre high in calories, but
18 carb-free: ideal fitness fuel.
Raw honey Ask your butcher for advice
It might just be sugar, on preparation and tuck in.
notes Thomas, but raw,
unrefined honey taken
straight from hives 23
is one of the better Smoked cods roe
sources of sweetness. Super high in protein and
It contains an abundance beneficial fats, says Barnard.
of antioxidants absent in Youll find cods roe in
commercially manufactured taramasalata, but some
honey, or indeed refined and brands are full of additives.
processed sugars. The Buy yours from H Forman
London Honey Company & Sons and spread over the
harvests nationwide. aforementioned sourdough.

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50 Best &

25 Bites
Worst Foods
11
Cucumbers
Low in calories they may be,
03

Nearing
but with less than 5% of our
Dates RDA of potassium, magnesium
According to and vitamin C theyre a
Lambert, the bit of a time-waster. Opt for
current date 08 purslane leaves (replete with
love-in is getting Coconut oil heart-friendly linolenic acid
out of hand. If you eat three There has been relatively little and more beta-carotene

Their
dates a day your sugar intake solid research into coconut than spinach) in your sarnie.
is already high never mind oil but we do know that, per
adding handfuls to your gram, extra virgin olive oil is
healthy snackbar mix. When less calorific and has more
used as a natural sweetener in good fats. Greek olives pack
shop-bought products, the the most immunity-boosting

Shelf Life
ratio of beneficial fibre to polyphenols, making great
fructose sugars is laughable. organic oils like Oliveologys
01 27C EVOO a smarter buy.
Wheatgrass
The British Dietetic
Association (BDA) has 09 12
dismissed suggestions that Goji berries Omega-3
wheatgrass juice is anything Similarly, the BDA does not The traditional position that
As the latest food-study headlines show, other than a juice. Bluntly, recognise any evidence goji omega-3 in supplements and
sticking to what you know in the kitchen theres no scientific proof to
support claims it protects
berries boost immune system
and brain activity, protect
oily fish can protect against
heart disease is based only on
can become a recipe for unbalanced against inflammation, or builds against heart disease and a hypothesis, not scientific
health. From the latest immunity- red blood cells. Plus, pound for cancer, or increase lifespan. literature, says Thomas. That
boosting liquefied plant shot to your pound, its no more nutritious The advice? Stick to a range said, vitamin D- and calcium-
mid-afternoon energy bar, we pick apart than spinach or broccoli. of fruit and veg, rather than
spending money on this one
rich fish, such as Brindisa Ortiz
Sardinillas, is great for bone
nutrition myths and fads falling out of item with no proven benefits. strength and highly nutritious.
favour. Whether overrated, outdated, or 02
plain harmful, your body deserves better Convenience salads
Your go-to salads wont 06
do you any favours, packed 04 Raw carrots
as they are with calories Rice milk Sure, raw crudits are great
and sugar-heavy dressings. High in starch, one cup of rice hummus dippers, but youll
And while McDonalds has milk has 33g of carbohydrates get more nutritional crunch
improved its salad options three times the amount in if you cook them in butter.
in the last couple of years regular (actual) milk. Its About 3% of beta-carotene
(that notorious worse than a no-go for diabetics, says is available in raw carrots,
a Big Mac Caesar has gone) Lambert. Opt for skimmed to says Barnard. Cooked in
Lambert recommends keep insulin release and fat good-quality butter, this
checking all labels storage at bay. Non-diabetics number increases 10-fold.
before you tuck in. arent drinking in goodness
either: 20mg of calcium per
serving of rice milk equates to 07
1% of your RDA, with an almost Kale
non-existent protein content. OK, you cant argue with its
ridiculous vitamin A, B6, C and
K content, Lambert admits.
05 But the prevalence of an
Wasabi peas indigestible sugar called 10
Coated in oil and wasabi raffinose can cause bloating, Orange juice
powder made from sugar, salt and the leaves goitrogens can Dr Robert Lustigs Fat Chance,
and chemicals, wasabi peas disrupt iodine uptake in the as well as studies published
have a nutritional value of zero thyroid, leading to fatigue in 2013, underline that masses
and are the health equivalent and weight gain. of sugar and a lack of fibre
of a small chocolate treat. For mean orange juice is not as
a similar snack-sized hit, but wholesome as once assumed.
with kinder levels of oil and In fact, its more calorific than
sugar, Lambert recommends beer. Pick whole oranges
opting for The Food Doctor imported by a top-class grocer
Roasted Bean Mix instead. like Natoora (natoora.co.uk).

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50 Best &
Worst Foods

23
Popcorn
Sales of bagged popcorn
have more than doubled
in the last five years, but its
22 far from a nutritious snack. 24
Almond milk A problem, Lambert says, Spiralised courgetti
20 Many though not all is that sweetened versions, Courgette is relatively high
Agave nectar almond milks are highly loaded with sugar and salt in potassium and vitamin C,
According to Thomas, agave sweetened and have minimal and sometimes as calorific but the backlash against
is chemically similar to high- natural nutritional value. as fizzy drinks are being carbs isnt great, Lambert
fructose corn syrup. But In fact, they wont give you marketed as healthy. Save says. Our brains use glucose
whereas glucose can be used many benefits unless theyre it for the cinema. from carbs to contribute to
17 by every cell in the body, fortified, says Lambert. For the creation of serotonin.
13 Farmed salmon fructose is only metabolised dairy alternatives, consider The amino acid tryptophan
Granola Dr Thomas is not a fan of 19 by the liver. And due to the switching to soy, which found in courgettes plays
Its hard to find a shop- farmed salmon, which she Tinned soup liver becoming overloaded, is a much better source a part in this, but without
bought bag of granola claims, bioaccumulates Youve read about the MSG most ingested fructose of protein and calcium. carbs, it cant cross the
thats not laden with environmental pollutants preservatives in tinned turns into fat. Avoid! says blood-brain barrier.
sugar in the form of a glaze associated with diabetes. soups, says Lambert, but Lambert. Natural honey and
and added fruits, warns In fact, intensively grown a study by the Journal of the pure maple syrup are better.
Lambert. Excess fructose 15 farmed salmon contains three American Medical Association
is converted to VLDL in the Acai times the saturated fat of also found levels of the
body, a cholesterol thats high Fans boast of serious health wild salmon, due to the fishs chemical bisphenol A soared
in triglycerides, leading to fat properties, but research processed high-fat feed, among soup slurpers. Among
storage. Buy fruit-free and supporting this superfood along with 40% more calories. other things, its been known
add a sliced banana to avoid trend is limited. In terms of to alter sex drives in animal
the sugar overload. dietary antioxidants, Lambert studies. Not what you want
says, youd be better off from your cream of tomato.
with blueberries. You dont
have to go to Brazil to find
fresh versions of those.

25
16 Protein balls
Dried apricots If you make these yourself
Most dried fruits also and limit the sugar, they can
contain up to three times be a balanced energy snack
as much sugar as their fresh 21 pre- or post-workout,
counterparts, Lambert says. Frozen yoghurt Lambert says. However,
And because theyre smaller, Frozen yoghurts are a dairy many of the convenient,
youll eat five instead of one, minefield, Lambert declares. ready-made versions are
overloading on fructose. Often the freezing process rolling in syrup and not
14 Finally, their orange colour destroys the healthy gut a lot of actual protein. Aim
Coconut water is the result of added sulphur bacteria that makes normal for less than 5g sugar per
Hydration-wise, studies have dioxide, which can lead to yoghurt healthy, with most 100g or eat a meal.
shown that water is just as acute reactions in those who 18 brands adding tons of
effective after a workout, suffer from asthma. Another Glutenfree sugar, too. Lambert
says Lambert. And while reason to buy organic. products suggests forgoing the lot
coconut water does contain Processed gluten-free foods in favour of Wheyhey
electrolytes, its often full of wont do your blood sugar Protein Ice Cream
sugar, too. To avoid undoing levels any favours, warns for an extra 20g
the benefits, read the Thomas. Few contain as scoop of protein.
ingredient list on the back much fibre, folic acid and B
it should just contain one vitamins as their unrefined
ingredient: coconut water. equivalents. If you do have
coeliac disease, look to
natural ingredients that have
always been gluten-free.

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