Trick or treat?

Everyone loves to indulge now and then, but just how naughty are your guilty pleasures? Whether it’s a slice of white toast slathered in peanut butter or a bar of chocolate, Healthspan’s Head of Nutrition, Rob Hobson, reveals how we may be being tricked into avoiding our treats…

White bread is actually a great source of… iron

Although brown bread has more nutritional benefit that white it doesn’t mean its all that bad for you. Whilst brown is naturally richer in fibre and other key nutrients such as B its, white flour in the UK is fortified making it a fairly good source of minerals such as iron, which is lacking in the diets of many young women.

Chocolate is naturally rich in… magnesium

Yes, chocolate is high in sugar and it should always be viewed as a treat food and eaten in moderation. However, dark chocolate contains a higher cocoa content taking it a rich source of magnesium, which is responsible for many actions in the body including energy metabolism, blood glucose regulation and bone health.

Fruit juice is great for… vitamin C

Orange juice is healthy but only in small amounts. Guzzling large glasses throughout the day is not that different to drinking any other type of soft drink. It does however contain high amounts of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that is required for healthy skin and immunity.

Breakfast cereals are high in… fibre

Breakfast cereals are often high in sugar and salt yet the fact that the are fortified with nutrients makes them slightly healthier morning start to the day. What breakfast cereals do offer is a great source of fibre, which is lacking in the diet of many people in the UK.

Butter provides… conjugated linoleic acid

Butter is never going to be classed a health food but the questions raised about the link between saturated fat and heart disease have made it more acceptable although it should still be eaten in moderation. Butter is however a good source of fat soluble vitamins including A, E and K2 as well as conjugated linoleic acid.

Peanut butter is a good source of… B vitamins

This high calorie spread is often high in sugar and salt so not usually viewed as the healthiest of foods. Whilst you should opt for low salt and sugar varieties, other health benefits include it being a good source of niacin (B3), which is required for the conversion of carbohydrates into energy.