As a food blogger I eat out a HELL OF A LOT, I mean, this past weekend alone, five venues have been reviewed. I therefore eat a lot of restaurant food, which is always going to be fatty and sugary. Don’t get me wrong, I love it immensely but in fourteen months of food blogging I put on 18kgs. That’s horrendous. I now fit into the 63% of adults and one in four children being overweight or obese in Australia. A month ago I started my sponsored blog post journey for The Health Star Rating (http://bit.ly/2lBs0gk). I have previously mentioned this rating system HERE.
TO SUMMARISE THE HEALTH STAR RATING:
The Health Star Rating ranks packaged foods (unpackaged fresh produce like fruits and vegetables are all healthy – but they don’t use stars when they’re not in packs.) To summarise my previous article;
The number of stars a product receives is determined by a calculator that scores the nutritional profile of a food. The calculator was developed in consultation with Food Standards Australia New Zealand and other technical and nutrition experts. Points are awarded for positive nutrients (fibre, protein, fruit, vegetable, nut and legume content) balanced against other nutrients (saturated fat, sugars, sodium) and energy (Kilojoules) to calculate a score per 100gm/100ml, depending on the product.
Now for me to truly rate the rating system I needed to put it into effect. I mostly buy my lunches out while working on the road. Or I take leftovers, or I am eating at a review venue in my vicinity. I am also out five nights a week for dinner, or movie reviews for my other site Salty Popcorn. But for my day to day shopping I changed my products based solely on the Health Star Rating, using the ratings and the nutrient information shown in the HSR labels. Here is what I have found.
MONEY WHERE MY MOUTH IS:
Firstly my breakfast has been the biggest change. I have gone from a full milk mocha with bacon and eggs on toast to a healthy Vital Greens Yoghurt Smoothie. I cannot score the bacon and the eggs but I have always snacked on yoghurt and my favourite brand and flavour had 22.4gm of sugar per serve (3 Stars), my new yoghurt is the exact same brand but their “light” version – it tastes exactly the same but has only 7gm of sugar per serve (5 stars). Consumption is 15.4gm per serve less. Into this smoothie my milk has changed from 5.8gm of saturated fat to 0.2gms. Consumption drop of 5.6gm of fat!!
On a quiet night if I am home between reviews I am over a computer punching out reviews. I try to either eat light or fast. I will make a lean meat and veg dish occasionally, which is ideal. However on my very lazy nights I will heat up a meat pie and have it with sauce. One meat pie from my favourite brand has 10.2gm of saturated fat I discovered – I will not have them in the house anymore. I will keep it to lean meats, or a soup or cheese on toast. Speaking of cheese on toast, I have not only changed my bread but also the amount consumed. I will not have it with breakfast anymore as am dedicated to my green smoothie BUT when I do have bread my new brand is 2.5gm of sugar less per serve. Another saving of 2.5gm of sugar intake.
My cheese selection has also changed – who doesn’t love a cheese toasty every now and then. My old cheese 6.4gm of saturated fat per serve (25gm), my new cheese (same brand) is 4.2gm– another easy healthier change.
THE BIGGEST SAVING:
And finally my big one, my evening drink if I am home. I have recently mostly given up wine. I used to drink about half a bottle a night but have cut it to weekends only and rarely even then. This occasionally became a bourbon and cola. Why? I loved the sweetness of course. Following the Health Star Rating if the item has no stars it may have the Energy written on the front or I can simply check out the sugars in the nutrition panel. The soft drinks did not have the stars or energy so I checked out the sugars information in the nutrition panel and found my cola contains 27gm of sugar per serve!! My other evening drink is gin – can’t get enough of it – love it. My mixer for this is a lime infused soda water – compared it to cola and discovered the infused soda water has 0.0gm of sugar – ZERO!!!! Bourbon is now out unless as a sipper shot on a cold rainy night.
The point to all of this is that by simply using the Health Star Rating http://bit.ly/2lBs0gk and paying attention to some key nutrients, I have cut out 44.9gm of sugar and 18gm of fat per serve of eating all these items. It’s these little changes made easier to select by the Health Star Rating that make the difference. To be generous in the equation let’s assume I have three servings of all this per week.
44.9 x 3 = 134.7gm less sugar
18 x 3 = 54gm less saturated fat
Over a year – that is over 7kg of sugar and nearly 3kg of saturated fat. The results speak for themselves.
The good news of this is that in one month of this new eating arrangement for me, inspired by the Health Star Rating to pay more attention to key nutrients, I have lost just under 2kg in weight.
I don’t need any more swaying – the Health Star Rating works for me.
MY BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE RECIPE:
Make in blender – pour it all in and then blend (with lid on) for a good minute.
2/3 cup of no fat (or low fat) milk (no star rating but fat content listed as above)
4 heaped teaspoons of the lowest fat berry yoghurt you can find or yoghurt of choice (mine gets 5 stars)
1 handful of frozen mixed berries, or fresh berry of choice
1 scoop of protein powder of choice
1 whole egg
I use two heaped teaspoons of Vital Greens Total Daily Health Supplement (sports supplements like this are not labelled as part of the HSR system, but it has 0.33gm of fat and 0.87gm of sugar). I work for about 14hrs a day so need all the supplements I can get.
Pour it into a tall glass and enjoy it – it’s sweet, it has protein, it’s healthy and it’s filling – WINNING!
This post is sponsored by Health Star Rating. Visit HERE for more info.