Convenience Foods - An Inconvenient Truth

First published 21st Sep, 2022

We know that convenience foods, whether in the form of fast foods, takeaways or mass produced ready-prepared meals are bad for us, right? We all accept this as a general statement but perhaps you are unaware of the actual reasons why. These foods are designed and prepared in such a way to keep us coming back for more, despite our internal organs begging us to stop!

Here are six reasons to think before you grab a takeaway:

These foods are either cooked in, or contain, seed oils. Seed oils are high in Omega 6 fatty acids - the type that cause inflammation - and low in Omega 3 fatty acids - the ones we need more of.

Fast foods are high in sodium. Sodium is a preservative, it retains moisture and it enhances taste so it makes sense for these manufacturers to add lots. Too much sodium puts you at risk of high blood pressure which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. It is also thought that too much sodium in the body causes calcium losses, some of it from the bones.

Most fast foods are high in processed carbohydrates which, because they are lacking in fibre, spike the blood sugar. Over time, regular consumption of these carbohydrates can lead to Type 2 diabetes and weight gain as your pancreas has to produce more and more insulin. 

Fast foods are devoid of micronutrients (i.e. vitamins and minerals) which are essential for your health. A consistently low intake of micronutrients can lead to low energy and a depressed mood.

The high amount of sugar in these carb-rich foods can cause dental problems.

Bad skin and gastric problems also follow a high intake of fast foods. These foods have little to no fibre to feed the good bacteria that we need in the gut let alone the nutrients that the gut needs. It is becoming increasingly clear that what happens in the gut is mirrored in our overall health, including our skin.

Prepare Your Own "Fast Food"

So it seems that if you value good health, fast foods are a no no. Preparing your own food in your own kitchen is really the only way of knowing what has gone into your meals. And it can be good fun – our meal kits often include healthy recipes for home made “fast food”, like pizza, burritos and wraps.

Try This Recipe:

Chicken Tikka Masala Naan Pizza

You will need:

30 ml red wine vinegar    
1 onion (thinly sliced)    
0.5 tsp salt    
2 green pepper (deseeded and thinly sliced)    
500 g chicken breast (in strips)    
3 Tbsp tikka masala curry paste     
2 naan bread, 3 if they are small
2 tsp crushed garlic    
150 ml plain yoghurt    
60 ml chutney    
20 g fresh coriander


Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Toss the red onion with the red wine vinegar and a good pinch of salt and set aside (the vinegar will soften the onion slightly, which is a blessing as no one wants completely raw onion on pizza).
Meanwhile, heat some oil in a pan and add the chicken, peppers and curry paste, and fry over a high heat for 5 minutes and then turn the heat to low and let it continue to cook the moisture off a bit. 
While that is cooking, put the naan breads on a baking tray, sprinkle over a little water, then put in the oven for 2 mins to heat up. 
Chop the coriander.
Take the naans out of the oven, spread each one with crushed garlic, yogurt and then top with the chicken, red onion, coriander and chutney. Serve immediately. 

Yes it may take a little longer than grabbing a pizza from your local takeaway but we guarantee you will not be disappointed with the result. And your body will thank you for years to come for the effort.


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