• share this

Eating healthy in 2018: Take a close look at the labels

/ 06:28 PM December 31, 2017

Image: Steve Debenport/ via AFP Relaxnews

The gluten-free and vegan trend is expected to grow in 2018, following in the wake of the boom in organic products, elimination diets and vegetarianism. These new products are tempting, but they’re not necessarily good for your health, and can lead to an unbalanced diet.

If you regularly buy products labelled “gluten-free” or “vegan” under the pretext of eating “healthily,” you could actually be putting your health at risk.


An increasing number of people have adopted vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan diets, without being aware of the nutritional guidelines to avoid vitamin or protein deficiency.

To avoid falling into the processed “healthy” food trap, pay attention to labels (including for organic products) and make sure you eat a wide variety of fresh produce.


A close examination of the ingredients of gluten-free products (bread, cookies, pasta, quiches, etc.) for example, can reveal that the wheat (gluten) has been replaced by refined rice or corn flour, modified starch, sugar, a long list of additives, and very little fiber. Studies have shown that too much of these in our diet can lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

A vegan lifestyle, which consists of avoiding any products derived from animals (including meat, milk, eggs, honey, leather, fur, etc.) comes with its own risks.

While fruit and vegetables are excellent for health, industrially produced vegan or vegetarian sausages, soy burgers and so on, often contain few or no natural products. Sugar (fructose or glucose syrup) and starch are added to replace fat and to add consistency, but these ingredients can be fattening.

Being vegetarian or vegan does not necessarily provide protection from illness and can lead to weight problems and deficiencies if you rely too much on processed products.

A vegetarian or vegan diet should involve more unprocessed vegetable protein (such as lentils, chickpeas and soy), seasonal fruit and vegetables, and essential fatty acids found in flax seeds, crushed or ground chia seeds, canola oil, hempseed oil and oilseeds. JB


Fuel your training with veggie-friendly protein


Vegan athletes make rivals eat their dust

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: diabetes, plant-based diet, vegan, vegetarian, Weight Gain
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2019 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.