Purim 2021: Get to know the food that pretends to be something else

A year ago, the first association that arose from the word “mask” was associated with the amusing and joyful Purim holiday. Today the “corona mask” is the association of each and every one of us, including toddlers who presumably do not remember another mask. Costumes and masks are found in many areas of our lives – and also in nutrition. Purim is an opportunity to introduce foods disguised as healthy food and not just in the last year, and we are here to reveal their true face.

There is no intention to disable joys. Nutrition and a healthy lifestyle in general should be treated as a whole, and there is no one absolute truth. It is important to emphasize that we do not offer to avoid these foods, but only to understand the nutritional profile, and that the frequency of consumption also has significance. Choices made out of knowledge are often more correct.

vegan food

Vegans, like vegetarians, avoid consuming animal foods – meat, fish, seafood. Unlike vegetarians, they also avoid products that come from the animal world: milk and its products, eggs and honey. Some vegans have learned the cooking secrets of vegan cuisine and will know how to prepare delicious, balanced, varied and satisfying meals. Soak properly and sometimes also germinate legumes; Combine different types of grains; Find protein-worthy substitutes and juggle a variety of foods with different seasonings from tofu. But some vegan foods are the fruit of development of food companies and are therefore processed. Some are even ultra-processed. These can be with low protein content, high sodium content, saturated fat, sugar or other unwanted components. It is therefore advisable to examine the list of ingredients. The components appear in descending order in terms of their quantities, with the first component being in the largest quantity. A short list whose components are known is more recommended than a long list in which components are not known. Processed vegan food is not a guarantee of high nutritional quality.

Vegan Pizza by “Papa Jones” (Photo: Papa Jones)

Gluten-free bread and pastries

Gluten is a plant protein found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. It is found in cereal-based products such as bread, rolls, pitas, crackers, sweet and savory pastries, pasta and more.

Until recently, avoiding gluten was the exclusive domain of celiac patients. For them avoiding gluten is the treatment of the disease. In the scientific literature there is no evidence that a gluten-free diet contributes to health or is necessary for weight loss. But as with any fad diet, restrictions and giving up high-calorie foods like cakes and cookies, borax, pizzas, pastas (in a cream sauce) help reduce the total calories in the menu – and inevitably for weight loss. Avoiding gluten does not help in weight loss but avoiding high fat and sugar foods that contain gluten. Some gluten-free products contain corn starch or tapioca that coalesce in essential ingredients and raise sugar levels at a relatively high rate. In addition, there is a concern that complete avoidance of gluten will lead to a significant reduction in grains and carbohydrates in the diet and therefore to a lack of nutrients such as B vitamins, dietary fiber and available energy. A gluten-free menu can be nutritionally balanced, only if you are aware of the scarcity that such a menu may entail, and supplement accordingly from other dietary sources. It is recommended to consult a nutritionist at least once.

Gluten-free bread (Photo: Limor Laniado Tirosh)Gluten-free bread (Photo: Limor Laniado Tirosh)

Yellow cheese toast

Yellow cheese toast is perceived as a dish high in calories and fat. A luxury, not to mention corruption, for those who are overweight. so no. Two slices of bread (preferably whole grains, of course), a slice of yellow cheese, tomato, onion and basil and you have a delicious and nutritious dish, which you can enjoy and soak without remorse.

grapefruit juice

Half a grapefruit equals the caloric content of an orange. In a glass of grapefruit juice the same number of teaspoons of sugar as in any other squeezed fruit juice and even, perhaps surprisingly, the same number of teaspoons of sugar in a non-diet carbonated beverage, i.e. 6-8 teaspoons. Many do not dare to sweeten the coffee cup with one teaspoon of sugar, but often drink juices. The sweetness, or rather the bitterness and bitterness of the juice, do not indicate the sugar content, as sour and bitter ingredients are more dominant in taste and mask the sweet taste. Consumption of whole fruits is recommended and drinking fruit juices – less, because the juice does not have the amount of dietary fiber in the fruit, and the quality of the vitamins is also impaired. Another reason for preferring the fruit: a glass of juice has 3 – 2 squeezed grapefruits and you can easily drink a glass of juice and even two, but eating 3 – 2 grapefruits at once is no longer such a simple task (without considering the peeling …).

Grapefruit juice, photo illustration (Photo: istockphoto)Grapefruit juice, photo illustration (Photo: istockphoto)

Honey and also Seelan

Both honey and sesame are labeled as belonging to the superfood group. In fact, there is no definition of superfoods, and they have no meaning in the scientific or medical community. These are usually exotic fruits and vegetables that are less common in Western cuisine, such as goji berry, kale or chia seeds, but also pomegranate, avocado and other more familiar ones are included among them from time to time. These are promoted as having exceptional nutritional qualities.

Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and undoubtedly benefit the body. But also vegetables and other fruits that are regularly found in the kitchen like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers or apples have no less impressive nutritional qualities. Every fruit or vegetable is rich in more or less certain ingredients, and it is important to consume a large variety of fruits and vegetables. The benefits of honey and sesame can be in their culinary uses or texture, but they are simple sugars that are not fundamentally different from white sugar or brown sugar. They do contain vitamins and minerals, but these are found in very small amounts. If we take into account the amount of honey and silane we consume – a few teaspoons a day, a week or a month – all the more so since the negligible addition of the vitamins and minerals they contain does not matter.

Source: Maariv.co.il – סגנון-לייף סטייל by www.maariv.co.il.

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