women

That ‘healthy option’ on the menu isn’t always as nutritious as you think. In fact, sometimes the ‘bad for you’ choice performs better

What has more carbohydrates?

Couscous or mashed potato?

Couscous – by a fairly big margin.

Why?

One cup of couscous contains more than twice the amount of carbohydrate as one cup of mash, even though it looks like the same quantity on a plate. So? It’s a difference that adds an extra 443kJ to a meal from carbs alone without you noticing it, roughly the same amount that’s in a glass of white wine.

Work with it

Check how many carbohydrates a serve of a particular food provides, and learn how many you need in a day. On low-activity days, stick to about 3g of carbohydrate per kg of bodyweight, and at least 5g when you exercise for an hour. Here’s a tip: serve moderate or high glycemic index (GI) carbs, like couscous, with meat or fish and lemon juice. Protein and acids both lower the GI of a meal, which will keep you fuller for longer.

Description: Couscous – by a fairly big margin.

Couscous – by a fairly big margin.

What is worse for your teeth?

An apple or a fizzy drink?

The apple. UK researchers say apples can be up to four times more damaging for teeth than soft drinks – even the sweetened ones like cola.

Why?

Both are acidic, so one explanation is that, provided you don’t swill a fizzy drink around your mouth, eating an apple creates more opportunity for your teeth to come into contact with the acid in the fruit, compared to having a drink. The study found apple eaters were 3.7 times more likely to have damaged dentine, the structural layer of teeth below the enamel, while soft-drink users didn’t increase their risk.

Work with it

Don’t stop eating apples. The researchers say the key is giving your teeth time to counteract the effect, instead of exposing them to acid for a prolonged period. So eat an apple at breakfast or lunch but don’t snack on one throughout the day.

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