Why Fish Fingers and Diet Coke Aren’t “Junk”

Why Fish Fingers and Diet Coke Aren’t “Junk”

If you’re a devout follower of wellness bloggers, spend hundreds on superfood powders, and believe preservatives will give you early dementia then we might not get along.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with chia seed coconut milk maca overnight oat-less oatmeal. And I agree those edible flowers Waitrose have started selling are rather pretty.

But when I hear cancer being ‘cured’ by a diet of bananas and that one Yummy Mummy (I hate that label!) got their kid a scholarship by removing dairy from their diet it sure does make me want to send poison parcels of Haribo just to be immature and see the reaction.

Before I go any further I will caveat that of course there are both adults and kids with allergies and intolerances (in fact I myself am having to come to terms with the fact that as much as I love ice cream and Greek yoghurt, my gut does not). So naturally if you have a reaction to a food, don’t eat it.

But processed foods and junk have got a ridiculously bad reputation, while superfoods are hailed as nature’s cure-all.

So to this I ask you…

What exactly IS a toxin anyway? Can you name one? I’ll tell you one thing about toxins – there are these cool things in your body called lungs, digestive system, kidneys, liver and bladder and they do an awesome job of removing toxins all on their own. Clever body.

In fact if you want a bit more information, one type of substance required by the body to detox is amino acids, which come from protein, like meat, fish, and eggs. Vegetable juices are not a protein.

What IS a superfood? Apparently Instagram will tell you this. Instagram knows it all. That teen blogger with the cool filter app who has all the time in the world to make pretty food? Yes she’s an expert in…making cool pics of pretty food. Nutrition? Not so much.

Yup, some foods are healthier than others. YOU know this. Even if you don’t know the first thing about nutritional science, you could probably guess salmon and broccoli stir fry was a bit better than a Maccy D’s right?

It’s not rocket science.

What IS processed food? Is it a sausage or a fish finger? (Remember the hoo-ha over those?) Because they’re also a source of protein and B Vitamins.

Protein is the most filling food, helps tone and strengthen muscles, and keeps your blood sugar much steadier than high carb meals like white toast, or even pasta. You might not feel like cooking on a Friday night, but for the sake of throwing some fish fingers in the oven for 22 minutes and serving with some frozen peas (in the case of my children, they actually prefer them still frozen too, weirdos), you’re much better off (in a health sense) than looking through your new super-duper-healthy cookbook, feeling exasperated before you’ve even get past the contents page, and ordering a Chinese.

Let’s talk Coke (no not that sort). Full Fat Coke – ridiculous name; it’s not got any fat in it, but I digress – has got a tonne of sugar in. Extra calories and rots your teeth. But very occasionally, it won’t hurt.

However, Diet Coke is calorie free. It’s basically sweetened, caffeinated, fizzy water. You can say what you like about artificial sweeteners, but the science says that ‘in normal, realistic amounts’ ie. not 20 cans a day, artificial sweeteners are 100% safe. Some people get migraines from sweeteners; if so, don’t drink it. Some people are way too caffeine sensitive; if so, don’t drink it.

But it’s got zero calories, and no sweeteners don’t make you fat (they do make you think you can get away with extra ice cream though, since you saved on the drink calories right?), and I too love nothing more than an ice cold Diet Coke on a hot day. I draw the line at the bacon flavour one, for no other reason than I can’t get my head round it.

If you’re genuinely happy making kale & pistachio pesto and fermenting your own coconut milk then please don’t let me stop you and you are hopefully feeling amazing for it.

But if on a Monday night after dropping off to ballet, picking up from cubs, letting the electrician in and ironing his shirt then all you can manage is fish fingers, frozen peas and Diet Coke? As a Nutritionist, you have my permission.

Like this? Share it, and spread the MOLO love! Remember when MOLOs took a load of fish finger selfies in protest at the Daily Mail? You can see them, and read the article here 

About Pollyanna

Pollyanna Hale is an award winning Weight Loss Coach, online Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, helping Mums across the UK to lose weight, have more energy and increase body confidence without going to the gym or spending hours in the kitchen. Here’s her website and you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube


I help frustrated Mums lose weight and tone up from home with unlimited online support, in ways that fit around chaotic and exhausting Mum-life! Because when you're a happy, healthy Mummy, life is so much easier and everyone around you benefits too. I have two young girls myself so needless to say, 'I get it'! A qualified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist, you can be assured that any advice given is based on sound science, and I operate a strict 'no BS' policy when it comes to diet dogma.

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