We recently took our children on a family holiday to CenterParcs. We had a great time but there was one thing that really made me upset.

I’m sure most of you will appreciate that when you are on holiday some of your strict ‘home’ rules go out of the window! Bed time is later, breakfast on your lap and a bit more ‘treat’ food than normal.

Now, you know that when you go ANYWHERE directed at families and children they put temptation in every conceivable place. At CenterParcs they have a toy shop, a sweet shop, a gift shop – you know the score. It’s like those rides or attractions that ALWAYS make you exit via the gift shop!

Anyway, whilst away, the kids asked if they could go to the shop for some sweets. This is a rare occurrence in our house so since we were on holiday (and also not to make an issue out of certain foods – good/bad, treats etc, it’s a mind field) we said sure – “on the last day of the holiday you can go buy some sweets”.

So, we enter the sweet shop and right in the centre is this huge tube with lots of different coloured sweets with marketing by the Minions (my kids love the minions). They could select a tube or cup to self-dispense the sweets in to. My kids thought Christmas had come – they only had their first experience of pick and mix a couple of months ago at the cinema!

So, whilst standing in the shop (you can imagine I’m rather out of my comfort zone here!) I start looking at the labels, like any good nutritionist would do AND to my utter dismay I find a HUGE problem with the Minion sweets!

The very first ingredient was hydrogenated fat.

Now this really p***ssed (excuse my French) me off!

Here’s why:

We Know that hydrogenated fats (also known as trans fats) cause major health issues. We know they are carcinogenic (cancer forming) and we know they are seriously bad for us. So much so that in some countries they are BANNED!

Not in the UK though – no! We are more than happy to give our children a substance that could potentially kill them.

I can’t even begin to tell you how upset this makes me!

Hydrogenated fats are vegetable oils heated to high temperatures to extend the shelf life of the product. The problem with this process is that it damages the molecular structure of the fat and this causes havoc in our bodies.

In the UK, companies have to state their product contains hydrogenated fats if they have them but that’s as far as it goes. There is no ban, no warning, no NOTHING!

Please do not buy products that contain these types of fats. READ THE LABELS.

To help narrow down the range of products you may need to check, here is a list of foods that may contain hydrogenated vegetable oil.

  • Oils and Fats
  • Biscuits (Sweet and Savoury)
  • Bread and Cake Mixes
  • Bread Rolls
  • Buns, Cakes and Doughnuts
  • Croissants
  • Desserts and Custards
  • Instant Drinks and Soups
  • Sausage rolls
  • Crisps and Savoury Snacks
  • Ice Cream
  • Peanut Butter
  • Chocolate Spreads
  • Coffee Whiteners
  • Pies and Pasties
  • Pizzas
  • Non-dairy cream
  • Confectionery
  • Frozen Potato Products
  • Margarines, Spreads, Mayonnaise

Avoid any of these foods if they state on the label trans or hydrogenated fats.

For more advice on family nutrition matters you can join my FREE group here.


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