I'm so disappointed with Iku. When finding out how I eat, a few friends have suggested Iku, which is a whole food, “healthy” outlet, with a few locations around Sydney.
I'm not disappointed with options like McDonalds, as I doubt anyone goes there to fulfil their aim of having a healthy, wholesome nutritious lunch. Iku however shares so many of my nutrition beliefs, yet tackles them with pretty much the polar opposite nutritional approach.
Iku strive on providing organic food, and local where possible. I completely agree with this approach and can’t think of any other food outlet that goes this far. This ensures produce that should be free from pesticides, fresher and being local, far more sustainable. Tick!
They also try to keep foods as close to their natural state as possible, with minimal processing. This is very in line with the Paleo approach.
Their foods are also all dairy free, additive free, preservative free and free from genetic modification – more Paleo approval for getting this right. So far, so good.
But, then it all starts to go wrong. They strongly believe in the nutritional prowess of grains and legumes, believing that they help to fight disease. This is completely at odds with Paleo thinking, where legumes and grains have been shown to increase inflammation and reduce gut health. Their ingredients “slow blood sugar responses”. Whilst Paleo, without grains, will take blood sugar responses out of the equation – surely this is far healthier. Their menu is also designed to “keep cholesterol levels in check”, which is a clear reference to the outdate lipid hypothesis, to which Paleo does not subscribe.
It then gets even less Paleo. All of their food is free of any animal product. I can’t find any explanation on their site as to why they (presumably) perceive this to be the healthiest way to live.
Their tagline is “Feel great, have huge amounts of energy and a strong immune system”. I'm not sure how I could possibly feel good consuming grains and legumes – and no meat. I know it certainly wouldn't give me much energy. I currently have so much energy on my (fairly strict) Paleo diet. As for having a strong immune system, this also puzzles me with all of those lectins, phytates & proteins like gluten in the grains and legumes.
I’d love to see a national chain of food outlets that would combine the local, whole, organic philosophy, with great quality meat – and not a grain or legume in sight! Perhaps I’ll have to open my own!
Do you have well meaning “healthy” food outlets where you live? That actually aren't what you would consider healthy?