It can be so confusing knowing what is healthy and what’s not with so many weight loss companies and clever marketing campaigns on TV convincing us their diet or their product is the best. We are being brainwashed into thinking certain foods are healthy when they’re not.
We Are Told
- Eating a certain cereal will have us looking fabulous in 2 weeks
- All fats are bad and we should always reach for a low fat variety
- Avocados, eggs and nuts contain too much fats and should be avoided
- Diet drinks are less fattening and therefore a healthier choice if we’re trying to lose weight
We Are NOT Told
- The average adult portion of this slimming cereal, with milk, contains 6 teaspoons of sugar
- Certain fats are essential for our body and without them we are more likely to suffer with inflammation, depression, Alzheimers disease, heart disease, stroke, PND, & “baby brain”.
- Manufacturers need to compensate the lack of taste when they remove the fat by adding sugar, artificial sweeteners or additives. So, although you are consuming foods low in fat, your body may be converting the sugar to fat anyway!
- Diet drinks not only cause us to put on weight (they alter your body’s ability to count calories and in fact stimulate your appetite) but they also contain a toxic substance called aspartame. This substance can cause headaches, joint pain, nausea, emotional disorders, hyperactivity in children and much more.
What we should be focusing on is healthy eating by balancing our blood sugars and avoiding the foods we are intolerant to. The weight will look after itself. However, can the same be said for our internal health when we just focus on diets and losing weight? No!
We need to learn that nutrition is not just about weight loss. It is about boosting our energy, stabilising our moods, improving our concentration, reducing or removing ailments such as sinusitis, eczema, asthma, reflux, IBS, headaches, diabetes, pain and more.
Whether your main goal is to lose weight or gain optimum health, it important to start with setting realistic goals, then following simple changes, such as those below, until they become a new pattern.
- Boosting your immune system can help to avoid suffering from unnecessarily colds and flus. Increasing zinc in your diet is one easy way to do this. Best sources include: seafood, hard cheese, nuts and seeds or you can supplement. Vitamin C is another.
- Avoid foods that cause inflammation as this may be one of the leading drivers of most diseases such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s & diabetes. It is also linked to chronic pain, arthritis, eczema, psoriasis and more. Foods to reduce / avoid include:
- Dairy products
- Trans / hydrogenated fats found in processed / fried foods / donuts / cookies
- An imbalance of Omega 3 and Omega 6. Omega-6s are pro-inflammatory, while Omega-3s have an anti-inflammatory effect. Omega 6 can be found in meat and dairy; Nuts & seeds such as brazil & pine nuts, almonds, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds and oils such as sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil & foods that contain them e.g. mayonnaise – so should be limited. Omega 3 can be found in flax / linseeds, chia seeds, walnuts and oily fish and should be consumed at least twice a week
- Foods that you are intolerant to that may be considered healthy
- Boost your energy naturally with whole-grains, legumes, fresh fruit, oily fish, nuts & seeds & beans, while limiting foods that drain your energy such as, buns, cakes, biscuits, crisps, processed foods, white bread & alcohol.
- Each meal (including snacks) should be a source of good quality protein with slow releasing carbohydrates, such as oats, brown rice / pasta, quinoa and non starchy vegetables. This will stabilise your blood sugars, ensure you feel less hungry, lose more weight and stay optimally healthy.
- Portion control – half of your plate should be non starchy vegetables, one quarter protein and the other quarter carbs.
- Reduce your caffeine intake to one cup of tea or coffee per day.
- Switch to organic fruit & vegetables and free range meat where possible.
- Introduce a new fruit or vegetable each week – different coloured fruits and vegetables offer different nutrients, so eating a variety is the best way to ensure you get all the nutrients you need – think of a rainbow when choosing your fruit & vegetables!
- Starting your day with hot water and a slice of lemon will kick start your metabolism and is great for your skin.
- Ensure you get enough sleep as it is essential for our health and wellbeing.