Sorry for my absence last week, I promised myself I wasn’t going to let exam stress get in the way of writing blogs and was doing so well right up until last week. Ah well, life get’s in the way sometimes and that’s okay! Today I read that 50% of claims reported by the media are false and not relevant to the studies they reference. Your classic click-bait titles such as “broccoli will make your hair fall out” drive me crazy, it’s no wonder so many of us are confused when it comes to healthy eating.
This is the first post in a new series I’ll be writing to try and debunk the common nutrition myths out there surrounding food -feel free to comment, message or send me an email if there’s anything you’d like me to focus on!
Eggs will give you high cholesterol: I don’t often like to label foods as superfoods, but if I had to make a list eggs would definitely be on it! Packed with vitamins (A, B12, B5), minerals (iron, phosphorous & selenium), choline (important nutrient needed for good brain health), protein, healthy fats & antioxidants (lutein & zeaxanthin -protect us from retina degeneration by reactive oxygen species). Safe to say eggs are an awesome food to regularly be including in your diet. However, it hasn’t always been that way, in the past eggs have been demonised for containing high amounts of cholesterol & were thought to cause heart disease. Numerous studies have proven this wrong, in fact eggs actually help lower LDL-C (the bad cholesterol) & raise HDL-C (the good cholesterol) protecting us from heart disease & strokes. Poached, scrambled, baked or boiled there are so many tasty ways to add eggs into your diet -they make an excellent brunch choice too.
If it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free, sugar-free it must be good for you: With healthy eating having become “trendy” in recent years, multiple foods have been touted as being healthy alternatives when in reality they often contain more “crap” than the original product. Don’t be fooled by sneaky marketing tricks, if you don’t recognise the ingredients on the packet it’s likely not an everyday food. Fat-free products frustrate me the most, here companies remove the fat and replace it with tonnes of sugar -mmm yeah one pottle of yogurt containing twice your recommended daily amount of sugar isn’t cool. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat fruit yogurt but it pays to read the labels -is there real fruit in there, how much sugar per 100g? If you like fruit flavoured yogurts you could try buying natural yogurt & mixing your choice of fruit through or having them as a treat rather than an everyday food instead. Also raw treats, how delicious are these? Key word being treat, just because it’s dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free & refined-sugar-free doesn’t mean it’s okay to have for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Check out this pic below of a gluten-free, dairy-free, refined-sugar-free chocolate beetroot cake I made for a friends birthday -super healthy right?
All calories are created equal: Classic weight watchers, slimmers world, diet lingo… must be true then right? If that was the case wouldn’t everyone just eat their allocate calories worth of chocolate everyday & live happily ever after? Wrong, different types of food -protein, carbohydrates & fat all go through different metabolic processes & influence our hormones & appetite levels differently. For example, protein helps reduce our appetite compared to consuming the same amount of fat & carbohydrates. Yes calories play a role in weight balance but there’s so much more to food than the amount of calories in it. It’s important to consider other factors such as effect on satiety levels, blood sugar & hormones, vitamin, fibre & mineral content. If it really was as simple as “all calories are equal” diets might actually work.
Natural sweeteners don’t count as sugar: There’s nothing that frustrates me more than a recipe claiming to be “sugar-free” and then finding out it’s packed with dates, honey, agave, rice malt syrup, maple syrup or molasses. Yes, these natural sweeteners are more non-refined, natural and may contain a few vitamins and minerals not found in regular table sugar but heads up they still count as sugar. Depending on the type & amount you’re using your blood sugar levels will still spike, excess stress will be placed on your liver & if frequently consumed in excess -fat will be stored. We don’t need to fear sugar but as the WHO recommends 6 tsp of sugar a day we need to be more mindful of where sugar is hiding in our diet -check out this handy diagram below featuring the 60 different names for sugar. I’ve kept this sugar section rather short & sweet -stay tuned for a more in depth blog post heading your way very soon or flick me a message and we can chat.
I hope you’re all keeping warm, it’s currently freezing in New Zealand and I feel like my fingers may be getting frost bite as I type!
Have a lovely start to your week & stay tuned for part 2 &3,