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With Nutrition, There's Many Misconceptions


There are many misconceptions about what constitutes a healthy diet and healthy living.


This has transpired through many factors of social influence and determinants, our physical wellbeing and needs, situational factors surrounding research, trends or specific ailments, how you are acquiring food, the changes in food production and it's marketing - compounded with influential factors such as the role that social media and celebrity plays in our aspirations for physical change and aspiration.


For example: Gwenyth Paltrow recently has been critiqued for their paleo style diet including bone broth and fasting. In fact, there wasn't much of a surprise to their approach. This isn't the first time she has hit mainstream media.


If they didn't enjoy that style of eating, would they do it?


Their justification was in detoxifying (what - we are not sure exactly, but let's respect that they wouldn't be doing it without good reason) and remember their status means they may have to address their physical self for roles and costume.


What people really saw was the inverse difference with their own diets. Sadly, a cup of tea and a mini roll (ok, 3) for lunch didn't make Gwenyth's list but I imagine Google searches for bone broth have seen a trend recently...


As social media took the highlights as Gospel (the lovely way media works is to catastrophise, over-simplify and provocate a response) you go clicky-clicky-clicky as they sell ad space.


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With all people's diets we must remember:


Their diet is unique to them and we are as unique on the inside as we are to look at on the outside.

How to be sure you are acquiring solid information.


With so much available (you can seriously get a diet from the side of a can of Slim Fast nowadays), it can be challenging to find the best information that is relevant to your individual needs.


Here are some tips for finding trustworthy and relevant information about nutrition and healthy eating:


  1. Look for reputable sources: the NHS, British Dietetics Association (BDA UK), Diabetes UK and BANT are great sources for factual information.

  2. Check out the author: Make sure the author of the article or blog post has the appropriate credentials and qualifications to be writing about nutrition and health. Registered dietitians and nutritionists, for example, have specific education and training in this field. The term nutritionist is not a protected status may I add.

  3. Consider the date: Make sure the information you're reading is up-to-date and based on the latest scientific research. Look for articles or posts that have been published within the last few years, as nutrition recommendations can change over time.

  4. Be wary of sensationalised headlines: Be cautious of headlines that make big claims or promises. These articles may be more interested in getting clicks than providing accurate information.

  5. Look for balanced information: Be wary of articles or posts that promote extreme diets or promote a specific product or supplement. A balanced approach to nutrition is usually the most effective for long-term health.

  6. Tailor your search to your specific needs: If you have a specific health condition or dietary restriction, make sure you're looking for information that is relevant to your individual needs. Look for resources that are specific to your condition or search for articles written by professionals who specialise in that area.


Remember, when it comes to nutrition and health, find personalised advice based on your individual needs and goals.


Why?

You can have the best information in the world, but if it doesn't fit your life in your lifestyle, having no context to your situation, then it is absolutely useless.

Myth's in dietary intake that died with the Minotaur


Common myths in dietary habits are typically formed surrounding a very common trait, as weight loss seems to be the most popularised approach to and with nutrition, combined with a government initiative to tackle a crisis of obesity in the UK, then we must acknowledge what they are trying to achieve:


Reducing food volume (portion sizes), reducing frequency of eating (fasting), removing macronutrients (keto, low-fat, low-carb, high-protein), removal of bread or dairy (what do you replace it with?), green light labels...


All reduce caloric (energy) intake.


Putting you and your body into a state of low energy production, where your body will break down its own tissues (fat and muscle) to support metabolic demands.


Nutrition can play a much wider role only than in losing weight but look at these realities.


  1. Myth: All fats are bad for you. Reality: Not all fats are created equal. While saturated and trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can actually improve your heart health. These healthy fats are found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocado, fatty fish, and olive oil. Grab more Info on healthy fats.

  2. Myth: You need to cut out all carbs to lose weight. Reality: Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for your body. The key is to choose healthy, complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and limit your intake of refined carbohydrates like white bread, sugary drinks, and processed snacks.

  3. Myth: You need to eat a lot of protein to build muscle. Reality: While protein is important for building and repairing muscle tissue, most people don't need as much as they think. The average adult needs about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. You can get plenty of protein from plant-based sources like beans, nuts, and tofu, as well as from lean meats and fish. If you are heavily training, multiple times a day or for long durations then you do need to emphasise protein more than someone sitting at a desk all day.

  4. Myth: You should avoid all dairy products. Reality: Dairy products are a good source of calcium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients. While some people are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy, many people can enjoy dairy products in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

  5. Myth: You should always choose low-fat or fat-free products. Reality: While it's true that high-fat foods can be unhealthy in large amounts, low-fat and fat-free products often contain added sugars and other additives to improve taste and texture. Instead of focusing solely on fat content, try to choose whole foods that are minimally processed and nutrient-dense.


Everyone's nutritional needs are different, and what works for one person may not work for another.


Improving that quality of your nutrition is one of the most important steps you can take to improve your overall health and wellbeing.


Some simple takeaways:


  1. Evaluate your current diet: Take a look at what you're currently eating and identify areas where you can make improvements. This might include increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, choosing whole grains over refined grains, and reducing your intake of processed foods. I designed my programme EAT to help you in this process.

  2. Understand the benefits: Eating a healthy diet can have numerous benefits for your body and mind. It can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, improve your energy levels, and even boost your mood.

  3. Make small changes: Rather than trying to overhaul your entire diet overnight, focus on making small, sustainable changes over time. This might include swapping out unhealthy snacks for healthier options, adding more vegetables to your meals, or cooking more meals at home.

  4. Learn about nutrition: Educating yourself about the basics of nutrition can help you make more informed choices about what you're eating. Learn about the different food groups and the nutrients they provide, as well as how to read food labels and make healthier choices when dining out.

  5. Seek support: Changing your eating habits can be challenging, so seek support from friends, family, or a healthcare professional. Consider working with a registered dietitian who can help you develop a personalised nutrition plan that meets your individual needs and goals.


By focusing on improving the quality of your nutrition, you can take an important step towards improving your overall health and wellbeing.


Start by evaluating your current diet, understanding the benefits of healthy eating, making small changes over time, learning about nutrition, and seeking support as needed.

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