Nutrition is a big topic right!
We are fed so much conflicting advise on diet that it’s hard to sort the lean facts from the fat fiction.
It seems that every day we read something new: eat more protein, eat more healthy fats, eat more vegetables, eat less fruit, this fat is good, this fat is unhealthy, cut down, eat more, and so on.
It can be so confusing that many people simply give up and end up eating what they like which may not necessary benefit them, their body, health and even mood.
Today, our food is processed, overly processed and tampered with and you will be shocked to find out how little goodness the foods we buy actually have.
Almost all non-organic foods are grown with pesticides of some kind and many of these are seriously health threatening e.g. carcinogenic (cause cancer), mutagenic (cause cells to mutate) teratogenic (cause birth defects). The worldwide death rate from pesticide poisoning alone tops 200,000 each year yet we, the farmers, still spray their crops, which in turn, we indulge in!
Genetically modified (GM) foods are also causing concern. Altering the genetic structure of food to improve quality or to deter pests is an imprecise science that its critics warn could impact the environment and on our health.
I am sharing this information because through my own journey of learning more about food, nutrition, healthy, body and mind, I have learnt so many facts (and fiction) about what I should eat or not, how I should eat or not, where I should buy and source my ingredients or not, etc. hence wanting to share information I find with you so you too can become informed and make up your own mind about food, quality, sourcing etc.
Glycaemic load (the hidden factor)
Research has shown that over the last 30 or so years, not all carbohydrates are created equal. For the most health benefits, we should be stocking up on foods with a low glycemic load (where foods break down slowly/slower therefore releasing glucose more gradually into the body). Concentrating on these foods can improve our diets, heart conditions, give us longer lasting energy, reduce our blood sugar levels which leads to Diabetes and help us lose weight.
Carbohydrates to reduce/avoid: white potatoes, white rice, white pasta, white bread
Carbohydrate replacements: sweet potatoes, brown rice, wholewheat pasta or vegetable/rice pastas, whole-grains, lentils, beans, wholemeal/wheat breads, whole-grain sourdough breads
Supplements – do we need them?
If you are eating a well balanced healthy diet then perhaps not however every body is different.
However, through time, we have exposed our bodies to different toxins, bad diets, indulging too much in foods and drinks that are not good for us, suffer with different ailments and illnesses, are different ages, have different hormonal imbalances and the list goes on therefore, supplements can be of benefit to us in addition to our healthy diets.
Always consult your general practitioner before starting new supplements.
Certain foods really do pack a huge nutritional punch. While many claims for the so called ‘superfoods’ can be out of proportion to their abilities, thee are still well worth boosting in your diet as they will simply add additional nutritional value into your healthy balanced diets.
All berries are low in calorie and high in nutrients and are high in antioxidants. Blueberries are considered the king of the healthy berries however make sure they are organic. Berries have a low GL therefore won’t spike blood sugar (unlike many other fruits).
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and pac choi all contain disease-fighting phytochemical and also may help prevent cancer cells growing as well are being high in vitamins and fibre.
Research shows that the nitrates in beetroot can help reduce blood pressure, as well as being high in antioxidants.
If you consume fish, research has shown that eating oil fish (sardines, mackerel and salmon) at least twice a week has been proven to help your heart, lower blood pressure and improve blood lipids therefore reducing fatty deposits in the arteries.
These include nuts and seeds, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, watercress), beans, lentils and spices such as turmeric, ginger and chilli.
Recommendations for eating a healthy balanced modern diet
- Try to buy organic food as much as possible. It is more expensive certainly however aren’t you worth it? Plus you can be sure it is free from pesticides, fungicides, hormones and antibiotics. If you really can’t buy organic, peel or skin non-organic fruit and vegetables to remove surface toxins.
- Eat seasonally and local where possible, thereby eating natural full flavour foods as well as supporting your local farmers who struggle against the big supermarkets.
- Avoid highly processed foods i.e. convenience foods, fast foods, take-aways, ready meals etc. These rely on additives and preservatives and often have high levels of sugar, fat and salt added.
- Don’t be tempted by ‘diet’, ‘light’, ‘low fat’ foods. These are normally full of sugar, artificial sweeteners and other unhealthy additives.
- Drink plenty of water. Sip it slowly throughout the day and add a few slices of lemon or lime to give it that added freshness. Avoid drinking water with meals as it dilutes your natural digestive juices.
So to summarise, life is all about ‘BALANCE’. Balance in what we eat, how much we eat, what we drink, when we exercise, how much we exercise, meditation, mindfulness, work, play, fun, family, friends, etc. etc. In order to have a healthy lifestyle, we need to ensure a good balance between all that we eat and drink and all that we do, activities, work, relax, holidays and so on. So think about what you want to get out of life and then start to break it down.
For example, if you want to lose weight, you know that you need to eat less food and do more exercise. However this doesn’t mean that you are left hungry or totally exhausted from your new exercise regime…NO! It simply means that you need to choose the right food combinations for your body, eat in balance, drink more water (recommendation is 2 litres a day) and get your body more active, whether that is simply by walking and then gradually increasing the number of steps you do in time and the intensity or swimming or joining a gym.
The key thing to remember is that you are never alone. In this day and age we have the WORLD WIDE WEB at our fingertips with endless FREE information and tools, or we have access to numerous specialised health, food, fitness and lifestyle coaches. Your are NOT ALONE. This is key to remember.
If you would like any further information on any of the topics mentioned in this blog or would like to talk about any of my health, food and lifestyle coaching sessions/courses, please get in touch.
Guilda 07772 502381 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, your feedback and comments are very important to me.
With best wishes to a happy and healthy weekend, until soon x