November, 2012

Nov 12

Starbucks, Tax & Low Fat

Maybe Starbucks are right and they are actually making a loss in the United Kingdom. Why? Simply because there are so many options to go with your drink that it takes about 5 minutes to order a “Venti Skinny Wet Extra Hot Extra Shot Sugar-Free Vanilla Caramel Macchiato”. You can pretty much go into any shop and hear this mantra in the first five minutes. What’s the problem with this? The problem is that we are so intent on having our drink skinny that it doesn’t matter what else goes in it. It’s low fat so therefore your body will thank you for it.


You even get your name added on now to make you feel special.

It is ingrained in society that low fat is the best option in life. You can pretty much find low fat versions of anything, but where did this all start and is low fatting your life the best thing to do for your health?


The Low Fat epidemic

Roll back to the 90’s and you will find the cause of heart attacks was put down to fat consumption and cholesterol. This resulted in a low-fat campaign trawling its way across western world. Many took to eliminating fat completely from their diet thinking that their cholesterol would be doing the same and therefore the population would suffer fewer heart attacks. Here comes the food industry releasing products that were effectively cholesterol free and fat free. Even bananas were labelled cholesterol free!


So what happened to the incidence of heart attacks? Well they rose. People started getting fatter and also Type 2 Diabetes swung its ugly head round the corner.


Fat free products

Fat is actually essential for us to function, particularly the absorption of Vitamins A,D, E & K. When you take the fat out of products such as yoghurt, it generally tastes absolutely disgusting. Now the big food companies know this so pack in the sugar to disguise the taste. Sugary foods disturb the balance of sugar in the blood. Excess and can be stored as fat leading to obesity, stored as triglycerides; leading to cholesterol forming in the body, or even excess insulin being released to deal with the sugar; leading to a diabetes type 2 risk.


Skinny milk

Have you noticed that skimmed no fat milk actually tastes sweeter than full fat milk?  Skimmed milk has a higher Glycaemic Load and is actually a lot quicker digesting than whole milk. With the idea of wanting to keep fuller for longer then it may not be the best idea.


Case for sugar free

Artificial sweeteners  (sucralose, aspartame and saccharine) surround us and despite being low in calories, they have been linked to health conditions (1). It’s much better to include natural sugars such as Xylitol  or Stevia. Unfortunately these options aren’t available in Starbucks.


Cutting out all fats?

Not all fats are created equal but over the years may have been labelled the same. There are healthy fats such as monounsaturated fat (found in olive oil, avocados, peanuts and almonds) and Polyunsaturated fats are found in flaxseed walnuts and oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring & anchovies. Saturated fat is generally from animal or dairy sources and can be included as part of a healthy diet. It’s important to keep it within government guidelines. In particular they are helpful in cooking, as the oils are more stable when heated.

Coconut oil has risen in the ranks of the saturated fats as it can raise the protective HDL cholesterol (2) and also may promote weight-loss(3) as well as being touted as having immune and antimicrobial properties.





(1) Lim U, Subar A, Mouw Tm Hartge P et al.  (2006) ‘Consumption of Aspartame-Containing Beverages and Incidence of Hematopoietic and Brain Malignancies’ Cancer Epidemology, Biomarkers and Prevention. 15(9): 1654-9.

(2) Feranil A, Duazo P, Kuzawa C, Adair L (2011) ‘Coconut oil is associated with a beneficial lipid profile in premenopausal in the Phillipines’. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 20(2), 190-5.

(3) St-Onge M (2005) ‘Dietary Fats, tea, dairy, nuts: Potential functional foods for weight control?’ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 81(1):7-15.

Nov 12

Win a Nutritional Therapy Package!

This blog has been running for about a year now and so I thought it is probably best time to share with you what exactly I do and exactly what Nutritional Therapy is. Additionally I am offering you have the chance to win a Nutritional Therapy initial and follow up consultation worth £175.


What is Nutritional Therapy?

Nutritional Therapy is the application of nutrition science in the promotion of health, peak performance and individual care. Nutritional therapy practitioners use a wide range of tools to assess and identify potential nutritional imbalances and understand how these may contribute to an individual’s symptoms and health concerns. This approach allows them to work with individuals to address nutritional balance and help support the body towards maintaining health. Nutritional Therapy is recognised as a complementary medicine and is relevant for individuals with chronic conditions, as well as those looking for support to enhance their health and wellbeing.

Practitioners consider each individual to be unique and recommend personalised nutrition and lifestyle programmes rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Practitioners never recommend nutritional therapy as a replacement for medical advice and always refer any client with ‘red flag’ signs or symptoms to their medical professional. They will also frequently work alongside a medical professional and will communicate with other healthcare professionals involved in the client’s care to explain any nutritional therapy programme that has been provided.


Almonds shaped like heart

Why use Nutritional Therapy?

Some people simply want to check that they are on the right track with regard to healthy eating. Others may want to lose weight or get help with their symptoms.

Nutritional Therapists recognise that each person is an individual with unique requirements and take time to define personalised nutrition plan rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Nutrition and lifestyle approaches to healthcare have been shown to support the health of all the major systems of the body (skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, excretory, endocrine, immune, reproductive and integumentary [skin, hair, nails]). Typical priorities in nutritional therapy consultations are support to achieve optimum energy levels, healthy blood sugar balance, emotional and pyschological wellbeing, optimum gastrointestinal health and tolerance to a broad range of food groups.


What to expect from a Nutritional Therapy Consultation?

Before the first consultation, the practitioner usually provides a health and nutrition questionnaire for the client to complete. An initial consultation typically lasts 60 to 90 minutes, and in this time the practitioner asks detailed questions about current health concerns, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, medical history, family history, lifestyle, levels of physical activity, use of medication and supplements and diet. The practitioner then evaluates individual needs and uses the extensive evidence base for nutritional science to develop a personalised, safe and effective nutrition and lifestyle programme.

Follow up consultations are generally after four weeks in order to monitor progress and make any necessary adjustments. Further follow-ups may be required depending on each individual situation.


The Naked Nutritionist

To celebrate the launch of a brand new website and a new home in Embody Wellness, The Naked Nutritionist is offering you the chance to win an initial appointment and follow up appointment 4 weeks later at Embody Wellness, London. You will also have the opportunity to appear on this blog detailing your experience.

Embody Wellness is South London’s premier centre for health and wellbeing. Located in the landmark St George Wharf development just one minute from Vauxhall tube and train station Embody offers a broad range of complementary and therapeutic treatments to heal, revive and relax. In addition, the centre offers beauty treatments for men and women as well as an extensive timetable of yoga and Pilates classes, including courses for beginners and pregnancy classes.

To be able to win, simply click here to go to The Facebook like page for The Naked Nutritionist, like and also send a quick message with your name and email address. We won’t share your email with anyone else but you will receive our health newsletter packed full of health tips, recipes and more. If you prefer not to receive the newsletter, simply state “opt out” when supplying your name and email. Terms and Conditions apply (please see below).








1. This competition is open to anyone aged 18 or over who is ordinarily resident in the UK and can make both appointments at Embody Wellness spa.

2. Entry is only accepted via Facebook like page and sending a private message with an email address.

3. The Naked Nutritionist shall not be held responsible for technical errors in telecommunication networks, internet access or otherwise, preventing entry at this website.

4. Entrants must supply their name and a valid email address as the winner will be contacted by email.

5. Entries must be received by midday GMT on Monday 19 November 2012. No purchase is necessary.

6. The winner will be chosen by random selection.

7. The prize is for one initial appointment and one follow up at Embody Wellness, London. Tests and supplements may be recommended but these are not included in the prize.

8. The prize is not transferable. No cash alternative. If for any reason the winner is unable to participate in the prize, The Naked Nutritionist may select an alternative participant.

9. By entering the competition entrants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions and the additional terms and conditions below.

10. Acceptance of the prize constitutes consent to use the winner’s entry, name and photos for editorial or publicity purposes.

11. The maximum number of entries per person is 1.




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