29
Apr 13

Getting More Vegetables Into Your Children

Getting your child to eat something that isn’t fried, sweet or salty can be quite a task in itself. It’s as almost they sense the fear that comes over you as you present them with a plate full of vegetables. They immediately screw up their face and you know that piece of carrot of broccoli isn’t going anywhere but the floor. What if there were to be an easier way to do this and actually trick your child into eating vegetables and actually like them. Below are some ways to get your child full of vitamins and minerals.

Children love charts: especially if there is a reward at the end. Construct a chart with your child featuring various fruit and vegetables that you have brought that week. Each day as they eat them tick them off. If they eat a certain amount then the reward is correlated to their interest.

vegetable table

Look at your diet: If you are not eating any vegetables then how do you expect your child to follow? Make sure your child sees you eating vegetables and they may follow especially if they are a daddy’s girl or mummy’s boy.

Disguise them in their favourite foods: By pureeing vegetables in their favourite foods such as bolognaise, your child will more than likely eat it without knowing. You will then get them used to this and also their taste buds. Eventually when you present a whole vegetable and get them to try it, you will be surprised that they actually like it.

Teach your child about food: By getting your child involved in the cooking or even growing the fruit and vegetables, they will be proud of what they have made/grown and therefore more than likely eat it.

Consider what they are eating with: If you child has an affinity towards SpongeBob then find them a plate and cutlery with SpongeBob on. This may encourage them to see mealtime as a fun time and actually want to eat their food. Perhaps even consider a day out to the pottery shop and enjoy painting your own plates and cups.

baby eating vegetables

Do remember that your child’s stomach is smaller than yours so if they say they are full then perhaps they are full. Sometimes the worst thing we can do as parents is make the child eat all of their dinner. It can be hard to workout when they are playing your for a fool so sometimes good old fashioned discipline works. Take the plate off them and then offer to reheat it if they complain they are hungry and stick to this.

 

Daniel O’Shaughnessy Dip ION FdSc mBANT CNHC is a fully-qualified Nutritional Therapist & Metabolic Balance coach.  A specialist in stress and gastrointestinal health and weight management, he has clinics across London. He is also the cofounder of Bodhimaya and holds transformative, educational and rejuvenating retreats in the UK and around the world. For more information please visit http://thenakednutritionist.co.uk or call 0208 1234 135.


11
Apr 13

World Health Day Distinguished Nutritionist Award Dinner

I was extremely fortunate to be invited on World Health Day to the Alahashimi Centre Distinguished Nutritionist Award dinner at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in London.



Mohammed Alhashimi The Naked Nutritionist

 

The ALAHASHIMI CENTRE and its owner Mr Mohammed Alhashimi awarded reputable doctors, nutritionists, herbalists and health carers with the ‘Distinguished Nutritionist Award’. The awards were in recognition of their great efforts in the world of Alternative Medicine and Herbal Nutrition within the educational, professional and commercial field.

The ALHASHIMI CENTRE  and Mr Alhashimi work for finding remedies from natural resources and increasing the awareness of the dangers of malnutrition and an unbalanced diet causing various illnesses. Reputable professionals sharing the same motive came together at the Hyatt Regency The Churchill London Hotel and celebrated the World Health Day with Mr Alhashimi.

Mohammed Alhashimi The Naked NutritionistThe dinner started with a welcoming speech by Mr Alhashimi and became even more colourful with the guest speakers. Professionals within the world of medicine and nutrition enlightened the evening describing facts of malnutrition and its effects on the human body and advised listeners about the benefits of a balanced diet and regular physical activity on several health conditions.

 

 

 

Mohammed Alhashimi The Naked NutritionistHonourable names as Gareth Zeal, one of the UK’s leading experts in the field of nutrition, sports nutrition and naturopathy, Ben Wilson, nutritionist and author of ‘Change your Thinking Change your Shape’, Dr Shyam Kolvekar, a heart surgeon at UCLH The Heart hospital, Sally Blanco, a health activist contributed to the event with their informative and entertaining speeches about their own experiences and achievements, and Alex Yuen, the practice manager and life coach of the Chinese Clinic. He explained the importance of the quality of sleep and its relation with organ and cell functions and explained how their team of Chinese doctors help the body cure itself of incurable conditions by giving the body the energy it needs to heal itself.

 

I was blessed to receive a joint award with my brother, giving me the motivation to carry on doing what I love –  believing in the power of Nutritional Science to support the body in healing.

Mohammed Alhashimi The Naked Nutritionist

Bringing together great company, food and ambience, a thoroughly enjoyable evening by all.

If you would like to get more information on The Alahashimi Centre, please visit 5 Bouverie Place
London W2 1RB or contact 07500 000 600.

 

Daniel O’Shaughnessy Dip ION FdSc mBANT CNHC is a fully-qualified Nutritional Therapist & Metabolic Balance coach.  A specialist in stress and gastrointestinal health and weight management, he has clinics across London. He is also the cofounder of Bodhimaya and holds transformative, educational and rejuvenating retreats in the UK and around the world. For more information please visit http://thenakednutritionist.co.uk or call 0208 1234 135.

 


30
Mar 13

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Breakfast Pancakes

 

If you have seen my previous blogs then you will become familiar that I am literally obsessed with breakfast and finding new ways to make this meal interesting. So when I stumbled across this gorgeous gluten-free Buckwheat Pancake recipe I immediately thought to share with you.

This can be made sweet or savoury depending on your mood. My favourite is with smoked salmon & cream cheese. Not only is this gluten-free but also low Glycaemic Load and if you opt for salmon or eggs then it will be high protein & blood sugar balancing so keeping you fuller for longer.

 

Basic Gluten-Free Pancake mixture (makes approx 6):

gluten-free pancake mix

90g brown rice flour

60g buckwheat four

250-310ml water or milk e.g. dairy/rice

1 Egg

Butter/ghee/coconut oil for frying

gluten-free mix

 

 

 

Combine sieved flours in a bowl, beat in the egg and liquid until desired consistency. If making savoury – add ½ tsp natural sea salt.

If making sweet pancakes add 1tsp vanilla extract.

Gently fry in butter/oil.

Serve with smoked salmon, avocado, sautéed spinach & cream cheese.

Enjoy!

 

gluten free pancakes with salmon

 

 

Daniel O’Shaughnessy Dip ION FdSc mBANT CNHC is a fully-qualified Nutritional Therapist & Metabolic Balance coach. He is a full member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy, and is also registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. A specialist in stress and gastrointestinal health and weight management, he has clinics across London. He is also the cofounder of Bodhimaya and holds transformative, educational and rejuvenating retreats in the UK and around the world. His philosophy is to keep nutrition simple, scientific and tailored to the individual. For more information please visit http://thenakednutritionist.co.uk or call 0208 1234 135.

 

 

This recipe is courtesy of Southville Nutrition.


11
Mar 13

Bulletproof Green Tea

I’ve decided to share with you something that not only is delicious but also can help reduce hunger in between meals with the added benefit of burning fat.

What is it?

Green Tea & Coconut Oil

Ingredients:

1 Organic Green Tea Bag

1 teaspoon of Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Simply boil the kettle and let it rest for a bit.

Add the water to the teabag in a large mug

Add a teaspoon of coconut oil.

 

Bulletproof Green Tea

 

The thought of this may be disgust you but it actually is quite nice and the benefits are amazing. This can be especially of benefit when following the Metabolic Balance diet  & find it difficult to stick to the 5 hour fast between meals.

Why it’s good for you?

Green tea has high levels of antioxidants but also been researched extensively for weight loss and anti-ageing & more.

Coconut oil is saturated fat but a source of medium chain fatty acids, which has been linked to many health benefits including increasing metabolism therefore priming the body to burn fat. Coconut oil also contains Lauric Acid which has been shown to benefit immunity & also shown to be antibacterial & possess benefits to bone health.

If you are worried about coconut oil being a saturated fat then don’t because even though a saturated fat, coconut oil & it’s high lauric acid content has health benefits and even I feel saturated fats aren’t the problem in ill health (sugar is). The rise of low fat diets has done what for societies health?….made the problem worse. You can see a previous post on low fat here.

Ultimately Bulletproof green tea can help with hunger pangs in between meals. Enjoy this twice a day in between Breakfast/Lunch & Lunch/Dinner. I hope you like it.

Daniel

Daniel O’Shaughnessy Dip ION FdSc mBANT CNHC is a fully-qualified Nutritional Therapist & Metabolic Balance coach. He is a full member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy, and is also registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. A specialist in stress and gastrointestinal health and weight management, he has clinics across London. He is also the cofounder of Bodhimaya and holds transformative, educational and rejuvenating retreats in the UK and around the world. His philosophy is to keep nutrition simple, scientific and tailored to the individual. For more information please visit http://thenakednutritionist.co.uk or call 0208 1234 135.


24
Feb 13

Innovative Ways To Help Fat Loss

If you have been trying your best to eat healthy and feel like you could do with a little push in the right direction then this post is for you. By simply adding certain foods to your diet, changing the way you eat and adjusting your lifestyle, you can give your metabolism a little bit of a push in the right direction to burning fat.

- Changing your eating pattern: If you are a snacker then ditch them. Change your eating schedule to just 3 meals per day (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) and try to have them 5 hours apart. This can help maximise digestion of meals and ensure the fat-burning process isn’t interrupted. It worked for Boy George following the Metabolic Balance diet, I’m sure it’ll work for you (not recommended for particular stressed individuals and people who have problems with sugar handling. If in doubt consult a Nutritional Therapist).

-Cinnamon: Adding cinnamon to your morning porridge can make it delicious but also can give your fat loss a boost as research has shown it can halt sharp rises in your blood sugar after eating meal (1). Try this delicious Soaked Oats recipe here.


apple cider vinegar fat loss

-Apple Cider Vinegar: Use apple cider vinegar to make dressings. The vinegar has been shown to lower blood sugar levels post eating and also improve cholesterol markers (2).

-Green Tea: Research indicates that sipping on green tea can actually promote fat loss. This is due to green tea containing catechins, which may trigger weight loss and prime the body for fat burning. Try making your own iced green tea with a squeeze of lemon.

Green Tea Fat Loss

 

-Hydration: Drinking 2 litres of filtered water a day can assist with removal of waste from the body and may therefore promote fat loss. Choose filtered to minimise exposure to the nasties in tap water.

-Carbohydrate intake: Lose all refined starches from your diet such as commercial breakfast cereals & white food items. Limit your carbohydrate portion (rice, potato, bread, pasta etc) to 50g cooked portion. Choose low Glycaemic Load “grown above ground” vegetables to make up half your plate portion.

-Soluble Fibre: Consume foods containing soluble fibre such as beans, pulses, turnip, sweede, oats and brown rice. This can help with balancing your blood sugar levels but also play in role in lowering your cholesterol.

 

coconut oil fat loss

 -Coconut Oil: Coconut oil seems a healthier saturated fat than animal fat as it has been associated with higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL). Coconut oil contains Medium Chain triglycerides, which are less likely to be stored as fat. Further coconut oil may beneficially alter body composition and promote weight loss.

 

-Exercise: Find time to do you exercise before breakfast or even on an empty stomach. Recent research indicated exercising before breakfast can help with blasting fat. Don’t have time before breakfast? Simply try a few squats, press ups or lunges before you have breakfast.

-Sleep: Getting good quality and sufficient sleep is imperative for fat loss. While you sleep, your growth hormone peaks, a hormone to regulate fat burning and lean muscle building. Not only try to get to bed at 10pm three nights a week but also make sure your room is fit for sleeping. Keep it free from technology and make sure it is completely dark and well ventilated.

 

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date on the latest health and nutrition news.

Daniel O’Shaughnessy Dip ION FdSc mBANT CNHC is a fully-qualified Nutritional Therapist & Metabolic Balance coach. He is a full member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy, and is also registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. A specialist in stress and gastrointestinal health and weight management, he has clinics across London. He is also the cofounder of Bodhimaya and holds transformative, educational and rejuvenating retreats in the UK and around the world. His philosophy is to keep nutrition simple, scientific and tailored to the individual. For more information please visit http://thenakednutritionist.co.uk or call 0208 1234 135.

 References:

1. Hlebowicz J, Darwiche G, Bjorgell O, Almer L (2007) Effect of cinnamon on postprandial blood glucose, gastric emptying, and satiety in healthy subjects. Am J Clin Nutr. 85(6)1552-1556

2. Hishehbor F, Mansoori A, Sarkaki A, Jalali M (2008) Apple cider vinegar attenuates lipid profile in normal and diabetic rats. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences. 11(23): 2634-8.

3. Nagao T, Komine Y, Soga S, Meguro S, Hase T,  Hase T, Tanaka Y, Tokimitsu (2005) Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 81(1122-129).

4.Clegg M (2010) Medium-chain triglycerides are advantageous in promoting weight loss although not beneficial to exercise performance. International Journal of Food Sciences & Nutrition. 61(7):653-79.

5.Farah N, Gill J (2012) Effects of exercise before or after meal ingestion on fat balance and postprandial metabolism in overweight men. British Journal of Nutrition. FirstView Article, pp 1-11.

 

 

 

 


11
Feb 13

Fermented Foods – Sauerkraut

Welcome to the first functional fermented foods blog. I will provide a series of ways to aid your digestion using functional foods. This week sauerkraut is on the menu. Sauerkraut is pretty much fermented cabbage. It’s a fantastic (& vegan) way to boost levels of good bacteria in the digestive tract so you might not need to fork out money on probiotic supplements to improve your digestive health. Unfortunately many of the shop-brought sauerkraut products contain high levels of sugar, salt & other additives and the beneficial enzymes are usually dead when you buy it.

So how about making some for yourself? It’s pretty easy to do but it takes a few days before your sauerkraut is ready to consume.

Sauerkraut Recipe

Shopping list

1 Savoy Cabbage
2 tbsp Sea Salt
2 Shallots
3 Carrots
1tbsp Root Ginger
3 Garlic Cloves
Fennel Seeds

Sauerkraut Recipe

Shred the cabbage and carrot and place into a large bowl

Sauerkraut Recipe

Pour 125ml of warm water into another bowl & add 2 tablespoons of sea salt. Stir to disolve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sauerkraut Recipe

Soaked Mixture

  • Pour the water over the vegetables and mix it all up with your hands.
  • Cover & set aside at room temperature overnight to soften.
  • In the morning, drain but save the liquid.
  • Add the chopped garlic, ginger & a sprinkle of fennel seeds & mix.
  • Pack the mixture tightly into a glass jar with a tight lid.
  • Pour over the saved liquid. It should just cover the mixture.
  • Leave in a warm dark place for 4 days.

 

sauerkraut

Ready to eat & bursting with nutrition

  • Here you have some beautiful homemade sauerkraut.
  • Store in a fridge and use within 2 weeks
  • Opt for a few tablespoons 10 minutes before meals to help your digestion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel O’Shaughnessy Dip ION FdSc mBANT CNHC is a fully-qualified Nutritional Therapist & Metabolic Balance coach. He is a full member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy, and is also registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council. A specialist in stress and gastrointestinal health and weight management, he has clinics across London. He is also the cofounder of Bodhimaya and holds transformative, educational and rejuvenating retreats in the UK and around the world. His philosophy is to keep nutrition simple, scientific and tailored to the individual. For more information please visit http://thenakednutritionist.co.uk or call 0208 1234 135.

Recipe adapted from Nicolle L, Bailey C (2013) The Functional Nutrition Cookbook: Addressing Biochemical Imbalances Through Diet. Singing Dragon: London.


27
Jan 13

Intermittent Fasting Correctly?

Planning to join the new health craze that is sweeping nations? Don’t know what is it but want to do it anyway?

Whether I have been in a restaurant, on the tube, the gym or in a business meeting, my ears have become sensitive to the whispers of intermittent fasting.

With the internet plagued with information on how to do intermittent fasting, why do I need to be making a comment on it? Well it seems the instructions have fallen on deaf ears and on most occasions.

The times I have heard about intermittent fasting, I have had to bite my tongue with such blasphemous words that come out of peoples mouth such as “A mars bar and a packet of crisps and your done” or “we’ll just get into the office early and have a big breakfast then not eat for the rest of the day”.

There can be tremendous benefits to fasting from weight loss, ageing benefits, blood pressure & cholesterol benefits, improvement in cognitive function and more. Details of the studies and more information on Intermittent Fasting can be found here . These benefits may only be felt when following an Intermittent Fasting plan correctly.

So how does it work?

  • You limit your food intake two days a week. Men have 600 calories and women have 500. For example, you eat normal Monday, fast tuesday, eat normal through friday, fast saturday & normal on Sunday
  • The theory behind it is that it gives your body a rest, lower insulin & better blood sugar regulation.

What not to do

hcg_gorging

  • Gorge on big meals on the days you don’t fast or more importantly the day you do fast. A mars bar and a packet of crisps isn’t going to do you any favours.
  • Keep yourself going with caffeine on the days you do fast. A few cups of green tea is acceptable & make sure you are getting enough water (2-3 litres)
  • Have the same foods day in, day out. Keep variety in your diet & especially get a range of different coloured vegetables in your diet.
  • Don’t under eat under eat on the days you are meant to eat normally. This can lead to blood sugar imbalances leading to a range of symptoms that aren’t desirable.
  • Don’t load up on refined goods and carbohydrate heavy foods. This will make you more hungry. Opt for high protein and plenty of “grown above ground” vegetables.

Example Meal When Fasting

Keep your meal healthy and balanced. A great example is The Immune Boosting Breakfast or even 3 poached eggs with wilted spinach & mushrooms on rye bread.

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Who Shouldn’t Intermittent Fast:

Those that are pregnant or planning pregnancy

Diabetics

Those with heart disease

Those with an eating disorder

Children, adolescents & elderly

Those undergoing intense training such as marathon

Those with adrenal or thyroid health difficulties

Please click here if you would like more information on Intermittent Fasting or to book an appointment with The Naked Nutritionist to see how Intermittent Fasting can work with you.

 


04
Jan 13

Should your calorie count?

January is here and for many that means detox, weight-loss and ditching the cake, alcohol and chocolate for a bit. You allow yourself to be lured into the arms of the gym membership salesperson where you sign your life away (well for the next 12 months). You are then allowed to enter the gym after a hugely stressful day to have an equally stressful workout dodging around the gym floor, changing room and even someone’s sweaty crotch in a yoga class.

What about your diet? Year after year we are plagued with diet books and television programmes all telling us that we can lose all the Christmas weight in 3 days and barely mentioning health at all. What also seems to be creeping it’s ugly head back in is the calorie count. In the last week I have seen about 3 programmes on TV all counting calories. But why do people inherently believe calorie counting is the way forward. Let’s take a look below.

Calorie counting is probably one of the longest standing philosophies in diet and weight-loss history.  Simply put, weight loss occurs when you expend more calories than you consume so therefore the logic is to count calories. Or is it?…

The calorie tables you see on the back of packaged food were invented more than 100 years ago by a chemist called Wilbur Olin Atwater. Samples of food were burned and the amount of energy from heat produced was measured. From this it was found that:

The problem with this? Well firstly they were created over 100 years ago and also they don’t take into account the way food is made up and processing techniques. Moreover research indicates the actual calorie content of foods in supermarkets and restaurants isn’t exactly what you will digest. Take almonds for example; the label says a handful will incur 170 calories but you are more likely going to get 130 calories.

The second issue is that it is the quality of food and not the quantity that matters. Food is more than energy and calories. The protein, carbohydrate and fat ratio with vitamins and minerals all contribute to giving the body what it needs to blossom.

Put simply, a can of cola contains only 139 calories but also contains 7 teaspoons of sugar, colour (caramel E150d), phosphoric acid, natural flavourings (including caffeine). Compared to the calorie equivalent in two eggs you get vitamin A, B, D, riboflavin B12 and choline, selenium, lutein & zeaxanthin. For those that drink Diet Cola; without having to go into the details of the ingredients, all I need to put to you is whether you think it is right that you can consume 2000 cans of diet cola a day and still be in your calorie allowance? Sounds a bit gross really doesn’t it?

 

Fat also has received a battering when it comes to the calorie count because it has twice as many calories than carbohydrate or protein. From this people opt for industrial man-made vegetable oils to keep their fat down but it’s not working because the obesity epidemic is out of control (perhaps connected??). Click here to read a previous post on why fat is important.

The key to successful weight loss is to balance the food you eat. Calorie counting can actually drive you a little crazy and you can become quite unsociable. Opt for less refined produce with more fibrous above ground vegetables. As a rough guide a simple plate can be made up of one iphone sized protein portion, the same carbohydrate and half your plate in above ground vegetables. Try to eat a rainbow in order to get an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up-to-date on the latest health and nutrition news.

Wishing you New Year filled with health and happiness.

Daniel

The Naked Nutritionist

 

 


10
Dec 12

The Naked Nutritionist’s Survival Guide to Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and that generally means the healthy eating goes out of the window and the treat day becomes every day, the ‘I’ll start Monday” becomes “I’ll start January”, there is absolutely no time to exercise because you have a different office party to go to for each team you work with, and then of course you have the many friends and family functions to attend. Summed up, December is a month for pretty much eating and drinking and being merry.

This post is not written with the expectation not to indulge in the festive activities but purely just to offer just ten tips on how to get through the season without feeling guilt about what you ate the night before and perhaps help with the odd hangover.

 

  • There is never a shortage of food at Xmas but that doesn’t mean you have to eat everything in sight. Try to finish eating when you feel around 80% full. This will hopefully stop you needing to lie down on the floor in the recovery position for an hour.
  • When out at a party where the drink is flowing, take a handful of unsalted nuts such as almonds or cashews. This can help you avoid the late night chicken or kebab shop or even doing something you regret with your boss.
  • Make the chosen alcoholic drink red wine and from the pinot noir grape. Pinot Noir contains the highest level of the antioxidant Resveratrol that has shown to be beneficial for life extension, cardio-protective and play a role in cancer prevention.
  • Your mother was right when she said to eat your Brussels sprouts. Part of the cruciferous family along with broccoli, kale, watercress, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips & pak choi, they are important components of a diet supporting the liver to detoxify. Include these where possible on your work nights out or with your Christmas dinner.
  • Make sure you get breakfast in you. This is even if you are going out for a meal later in the day. This can help avoid overeating the minute the bread-basket arrives on the table. Think protein…poached eggs are a perfect choice.
  • If you have a few late nights planned then make it priority some of the days where you don’t have much on to go to bed by 10pm. This is something your body will thank you for when you need the energy the most.
  • Find some time in the day to do a bit of exercise. It doesn’t have to be a full on session but it will be so much easier when you return to your routine in January. This may also help with avoiding weight gain over Christmas.
  • Opt for brightly coloured fruit and vegetables. These contain antioxidants to help mop up the damaging ‘free radicals’ caused by alcohol and eating excessive sugar.
  • Keep yourself hydrated. Ensure you’re getting enough water in you. Aim to get 2 litres of filtered or bottled water a day and make sure you get some down at the office party.
  • Feeling down this time of year?  Perhaps it could be due to inadequate vitamin D. Make an appointment with your GP to get it tested and supplement if necessary. See here for an earlier post on Vitamin D.

 

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year from everyone at The Naked Nutritionist.

 

Image credit:

Makuahine Pa’i Ki’i


20
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.

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