When you begin to uncover things within the nutrition world, you may just discover that there are many conflicting ideas when it comes to health and how and when you should consume food.
I’ve been looking into a few nutrition myths that keep popping up in my clinical practice lately. They often stem from misinformation provided to the individual when undertaking ‘fad diets’. Let’s have a look as to why these ideas are not perceived appropriately and how to incorporate these foods into your diet so that they can nourish you better.
Bread makes you fat
Not all bread is created equal, but in general terms bread itself will not make you fat no matter which version you choose. Wheat is high in fibre, a great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals. However, when wheat flour is ultra-processed these nutrients and fibre are striped from the flour. The over-processing of this grain means that the nutritional profile of a regular slice of bread is lacking and the consumption of this takes space in your diet for more nutrient dense complex carbs rich foods that also promote a healthy gut. So opt for bread made with whole wheat (or alternative), packed full of seeds and if you can, make it traditionally prepared for added gut health benefits.
Fruit is full of sugar
Fructose is a naturally occurring sugar found in fruits and is easily metabolised by the body. The added bonus of this is that ‘fruit sugar’ is wrapped up in fibre and other vital nutrients that are required by the body. Whereas added sugars (ie high-fructose corn syrup) found in soft drinks and sweets, are just sugar with no extra nutritional benefits, taking up valuable space in the diet. Fruit is a great snack. It helps curb those pesky sugar cravings, and because it’s a good source of fibre it’s a lot slower to digest than the sugar laden substitutes. Opt for seasonal fruits and add an extra protein source like natural nut butter to make it a super satisfying snack.
Gluten free diets are healthier
Gluten free whole foods are a fabulous alternative for those diagnosed with coeliac or for anyone looking to add variety to their diet. But gluten free doesn’t always mean it’s healthier and only a small percentage of the population are actually medically diagnosed as coeliac. The label “gluten free” can be placed on almost anything that doesn’t contain gluten, including sweets that are often naturally gluten free anyway. There are so many great options if your diet is gluten free for any reason. Buckwheat and quinoa are a few of my favourite pseudo-grains (not grains, but often classified as such). They are a great addition to any diet along with gluten containing foods, if you can tolerate them.
There are so many myths in nutrition floating around. That’s why getting your advice from a qualified nutritionist is so important. Food is to be enjoyed, not to be feared. The only reason you should avoid a food in your diet is because:
- It’s gone bad, past its use by date or has gone rotten or mouldy
- It makes you feel sick or gives you diarrhoea
- You’re allergic to it
- You don’t like or enjoy it
If anything in this blog piece is triggering to you please make sure you reach out. I work a lot of people helping them to improve their relationship with food and to begin to make healthy, nourishing choices with their nutrition.
Sereni et al 2017. Cardiovascular benefits from ancient grain bread consumption: findings from a double-blinded randomized crossover intervention trial. http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=5&sid=ec216b2b-1c0a-485f-ba82-cc6ee05fa98a%40sessionmgr103