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Getting smart about food

It is no surprise that your average everyday Australian wants to look better and feel more energized. However the time it takes to achieve better health verses the time we are prepared to put aside to improve our health can often be at odds.

We tend to externalize the choices we make when it comes to food. Often we are influenced by the marketing that we see, opting for foods which may have added vitamins or the stamp of approval from a health organization. The reality is that when it comes to your health, you are in the driver’s seat, you can make choices irrespective of the marketing. Every day you vote for the foods that are kept on our supermarket shelves, you vote (with your dollars) as a store will always stock what sells.

The decision to achieve optimal health is a choice that you have to make, know-one else can make it for you. As a practitioner I have had many conversations with people about food, and never has anyone said they accidently fell over and landed with a doughnut in their mouth!! It was a choice they made or a result of a habit that they had formed.

What I am getting at is that in order to be healthful you must take complete ownership for what you choose to consume and also the things that you don’t eat and drink. We are a result of the choices that we have made. You must be willing to take responsibility for where you are at this point in time and make the decision to move toward health. Your health at the end of the day is the mean result of what you have done and the choices you have made.

With this in mind many people are looking for answers and are unsure how to achieve the health they desire. Below is a list of common ‘diet’ foods that I suggest you avoid, they may be ‘diet’ but they are far from healthy.

Margarine – Interestingly the color of margarine is black and then it’s bleached and colored back to something that resembles butter. The old saying that butter is better is true, keep as close to real food sources as you can.

Low fat foods items –At one point in time fat was not considered unhealthy, however due to one very flawed scientific study in the mid 70’s fat became ‘public enemy No1’!. Ancel Keys made what he thought at the time to be the biggest breakthrough in nutrition with the hypothesis that saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy. This led to the low fat fad, which has seen low fat foods become the ‘norm’. Since this time we have seen the incidence of CVD, obesity, diabetes and chronic diseases skyrocket.

Diet drinks (Fruit juices and soft drinks) – This is a case of replacing one evil with another. Removing the sugar and replacing it with a sugar free sweetener doesn’t solve anything, unfortunately even without the sugar, our body still has the insulin surge in response to the ‘sweet taste’ and in turn causes you to crave sugar. Studies have shown that the more diet

drinks you have the more weight you put on.

Gluten free processed foods – There is nothing wrong with eating gluten free foods, however we must realise that they are often made with highly refined flours in order to look like foods that we have habitually eaten, so although they can be handy they should also be used in moderation. It is easy to learn how to eat gluten free without the use of highly processed foods.

If you are consuming one or all of these foods then it is time to change and move toward better health choices. If at any stage you are unsure about what you have read, then seek advice from a professional.

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