My top FIVE recommendations to improved nourishment
by Annette Marlow, Holistic Exercise, Food and Lifestyle Coach
For over a decade part of my journey into the health and fitness industry has been driven by my passion for understanding food and its relevance to health.
Digging a little deeper than basic health education, over 10 years ago I learned some confronting 'truths' about food that completely dispelled everything that I had previously been taught. Learning for example, that eating saturated FAT and EGGS are essential for my health, and would not make me fat, or increase my cholesterol, challenged years of ingrained beliefs. I dared not touch yellow cheeses, avoided butter and never dreamed of eating cream! This was the begining of a whole new understanding and perspective about food that then followed.
There are countless positive stories and documented studies of people who reversed diabetes, lost kilos of weight, healed heart burn, improved digestive disorders, allievated skin problems when they learnt to eat 'real' foods like meat, butter and vegetables and significantly reduced or eliminated highly processed sugary foods, refined carbohydrates, cereals, grains and toxic vegetable oils.
However, sadly the truth is, that the majority of Australians are becoming sicker, fatter and malnourished. Influential, multinational food processing corporations continue to convince us to believe that we need to eat more of their highly processed, modified refined floury, sugary, cereal foods that are nutrtionally empty and send our blood sugar skyrocketing. Since the advent of modern processing, Australia is experiencing its highest rates of diabetes and obesity related illnesses.
Despite shocking health statistics and worldwide scientific evidence explaining why modern food processing is responsible for the declining health of Australians (and of course Americans), Australia is slow to embrace change. Hospitals and health care facilities are feeding their patients poor quality foods, schools are allowing sugary junk food to nourish their students and the Australian food pyramid is achaic.
The good news is, there is an incredible amount of literature, research and helpful information written by doctors, health professional, researchers, food lobbyists and people passionate about well being that are making an enormous difference to those that are RECEPTIVE to improve their health, and the health of our future generations.
For the past 10 years and I have been eating butter, full fat diary foods, cream, saturated animal fats, eggs, nuts, seeds, avocados, lots of olive oil and other healthy fats freely. Animal protein and fats form the majority of my diet and grains and cereals the minority. I am over 40 and leaner and stronger than ever.
Sometimes the smallest changes, can make the biggest difference. I hope that by continuing to bring awareness to people small changes that make big differences can be made. Below, I offer FIVE tips that I consider to be important to your health and the health of your family.
1. Eat Mostly Real food. Mostly proteins (animal products), vegetables and fruit....Real food is anything that comes in it's most natural state. Eg fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, seeds, butter, extra virgin cold pressed oils such as olive oil and coconut oil. In other words the types of foods our ancestors ate before the advent of modern processing.
example meal: organic or free range eggs cooked in butter with spinach, mushrooms, goats cheese and avocado
example snack: real organic plain unsweetened yoghurt with raw nuts, seeds, fruit
example meal: grass fed steak with a salad of greens, tomatoes, avocados, feta cheese and oilve oil, celtic sea salt and lemon juice
2. Avoid refined sugars, refined grains, refined flours and refined cereals. These products are found in commercial breads, cereals, savoury biscuits, sweet biscuits, muffins, cakes, health bars, pies, pastries, pastas, pizza's, noodles, soft drinks, fruit juices, lollies, icecreams, frozen desserts etc. Mostly these foods are nutrtionally empty, and responsible for our obesity epidemic, digestive problems and growing list of food intolerances.
Source proper fermented sourdough spelt and rye breads available in some supermarkets, wholefood stores and markets made without vegetable oils and additives.
For occassional treats, make your own cakes, biscuits, muffins using spelt flour or nut meals, butter, cream, eggs, small amounts of raw sugar/honey/maple syrup, cacoa powder, dark chocolate, full cream; or source products from artesian bakeries that use natural ingredients. There are amazing and delicious recipes widely available , farmers markets, wholefood and specialty stores everywhere that use quality ingredients. Purchase occasional sweets and treats that have none of the dangerous additives (see list under number 4.) included.
3. Avoid man made toxic vegetable oils (trans fats ) and hydrogenated oils (found in margarine, shortening, canola oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, corn oil, safflower oil etc ) and are hidden in almost every packaged food from dried biscuits, chips, pretzels, crackers, baked goods, frozen meals, breads, fast food stores and cheap restaurants. These oils are toxic and responsible for a host of health problems including inflammation, cancer, heart disease, immune system dysfunction, sterility, learning disabilities, growth problems and osteoporosis.
Use real butter, lard, extra virgin olive oil, extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil, extra virgin avocado or macadamia oil, flaxseed oil, sesame oil, nuts and seeds.
4. Read ingredient labels and avoid foods that particulaly contain the additives listed below.
The following food additives have been identified as most dangerous causing a host of side effects from asthma, ezcma, bloating, cramping, gastrointestinal upset, behavioural problems etc. Sadly, many of these additives are found in common yoghurts, baked goods, sweets, rice crackers, flavoured chips, dried fruit, drinks etc. Foods with numbers or words that you dont recognise should be avoided.
A great resource guide about additives and reported effects can be found at www.fedup.com.au.
5. Take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing. Make every bite matter. Read and research so you can make informed choices. Be aware of false and deceptive marketing that plagues every food package and advertisement.... Remember quick fix solutions and diets do not work in the long term. Make small lifelong changes and reap the rewards of robust health.
Here are some highly recommended books (or downloads) that offer excellent information to help you improve your understanding about making healthy and food choices.
104 quinoline yellow
110 sunset yellow
122 azorubine, carmoisine 123 amaranth
124 ponceau, brilliant scarlet 127 erythrosine
129 allura red
132 indigotine, indigo carmine 133 brilliant blue
142 green S, food green, acid brilliant green 143 fast green FCF
151 brilliant black
155 brown, chocolate brown
160b annatto, bixin, norbixin
200-203 sorbic acid, potassium & calcium sorbates
210-213 benzoic acid, sodium, potassium & calcium benzoates 220-228 sulphur dioxide, all sulphites, bisulphites, metabisulphites
249-252 all nitrates & nitrites
280-283 propionic acid, sodium, potassium & calcium propionates
310-312 all gallates
319-321 TBHQ, BHA butylated hydroxyanisole, BHT butylated hydroxytoluene
620-625 glutamic acid and all glutamates, MSG monosodium glutamate 627 disodium guanylate
631 disodium inosinate
Yeast extract, HVP HPP hydrolysed vegetable or plant protein
No numbers since they are trade secrets