5 foods you must NOT give a dietitian for dinner…

I am a really good dinner guest, honest! I don’t take my work home with me, and consider myself to have a very normal attitude to food. I enjoy all things – healthy or otherwise. I don’t get preachy about nutrition most of the time but if you serve me the following I reserve the right to give you my evidence based, matter of fact opinion with a smile!

Coconut oil

This has been cruising on a wave for quite some time and despite a barrage of evidence the wave doesn’t seem to be crashing. Fact: if we decrease our saturated fat intake and substitute for polyunsaturates and monounsaturates we will reduce our risk of high cholesterol and heart disease. Coconut oil is full of saturated fat -13g per tablespoon to be precise (which is 65% of our recommended maximum intake) and unlike the saturated fat in dairy which has been shown to have a protective effect, this is not the case for coconut oil. I’d rather my saturated fat quota go on something else and stick to rapeseed or olive oils – these are stable when heated and boost healthy fats in the diet.

A detox antioxidant juice

Firstly I am not on a dialysis machine – my liver and kidneys are working fine, I’m detoxing all the time even as I type this, I am that good at multi- tasking. Secondly, antioxidants are indeed very powerful but as yet we cannot demonstrate that higher levels taken in the form of a drink translate into higher levels at cellular level where all the magic actually happens. Nutrient- nutrient reactions within foods are very complex and this is where there are gains to be made. Isolating one of thousands of disease fighting compounds, sticking it in a drink and charging £4 for it doesn’t unfortunately improve our health.

Fake carbs

48% of people attribute weight gain to carbs and this has led to a rise in ‘fake carbs’. I’m not against noodling my courgettes or whizzing up my cauliflower – we don’t have to eat carb at every meal in order to be healthy but if we’re deliberately avoiding them because we think they’re bad for us I think that is misguided. Wholegrain carbs help us to meet our fibre requirements – I don’t utilise this fibre of course – my bacteria do. You’re feeding all trillion of them as well as me! Wholegrains lower risk of diabetes, support healthy weight management and help me feel full so I don’t snack endlessly between meals. I should be eating 2-3 serves a day so if they’re missing at dinner I won’t hit the target.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a staple in my household and thanks to the online food order, it’s common to buy the same veg week in, week out. That’s not what my bacteria like though. To keep them healthy and diverse they like lots of variety. Gut health experts recommend we aim for 20 different fruits and veg per week. So come on help me out…

Why am I so bothered about my bacteria? Well 70% of my immune system is in my gut – there’s more of them than there is me (in cells) and they are really powerful in regulating my appetite, protecting my health and lowering my disease risk.

Chia seed pudding

As you may have seen in my vlogging series with my son Sam, seeds aren’t popular with all the family. I love them though, sprinkling them onto salads and into stir fries really does boost my micronutrient intake but in a pudding I’m just not convinced. With puddings for me it’s all about the taste. If it’s gluten or dairy free I couldn’t care less because this doesn’t define its healthiness. Some puddings we know full well are loaded with fat and sugar but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t eat them occassionally. I don’t come to your house very often, so let’s have a small portion and savour every mouthful (perhaps with some berries on the side)?

I feel confident now that those invitations will come flooding in!

 

 

Photo by Alireza Etemadi  on Unsplash

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