I want to start by telling you a story – which should bust a few myths in the process. Ever wondered why nutrition messages seem complicated or contradictory?
There are food issues today which makes eating a clean diet harder than before the 1970s. Mass production meant that food needed to be stored and distributed which had never happened before at such scale. Fibre was removed so that food stuffs could last longer. The food pyramid from the 70s and 80s was based on the science then.
This started to lead to an increase in problems with diabetes, blood sugar, weight gain and heart disease.
So scientists in the 70s thought that fat was causing these problems, so in addition to removing fibre, products started to be made low fat. If you take the fat and the fibre out of a product they usually taste horrid so sugar and sugar substitutes were added in for flavour.
In about the 90s, scientists started realised that healthy fat wasn’t in fact the problem but it was the sugars that had been introduced into all these foods in increasing amounts.
In tandem with that, portion sizes and plate sizes doubled in the past thirty years and snacking and the marketing of snacking started.
Sugar has now been shown to be highly addictive like cocaine. It is a poison pure and simple. We currently live in such a toxic world compared with previous generations. Nowadays we have epidemics of high stress levels and increased diabetes and obesity globally.
I absolutely don’t believe in dieting
It is a billion dollar industry and a complete waste of money. It STOPS women being great and keeps them focused on body image and NOT health which is far more important.
Cravings and other things that cause women to feel guilty are NOT caused by a lack of willpower but hormones and bio-chemistry. It is NOT possible to lose weight miraculously in 2 weeks and studies show that most people gain weight lost within a year, because of short-term fixes and a lack of understanding of brain chemistry.
There is no one way of eating better than another – vegetarian or vegan are not better than eating meat if the way you eat is poor quality.
The diet that is required to address excess sugar really should be the same as a cancer fighting one or a heart healthy one. The current food pyramid which I would recommend is one called a Pegan diet and was designed by Dr Mark Hyman.
It can be hard to be healthy in this unhealthy world but it is not impossible if you want to try. If you only did one thing, for me it has been to eat more vegetables. Preferably with every meal. If you wanted to do one other thing, it would be to reduce your portion size for each meal.
Neuro-scientist Dr Susan Peirce Thompson on this topic is excellent and I would recommend her work for everyone, overweight or not, as she explains how the brain behaves in relation to the food we have available to us. Our bodies were never designed to process all this sugar – ever.
Maybe you need to just start eating more vegetables. It is a good place to start just add in good food and then start removing the less good!