Myth #1: Eat according to the Healthy Food Pyramid

‘Debunking Nutritional Myths’.

 Today we start with the first instalment of our  comprehensive 8 week guide that is intended to sort out the facts from the fairy tales when it comes to healthy eating.

Paleo, 5:2 diet, weight loss shakes, clean eating – every day you read a newspaper and there is some new revolutionary way to eat that will help you lose weight and live forever.  No wonder there is a lot of confusion about what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods.  

Do you remember learning about the Healthy Food Pyramid when you were at school?  Unfortunately, this is still being taught and it may be one of the main contributing factors to Australia’s obesity problem.  When you look at the foods you are supposed to make up the ‘bulk’ of your diet, you will see that it includes fruit, vegetables (which are fine), legumes (which are also ok in limited amounts) and then carbohydrate-dense breads and cereals – EEK!   This is the big problem! 

Breads and cereals are carbohydrate dense foods (no matter if they are wholegrain or not).  Carbohydrates break down into glucose which is what we need for energy.  However, a diet high in carbohydrates has a massive effect on insulin production. Insulin is the hormone your pancreas produces to help regulate blood sugar levels  and its abnormal production leads to the development of diabetes. If you eat a lot of carbohydrates, your insulin levels would be fluctuating all day as it works to try and stabilize your blood sugar levels.  If your body cannot ‘burn up’ all the glucose produced by the carbohydrates, the insulin will just turn the excess into fat stores, hence weight gain. 

It’s ok for marathon runners or elite athletes to have a diet high in good carbohydrates – they need the energy.  However, if you do little exercise and have a sedentary job, then all these carbohydrates in your diet will just make you bigger.  You should limit the carbohydrates in your diet and switch to eating more protein.  Cutting excessive carbohydrates out of your diet does not mean you will not have any energy – rather, your body will be forced to find a new source of fuel….and this will be from your fat stores.

The updated, current guidelines (for healthy eating) can be seen in this ‘pyramid’. If you are eating to lose weight, please follow the guidelines as per your Eating Plan e.g.  LGI, QS or H&V

Next week:

Myth #2 – Eat A Low Fat Diet for Long Lasting Heart Health

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