Category Archives: Nutrition

5 Food Habits Ruining Your Waistline

5 Food Habits Ruining Your Waistline

Think your food habits are healthy? Dietitian Caitlin Reid reveals the top five foodie fads ruining your waistline.

 

Raw food, green smoothies, sugar-free and paleo foods are just some of the latest health trends sweeping the nation. But just because we perceive these food habits to be better for us, doesn’t mean they actually are. In fact, simply labeling food as ‘organic’ leads people to believe the food is tastier, more nutritious and lower in kilojoules than the exact same food bearing a label of ‘regular’. Known as the health halo effect, perceiving a food to be healthy leads us to lower our guard and ultimately we end up overeating or even feel entitled to indulge. Sound familiar? Here are five food habits that may be ruining your waistline this winter.

 

Health Halo 1: Loading up on raw goodies
The raw food movement is all about minimising your intake of processed food and loading up on plant-based foods. By doing this you’ll up your fibre intake and limit your intake of nasties such as saturated fat, sugar and salt. In theory this might sound ideal, but large helpings of raw caramel slice made with lashings of coconut oil, dates, tahini and maple syrup will still see you eating more saturated fat and sugar than you need. And, it’s also not ok to eat this raw caramel slice for breakfast. Raw or cooked, caramel slice is not a staple food item and should be kept for special occasions.
Health Essential: Whether your treats are raw or cooked, make sure you keep them as just that – treats! Enjoy them occasionally, in portion-controlled amounts and remember they’re definitely not a suitable meal option. When you do eat them, enjoy them as a snack.

 

Health Halo 2: Downing large smoothies just because they’re green
No wonder green smoothies are the latest health craze – they’re easy to whip up and contain a range of super ingredients like kale, spinach and celery. But along with veggies, fruit and milk, you’ll also find high-kilojoule additions like honey, peanut butter, chocolate and syrups. These rich additions mean these smoothies contain far too many kilojoules to be enjoyed as a snack. They’re also not great for your teeth, with research linking them to enamel erosion particularly when consumed between meals.
Health Essential: When made with unsweetened yoghurt, skim milk, fresh fruit, seeds and leafy greens, smoothies can be a great option. Add in coconut water, syrups, coconut oil and loads of fruit however and you’ll overdo the sugar and fat. You also won’t get enough protein. The best option is to make your own smoothie so that you know exactly what goes into it. Keep your teeth happy by drinking it at meal times.

 

Health Halo 3: Eating only high-protein, low-carb snacks
If you believe the hype, then carbs are evil and anything with the words protein on it must be a good option. Whether it’s protein balls, bars, shakes or brownies, the latest foodie trend is to feast on protein at all times. But to get the most out of your workout, you’ll need more than protein – carbohydrates give you energy to succeed. Check out the label on your protein-loaded snack and you’ll notice most are highly processed with artificial ingredients, cheap fillers and sugar alcohols. Not as natural as you might have thought!
Health Essential: If you want to maintain your waistline, forget the hype and realise it’s not all about protein. Good quality carbohydrates like brown rice, oats and quinoa provide your body with fuel. You can meet your protein requirements by including lean meat, skinless chicken, eggs, fish, legumes, nuts or dairy products with all meals and snacks. If you are looking for a protein product, find one that contains natural ingredients.

 

Health Halo 4: Supplements mean you can eat what you like
Each morning you wash down your multivitamin, fish oil tablets and probiotics with a tonic, before recovering from your workout with a protein shake. In between taking these pills and potions you find yourself skipping meals and chowing down on burgers and fries because you feel the supplements are giving you everything you need. But it doesn’t matter how many supplements you take, for optimal health your body needs real food. A pill or potion cannot deliver all the complex combinations of antioxidants and nutrients found in food.
Health Essential: Supplements are designed to do just that; supplement your diet. They shouldn’t be the main focus, nor should they be a health halo inviting you to make poor food choices. To become the healthiest version of yourself, consistently eat a balanced diet with a wide variety of whole foods. And only if you need to, add in the odd supplement that meets your individual needs.

 

Health Halo 5: Your recipes are sugar-free
Replacing cane sugar with agave syrup, rice malt syrup, coconut sugar, honey, dates or maple syrup doesn’t make your favourite recipes sugar-free. These ingredients are in fact all alternative options for sweetening your favourite dish and they’re all in fact sugar. Whether you choose agave syrup, rice malt syrup or maple syrup there isn’t any miraculous health benefits, just sweetness.
Health Essential: Small amounts of sugar in your diet are ok. Instead of focusing on the type you are consuming, focus on the amount. Aim for natural sugars in the form of fruit, yoghurt and milk and reduce the amount of added sugars.

 

Photo Credit: Graphic Stock
CAITLIN (53 of 58)About the author
Caitlin Reid is a unique health professional with qualifications as an accredited nutritionist, accredited exercise physiologist and yoga teacher. Caitlin is passionate about all things health and wellness, and keeps up-to-date with the latest health research, which she uses when contributing expert advice to fitness, lifestyle and food companies. She is also the nutrition expert for the Women’s Fitness magazine, the dietitian for South Sydney Rabbitohs and NSW Swifts, and the ambassador for Papaya Australia. Follow Caitlin on Instagram @caitlinareid or visit her website.

Fruit Juice: Do You Really Need It?

Fruit Juice: Do You Really Need It?

New research reveals an unexpected gap in the diet of over 80% of Australians.    Fruit juice, it’s just one of the many sugar-containing foods that the anti-sugar activists say we should remove from our diet. But surprisingly, new research doesn’t support the idea of ditching the juice completely. Results from the 2011-2012 National Nutrition and Physical… Continue Reading

9 Ways To Stop Feeling Hungry

9 Ways To Stop Feeling Hungry

Are you always looking for food (any food) to satisfy those hunger pangs in between meals? Well you can keep your hunger pangs at bay by following these top tips.      Photo Credits: Ingimage About the author Caitlin Reid is a unique health professional with qualifications as an accredited nutritionist, accredited exercise physiologist and… Continue Reading

What’s In Your Food?

What’s In Your Food?

Confused about food labels? You’re not alone. Here’s what to look for.    Navigating the supermarket aisles is time-consuming enough, but when you throw in deciphering food labels, grocery shopping can be one epic affair. Rows and rows of brightly packaged food products all screaming their own nutritional praises make it almost impossible to select the… Continue Reading

Get More From Your Food

Get More From Your Food

Get more from your food with these power couples.    Want more nutrition from every mouthful? Then ditch focusing on a single food and combine two or more foods for twice the punch. When you focus on just one food or even a particular nutrient, you’re ignoring an important fundamental of healthy eating: different nutrients in separate foods, when eaten together,… Continue Reading

Is sugar really that bad?

Is sugar really that bad?

Sugar is the new villain on the nutrition scene, but do we really need to avoid it?   It seems everywhere you turn at the moment people are following a low or no sugar eating plan. No longer is fat the villain in our food, it’s now sugar! So much so, Aussie actor Damon Gameau has even… Continue Reading

New Foods: Are They Really Healthy?

New Foods: Are They Really Healthy?

Each year new superfoods hit our shelves, but are these foods really worth the money? Here we take a look at the latest “superfoods” on the market.  Images: Ingimage   About the author Caitlin Reid is a unique health professional with qualifications as an accredited nutritionist, accredited exercise physiologist and yoga teacher. Caitlin is passionate… Continue Reading

Should you detox?

Should you detox?

January usually means detox diets. So should you take part in the craze?   A new year usually comes with a new detox diet. Whether they’re old or new though, detox diets are all designed to do the same thing – cleanse your body after a period of overindulgence. While detox diets are touted as… Continue Reading