Month: October 2015

Don’t be confused by endless contradictory ‘latest’ studies, nor by misleading dietary guideline. Here are some guidelines that won’t let you down.

 

1. If you can’t pronounce it, DON’T EAT IT.

 

This is a phrase coined by Michael Pollan, and as he summed it up so neatly, I won’t try and improve on it.

Simply put

*Don’t eat food with more than five ingredients, or with ingredients you can’t pronounce, or that contain high-fructose corn syrup (which serves as a ‘marker’ indicating that the food is highly processed).

*Eat only food that you have cooked, or could cook.

*Eat only food that your great, great grandmother would recognize as food.

NB:

There is always an exception…who knew how to pronounce Quinoa (keenwhaa) the first time they saw it? LOL

2. If it came out of a laboratory rather than out of nature, DON’T EAT IT.

 

Strawberry Flavouring is just one example of a flavouring that can be listed on a product claiming it is ‘all natural’ but actually contains, NO STRAWBERRIES, surprise!. Click the link below for an example of exactly what is in Strawberry Flavouring .

 

3. If it has had its genetics tampered with, DON’T EAT IT.

 

Genetically modified food is just plain scary stuff folks. I wrote a blog about this not so long ago. If you missed it, follow this link to have a read So What Are GMO’s?

David Suzuki does an awesome job of explaining things a little more in this YouTube clip, do yourself a favour and make time to check it out. Great Explanation of GMO or GE technology.

I also think it is worth noting that GM crops have been banned in numerous countries, the list is continuing to grow as the alarm bells are being sounded. Japan, New Zealand, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, and Scotland are among the countries taking heed of the wishes of their people, and making intelligent decision based on the lack of science behind the consequences of genetically modified foods.

4. If it has been sprayed with proven carcinogens, obesogens, and endocrine disruptor’s,  DON’T EAT IT.

Unfortunately broad-spectrum pesticides are some of the cheapest chemicals in Australia costing only A$1.50 per hectare to apply in grain crops, making them an obvious choice for many farmers. These issues in themselves are challenging to manage not to mention the cost to human health and wildlife (1)One of the nastiest chemicals that has been spread far and wide is Glyphosate, otherwise know as Round-up. Glyphosate is now a known human carcinogen, and yes folks, this is what is being sprayed generously all over GM crops. yum! yum!

 

5. If it is labelled low fat, DON’T EAT IT.

 

Grrrr this makes me so cross. This ridiculous message has been so well marketed that it has now become dogma. Any product that has had the fat removed, has had sugar added. Why you ask? Because fat is tasty and with the fat taken out you are left with something akin to eating cardboard, so to make it appetizing they add sugar. Let me clear. YOU NEED FAT. However….. not all fats are equal. You need natural fat, not highly processed ‘vegetable oil’ and trans fats. For further info on this check out  Some Facts On Fat!

 

6. If some terribly highly qualified simpleton tries to convince you they can produce a far healthier version of something that nature produced, DON’T BELIEVE THEM.

 

Case in point, Butter or Margarine. If you are still eating margarine STOP.

Butter is a natural food recognized by the body and utilized appropriately. Margarine is chemical muck that is one ingredient short of being plastic. Your body does not recognized this as food and it will most likely make you sick.

 

7. If it came from nature, has not been processed, fortified or otherwise stuffed with, you can feel safe that you are on the right track. YIPEEE!

Enough said.

 

I promise it’s not rocket science folks, just eat real food. Don’t rely on Dietary Guidelines that have to be updated because they are wrong. Don’t rely on your GP for nutritional advice, except in exceptional circumstances, they are NOT trained in nutrition and for the most part are relying on badly written food guidelines. Rely on nature, and rely on your body. Your body will tell you if you are eating the wrong thing. I PROMISE, that if you are overweight it is not because you don’t exercise enough, it is because you are eating foods that are inflaming your body. And no that is not a reason not to exercise, exercise is vital to health however, it will not have a great influence on your weight. Yes I know, Shock Horror! ‘Energy In V/S Energy Out’ is yet another great myth, so you can stop counting calories RIGHT NOW. Phew, surely that will make you smile!

 

References:

(1) https://theconversation.com/the-real-cost-of-pesticides-in-australias-food-boom-20757

By Edwina Murphy

 

Only a year ago my daughter came home from school, proudly passing on all she had learnt about the food guidelines that she was being taught at school. They were the same guidelines, based on the food pyramid, that we had taught to us when I was at school (some 27 years ago!). Thankfully nearly 40 years after the food pyramid was released, they have given it a bit of an update. It is now marginally better. Sadly they had to wait until the original guidelines had wreaked devastating consequences to the health of many thousands of people, before they saw fit to change it.

The kids also came home with the HORRIFYING statistic that by they time they leave school 80% of their friends will be obese……… and yet the information they are being taught isn’t changing!!! Can anyone else see something wrong with this picture? ….. If we don’t change the way people are eating, as a society, this statistic will become a reality.  

einstein

So lets take a quick leap back in history and have a look at how we came to be in this crazy epidemic of disease ……

In the late 1970’s the USDA put together a team of nutritionist to come up with a food pyramid that was to set the standard for eating in the western world.

This is what the nutritionists came up with:

  • Cut down heavily on empty calories and health depleting junk food.
  • 5-9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • 5-7 ounces of Protein foods (meat, eggs, nuts, and beans)
  • 2-3 servings of dairy
  • 4 Tbsp of cold pressed fats like olive oil and flaxseed in addition to naturally occurring fats in food
  • 2-3 servings MAX of grains, and always in their whole form (this is equivalent to one sandwich).
  • Sugar should be well below 10% of total calories
  • Strictly limit refined carbohydrates

OK – this sounds like pretty sane information to me. SO WHAT WENT WRONG?

The above recommendations were sent off to the Secretary of Agriculture for approval.

This is what came back:

  • 6-11 serves of grain per day. Gone was the advise to eat only whole grains, leaving ultra-processed wheat and corn products back on the menu.
  • 4 servings of dairy
  • Cold pressed fats were removed
  • 2-3 servings of Fruit and Veg (this number was later doubled following pressure from the National Cancer Institute)
  • Moderate sugar intake (hmmmm what exactly should that mean? Moderate being only 6 cans of coke a day instead of 8 ???)

The team of nutritionists that came up with the original guidelines were horrified and predicted that this adjusted food guide would turn Americans Health into an inevitable train wreck. “No-one needs that much bread and cereal in a day unless they are elite athletes”, and giving Americans a free starch gorging pass would unleash an unprecedented epidemic of obesity and diabetes.

The following is the justification given by USDA for complete undoing the advice given:

The changes would help curb the cost of the food stamp program: fruits and vegetables were expensive and from a nutritional standpoint, the USDA considered them somewhat interchangeable with grains. Emphasising grains in the American diet would help food assistance programs stay within budget. (CRAZY!!!!)

To read further on this subject I recommend Death by Food Pyramid by Denise Minger.

Looking on 40+ years to 2016, what are our children facing now …

  • On the basis of present trends it is predicted that by the time our children reach the age of 20 they will have a shorter life expectancy than earlier generations simply because of obesity.
  • If weight gain continues at current levels, by 2025, close to 80% of all Australian adults and a third of all children will be overweight or obese [1].
  • Diabetes Australia Victoria statistics show 27,000 Victorians were diagnosed with the disease last year, the equivalent of 74 cases a day.
  • The stimulant prescription rate for Australian children increased 34-fold in the past two decades.
  • In addition to this more than 40,000 Australian children are on antidepressants and antipsychotics, some for ADHD including Strattera. Strattera is an antidepressant marketed as an ADHD drug with the strongest warning that can be placed on a drug in Australia, a “Boxed Warning” to warn of suicidal behaviour [2].
  • The 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Careers, showed an estimated 115,400 Australians (0.5%) had autism. This was a 79% increase on the 64,400 people estimated to have the condition in 2009 [3]. 
  • The “allergy epidemic” is a major public health issue predominantly facing Western countries, including Australia. There has been a rapid increase over the past 30 years in the prevalence of allergic conditions such as asthma, eczema and food allergy [4].

Today the Australian Government are still advocating dietary guidelines that recommend a consumption of grains that is equal to our consumption of Fruit and Veg. Not only this, they are pushing low fat dairy, continuing to feed the belief that fat makes you fat and unhealthy. To highlight the absurdity of this suggestion we need to understand that our brains require fat to work. In addition to this, the very nature of ‘low fat’ products is that they have been processed to removed the fat and then to worsen the situation further they add in a load of sugar to make the product palatable …. hmmmm ….. and some remain confused as to why our society continues to get sicker and sicker.

This is a link to view our current guidelines ……

https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/publications/N55_A4_DG_AGTHE_HiRes.pdf

Anyhoo here are the guidelines that I choose to follow, which are in line with the original suggestions that were sadly ignored by those that should have know better, nearly 40 years ago!

  • EAT REAL SEASONAL ORGANIC FOODS – (avoid processed foods, flavours, colours, numbers, preservatives and genetically modified foods (GMO’s)).
  • Ensure the largest portion on your plate is vegetables.
  • Eat fresh seasonal fruit
  • Eat organic, grass fed, free range, ethically produced meat – use your palm size as a guide to portion size.
  • Eat fats from nature, stay away from hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils. Great examples are avocados, nuts, coconut oil, and organic animal fats.
  • Consider dairy carefully.  I do advocate natural yoghurt, for those that can tolerate it, for the beneficial bacteria’s that are so crucial to a healthy gut.
  • Incorporate fermented foods into your daily food intake to support a healthy microbiome.
  • Be cautious when eating grains. I am not Paleo, and whilst being Paleo is awesome for many it is not right for all. I do however advocate being gluten free, there is enough evidence now to show that gluten is a real problem for the vast majority of people.  If you are eating grains please eat them minimally and educate yourself on the correct preperation methods. Choose organic, gluten free grains such as amaranth, buckwheat, rice, millet, quinoa, and sorgum.

Edwina Murphy-Droomer

  1. http://www.modi.monash.edu.au/obesity-facts-figures/obesity-in-australia/    2. http://www.cchr.org.au/adhd        3. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/4428.0Main%0Features32012        4. http://www.growingupinaustralia.gov.au/pubs/asr/2012/asr2012h.html

The Impact of BPA’s (Bisphenol A) on Human Health.

You may well have noticed that many plastic products and canned foods you now buy are proudly promoting the fact that they are BPA free. So is this something that you should be paying attention to?

What is BPA and why should we be avoiding it?

BPA or Bisphenol A is a synthetic oestrogen that is found in the epoxy coating of food cans as well as being a component of many plastics. In addition to this BPA is commonly employed as a colour developer in thermal papers. Consequently, BPA derived from thermal papers has been considered an important source of exposure for humans, since this chemical may migrate from paper to skin upon contact. (2)

BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.

Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and drinks, water bottles being one. (1)

Epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines.

Some dental sealants and composites also may contain BPA. (1)

There is a large body of information about the hazards of BPA to be found, and whilst there are still assurances of its safety from the FDA, it is safe to say that BPA’s are worth avoiding. They are unquestionably endocrine and metabolic disruptor’s in so far as they imitate other hormones, interfere with hormone signalling, tell cells to die prematurely, increase production of certain hormones and decrease production of others, and complete with essential nutrients.

Some useful tips to avoiding BPA’s

BPA free

  • Choose glass over plastic where ever possible
  • Avoid handling shopping receipts (thermal papers) as they are coated with BPA
  • Note companies whose packaging is registered as BPA free. (http://www.ewg.org/research/bpa-canned-food)
  • Carefully research any dental sealants and composites before agreeing to procedures.

References

Edwina Murphy