I’ve mentioned before that taking advice from unqualified celebrities when it comes to health is a bad idea. While they might be well intentioned, good intentions are not the same a good advice. On that note – please stay away from goop.com – the health, wellness and lifestyle business operated by Gwyneth Paltrow. There’s too much in it that is either misinformed of frankly dangerous to take a chance that something in it might be useful.
According to research by behavioural scientists from Australia’s CSIRO, most Australians tend to over-think, have too high expectations and are anxious about failure – all of which can derail the best intentions when it comes to shedding unwanted kilograms (or pounds if you prefer).
They found there are five behavioural “Diet Types” with the over-thinking, anxious perfectionist the predominant type.
A recent article, published at the CSIRO blog discusses the impact of dairy product consumption on weight management. I hate the term weight loss – it implies lighter is always better whereas healthy is what we are really striving for.
There is no one-size-fits-all (excuse the pun) solution we are advocating here – for various reasons, you may prefer a different dietary route to weight loss. But, for many people, increased dairy intake can help knock off the kilos while still staying healthy.
You can read the full article here.
Light or “lite”, 99% fat-free, reduced fat, low fat, less fat, reduced calorie, low calorie, lean, extra lean – are products with these labels always healthier?
First, let’s talk about fat. Fat in foods and drinks is either unsaturated (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, the latter as omega-3 or -6; or trans-fats), saturated.
These differ based on their chemical structures and properties, including whether they are “saturated” with more hydrogen atoms and are liquid or solid at room temperature. They also differ in their effects on human health.
There are many dimensions you can measure your health by. You can use BMI – although we know that’s flawed. Or you can use VO2 Max as a measure of your cardiovascular system. But most of us, including doctors, fall back on the simplest measurement – weight.
Why is this? And what’s the impact?
A recent study in the International Journal of Obesity looked at a number of different factors that can be used to assess health and found that weight was, at best, a very coarse measure.
Low carb, high protein, paleo, 5-2 – why is trying to find a decent eating plan that is healthy, fuels your activity and aids exercise recovery so hard? There are more “eating systems” out there with celebrity endorsements or backed by shonky science, or poorly interpreted science, than you can point a stick at.
And then there’s FODMAP. The name is an acronym of Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. These are specific types of carbohydrates, common in western diets, that have been linked to a number of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Let’s look at what FODMAP stands for in a little more detail
Learning how to eat after getting into bad habits can be difficult. Food labels are often misleading, sometimes deliberately, and many foods have hidden fat and sugar that can make the kilos creep on.
When I was starting to improve my diet, it was essential to learn how to read labels accurately. Please note, though, these are guidelines, not rules, and aren’t meant to be prescriptive. There’s a lot more to a healthy diet than avoiding sugar and bad fats, and I am all for eating treats without guilt.
But if you’re trying to eat better, here’s a quick cheat sheet that may assist next time you’re in the supermarket aisles.
Most people, when they start an exercise and diet program, focus on one number – their weight. Standing on the scale each day, or even more often, becomes an obsession. Every kilogram or pound that comes off is a victory and any increase can be very discouraging.