“Let food be thy medicine”.
What exactly is good nutrition? Simply put, it means that all the minerals, nutrients and macronutrients that the body requires are included in the diet, and substances detrimental to the body like sugar and processed foods are avoided.
Foods to include
The best foods are always those that are fresh. A good diet should be based around the following:
- Fresh fruit and vegies (not frozen, canned or pre-prepared) – preferably organic.
- Clean protein. Nuts, lean meat, eggs and fish. Meat should be preferably grass fed.
- Healthful oils and fats. Olive oil, nuts, avocados, fish, coconut oil and organic butter.
- Pure water and herbal teas.
Foods to avoid
- Anything packaged, tinned, frozen or dehydrated.
- This includes sweets/lollies, chocolate (unless more than 70% dark), soft drinks, refined fruit juices, and sugar added to coffee and tea.
- Pasta, breads and processed white rice. These contain high amounts of carbohydrates that contribute to insulin resistance and obesity.
A well-balanced diet
Even if you’re not planning on losing weight, there is plenty of solid research indicating that high carb diets are likely to blame for the skyrocketing rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and even cancer. They impair blood sugar sensitivity and signal the body to store fat, rather than burn it. So what can replace this rather large gap in Western diets? There is good evidence to show that a balanced diet, complete with fresh fruit and vegies, ample protein and healthful fats are more efficient at inducing satiety (fullness) and reducing caloric intake overall. These foods will also be far richer in the vitamins and minerals the body requires, rather than providing almost pure energy.
Since the 1950’s, the medical profession has been adamant that saturated fats, in particular cholesterol, are damaging to the cardiovascular system. This myth has now been debunked, with numerous studies showing that not only do we need cholesterol for various functions in the body (including brain and reproductive health), but that consuming reduced amounts may be a causative factor in conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
Despite this, there are still good and bad fats. Fried and fast foods must be avoided at all costs because they contain hydrogenated fats that are extremely dangerous to the human body.
 Varela, N. (2012). Relationship of consumption of high glycaemic index food in the diet and levels of Hba1C in type 2 diabetic patients treated with diet/metformin. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2012 Mar;62(1):23-9.
 Schreurs, B.D. (2010).The Effects of Cholesterol on Learning and Memory. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2010 Jul; 34(8): 1366–1379.
Eating well is a choice
Good nutrition is not complicated, but it must be a conscious choice and one you take responsibility for. Avoiding fast food after a long day at the office may not seem appealing, but when all it takes to make a healthy dinner are a few fresh veggies and pan-fried fish, suddenly it becomes more appealing when it only takes a few minutes to prepare.
Planning ahead is important. Plan your meals for the week, so that you have the ingredients at home. Do some research on one of the many cooking websites that contain a plethora of fast, fresh and healthy meals that take under 15 minutes. taste.com.au is a good start.
Nutrition for kids
Getting kids to eat well early on is especially important. Research shows that if kids have poor eating habits during childhood, they are far more likely to carry those habits into adulthood. Can it be done? Of course! The best way is to get the kids involved in cooking. Ask them to help you choose the vegetables, or get them to watch while you gather the ingredients and add them in. Ask them what they think each one is. Meals should be a family affair.
Why choose organic food?
Organic fruits and vegetables are naturally higher in vitamins and minerals than their mass-produced counterparts. They are also free from herbicides, pesticides and genetically modified components, which have all been shown to have significant and detrimental effects on human health. While more expensive, they make up for this in nutrient content and taste. Organic, grass fed meat is also excellent, but can be significantly more expensive than conventional meat. Organic butter and full fat dairy also contain higher levels of nutrients and taste fantastic.
Health & Wellness Program
At Nepean Naturopathic Centre, we have created a Health & Wellness Program to benefit not only those who would like to manage their weight, but also for those who feel their diet may be lacking in some areas and need advice.
During the consultation, we will explore your diet using the latest in dietary software, and assist in highlighting areas that may need improvement. We’ll take you through each step and design a personalised diet and lifestyle plan to help you achieve your wellness goals.
If you’d like to know more, please click on the ‘Contact Us’ tab and follow the link.
It is time to Live Well!
Call 03 9785 7885 for further information or click below to make an appointment.