A little insight into…


Following on from my last post I thought I would take this opportunity to share my approach to food and give you an idea of what my nutritional philosophy is as a professional.

As a Dietitian I often get asked if I support or oppose a particular approach to eating.  Do I think everyone should be Vegan? Or Vegetarian?  Do I promote Low Carb? Paleo? Or raw food, perhaps?  What ‘label’ do I apply to my eating and which one is best?

It’s a question which often frustrates me. Mainly because when I  give my response, people tend to give me that puzzled look, you know, one eyebrow raised….a knowing smile….like I’m crazy and obviously have no idea what I am talking about. Or worse, that I’m a cop out and can’t make up my mind.

But the truth is, I’m none of these things.  I don’t think there is one way of eating that suits all people.   We are all different.  We have different lifestyles, nutritional requirements and financial circumstances.  As long as your approach is one that meets your bodies’ nutritional needs, promotes your physical and mental well being and makes you happy, I’m not one to argue.

Are you making that face?  ;)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m likely to (politely) disagree with you if you promote some of the nonsensical pseudoscience that the creators of some ‘diets’ claim as fact, or if your approach to eating may cause you harm.  I also have opinions (based on science and experience) on how people can change their diets for the better if they seek my counsel.  In my day to day practice of Dietetics my focus is on real food, a realistic approach and getting results.   But who am I to tell you that you don’t feel great, look better or find it easy to lose weight through a particular school of eating?  My job is not to dictate, but to advise.

All that said, no matter what your preferred approach to food, I think the following holds true:

  • We should try where possible to eat ‘real food’ (i.e. whole, unprocessed foods with minimal ingredients on the label)
  • Added Sugar is bad for your waistline, your teeth and maybe your health
  • Natural Omega 3 fats are the healthiest way to get your ‘fat quota’ (and ‘trans fats are the worst)
  • Your should get your nutrients from ‘real food’ & not supplements if possible
  • Including fruit and vegetables in your diet will make you healthier
  • Health is not just about your diet, it’s about your whole lifestyle

What’s your approach to a healthy diet? Feel free to share in the comments!


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10 Responses

  1. Mr Blobby
    October 14, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Eat more veg?

    • helen
      October 21, 2013 at 1:55 am

      Yes Mr Blobby ;)

  2. Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean
    October 14, 2013 at 10:44 am

    love it! great advice!

    • helen
      October 14, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Thanks Lindsay! :)

  3. Tan Tan
    October 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Hels, love the advice, thank you… I know we have had many a discussion about this, usually over a huge plate of something delicious or a large glass of vino… However, just thought I’d ask. I have always been under the impression that if you exercise then you can pretty much eat what you want. However, I was recently told that its 60% diet and 40% exercise? :(
    I’m trying to shift about half a stone, just to fit back into old clothes, I’m exercising heaps but should I simply put less food past these lips of mine? Tans xxxx

    • helen
      October 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      Hey Tan! I’m not really sure about the percentages?! It’s great that you are exercising heaps but you need to create a calorie deficit to lose weight. So if you’re not losing you might just need to have a closer look at what you are actually eating. It’s easy to overeat without really realising it. Try tracking your exercise and intake with an online app (like My Fitness Pal) and keep an eye on your portions! If you want me to have a look over things email me and we can talk it through :) H xo

      • Tan Tan
        October 20, 2013 at 6:31 pm

        Thanks hels, yeah I think I def need to watch my portions, problem is I could probably eat any man under the table if I wanted too ( and sometimes I do)! Maybe I ‘ll write a food diary and send it to you, see where I’m going wrong xxx

  4. Lauren
    October 21, 2013 at 1:17 am

    Great advice! It’s best to keep it as simple as possible. I always say that your diet should be individualized, choose real food most of the time, and enjoy life with treats occasionally.

    • helen
      October 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm

      Sounds good to me Lauren! :)

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