Fruit isn’t making you fat. Create SANE habits to eat well!

Let’s begin in the USA, circa 1960’s, aka the ‘Corn Syrup Revolution.’ During the decades that followed, we, the public were educated (or some might say brainwashed by the manufacturers of cereals and margarine!) on the importance of a low-fat, high-fibre diet. Think “eat your cereal and pasta fortified with fibre!” If you browse Netflix, you will find plenty of documentaries on the above topic.

Let’s fast forward to the present day. The new advice is a high fat, high protein, low carb diet. You don’t have to go far to find a protein yoghurt or coconut imitation of almost anything.

So is a high-fat diet another fad? We say yes. It’s trending right now, and like its predecessor (the low-fat diet) it is being misunderstood and perhaps taken too far.

Fact: Swapping your bowl of bran flakes for a coffee made with coconut oil and butter will not be the deciding factor in your quest for the perfect diet.

Sugar is now the enemy, and refined carbs have no place in society. Sorry pasta lovers, it’s a no-go.

However, if the above is true then why don’t the Italians (in general the lovers of bread and pasta and gelatos), rank higher regarding national obesity levels?

It’s mainly due to one key, simple factor: portion control.

If a so called “bad food” gives you immense pleasure and satisfaction then perhaps it does have a place in a balanced diet. Fact: the occasional scoop of ice cream or a small plate of pasta is not the reason you aren’t losing weight or don’t feel healthy. In fact, occasional treats make you happy, and happiness is an important part of wellness.

Would eating ice cream and pasta every day make you happy? No, it would make you lethargic, overweight, and perhaps lead to diabetes.

Does eating one apple in the morning lead to obesity? We will let your intuition answer that. (Hint: One apple has around 11g of fructose and contains antioxidant rich nutrients and fibre. Yes fructose takes longer to digest in some people but this is one single apple, not a fruit salad!).

The acronym SANE eating may help you make healthy food choices:

Satiety:  How much food satisfies us, or how quickly food fills us up and how long it keeps us full.  Focus on high-Satiety foods.
Aggression:  How fast food raises the level of glucose in our blood.  Focus on un-Aggressive foods.
Nutrition:  How nutritious food is per calorie.  Focus on highly Nutritious foods.
Efficiency:  How efficient our fat metabolism system is at converting food into body fat.  Focus on inEfficient foods.

High carb, low-fat diets: the aforementioned “cereal” advice will:

• Not be satiating
• Be aggressive (it’s so processed and packed full of simple sugar)
• Not have much nutrition
• Prove to be very efficient at being stored as fat

However, the above is based on a low quality (inSANE) carbohydrate source. Now let’s apply this to a single portion of fruit: the combination of the vitamins, minerals, and fibre, will ensure it ranks more SANEly.

Lesson: All carbs aren’t bad, you don’t need to strike them all out! It’s about SANE choices and balance.

For more information, try reading The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Bailor.

To summarise: a plate of fruit is not a great breakfast. A plate of eggs is not a great breakfast. A plate of any one thing is not a great breakfast. Your plate should be brightly (naturally) coloured and a sane mix of protein, carbs, fibre, fats and nutrients. Listen to your body and how it reacts to different combinations. You are unique!

Aim for high fibre, lower fructose fruit and veg, eat plenty of lean protein, and don’t be afraid of a little of the good stuff occasionally.

Perhaps adopt the Italian approach; if you’re entertaining guests and you want some amazing pasta then why not have a small portion followed by a meat course (and a scoop of gelato to finish!)

WL’s “Sane” day-to-day eating tips:

• Get some protein in for breakfast (eggs in a variety of ways)
• Layer all main plates of food with leafy greens
• Eat more veg than fruit
• Earn your carbs (around exercise)
• Avoid high quantities of fat and carbs in the same meal
• Drink water!

Does your employer provide nutritional advice or education? Our programmes teach simple, effective methods that help employees thrive. Delivered by top nutritionist Lily Soutter 

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