A Healthy Balanced Diet
There are a number of diet gurus and food industry representatives trying to propagate the concept of excluding food groups in order to achieve weight loss. This is contrary to what dietitians recommend. We want to instill the concept that a combination of a balanced diet and adequate physical activity is the mantra to good health.
One such fad in the recent times is that of labeling carbohydrates as the enemy food. In other words trying to suggest that by avoiding carbohydrates, we are more likely to achieve our weight loss goals. This is based on the concept that carbohydrates such as refined breads and cereals, soft drinks, fruit juices and sport drinks get absorbed very easily into the blood, resulting in hunger and overeating. This does not hold true for all carbohydrates. Examples of healthy carbohydrates include wholegrain cereals, oats, bran, fruits and vegetables which do not get absorbed into the blood as easily, promoting satiety and therefore reducing the occurrence of overeating. These are the low GI carbohydrates. GI stands for Glycaemic index, which is a measure of how fast or slow a carbohydrate-containing-food gets absorbed in the body.
The long term efficacy of weight loss achieved by reducing carbohydrate intake is debatable – because the weight loss achieved can be loss of muscle protein and water loss.
The body often uses muscle protein in the absence of available glucose as a fuel. Cutting out carbohydrates from the diet can lead to nutritional inadequacies, such as low vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and dietary fibre. As a result of low consumption of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and wholegrains. This may eventually cause other health concerns such as constipation and headache.
Reducing carbohydrate and increasing fat intake
Excess consumption of fats by virtue of decreased consumption of carbohydrates can have negative impacts on lipid profiles especially if the fats consumed includes saturated and trans fats found in soft drinks and fried foods. Higher level of protein consumption can affect renal function, kidney and liver.60% of our energy comes from carbohydrates.
Therefore instead of trying to cut out carbohydrates entirely from our diet, we should opt for healthier versions of carbohydrates. The focus of a healthy diet should be not only to achieve weight loss but also to ensure that we are obtaining all the required nutrients
This article was written by our Dietitian Juhi Bhambhaney who is a member of Dietitians Association of Australia. If you have questions about nutrition, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today!