Demonising Macronutrients

For a long time we’ve been fighting “macro-nutrient wars.” Macronutrients refer to carbohydrates, protein and fats, and for the last 50 plus years we’ve been demonising at least one of them. In the late 70s through to the 90s it was fat that was the bad guy. We were told that if we just kept our fat low, everything would work out fine.* From the 2000s to present, the blame starts to move to carbohydrates. They became the villain that we all need to look out for. But this constant focus on macronutrients really misses the point. Because the biggest change to our eating over the last … [Read more...]

How Much Protein Do You Need?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article on how you can work out which are the best forms of carbohydrates for you. It was really well received; I got lots of shares, comments and emails. So I decided to give the same treatment to protein, which seems even more timely given the recent “red meat and processed meat will give you cancer” frenzy. (Something that comes up every 6 months or so, and which I have written about previously). So let’s start with what protein is needed for in the body. The short answer is: everything. Protein is digested and broken down to amino acids. These amino … [Read more...]

Is Meat As Bad As Smoking?

Last week my Facebook newsfeed was filled up with articles about “Meat Being As Bad As Smoking”. These articles (which you can see here, here and here) are because of an article that was published on the 4th March 2014 in the medical journal Cell Metabolism. This article was based on 18-year study conducted by the University of Southern California. Like many previous high-profile studies, this one has been released with much fanfare and hyperbole, using sensationalism to get people’s attention. The site has done a great job of analysing this study in detail, so rather than … [Read more...]

Post Exercise Eating

Exercise is one of the pillars of good health. What’s included in an exercise routine will differ from person to person but I don’t think you can truly be healthy without some form of regular exercise or movement. But exercise alone is not enough. To really reap the benefits of getting-your-sweat-on you need to be eating appropriately to match your chosen exercise. Food and exercise go hand in hand and getting your post-exercise meal right is just as important as your exercise routine. Exercise is a stress on the body. While the word stress has many negative connotations, it only becomes a … [Read more...]

An Ode To The Potato

For those of us in the Northern hemisphere we are heading into the cooler months. Despite the drawbacks of shorter days and walking the dog in the rain (twice a day…even in a torrential downpour…you’ve got to be kidding??), I am a fan of hearty food and love the winter grub. Today I want to write in defense of the humble potato. It regularly receives a bashing and is on most nutritionists and health advisors ‘avoid list’. I want to show why it doesn’t deserve its bad reputation and why it could be one of the best foods you include in your diet. So here goes, my ode to the potato. Most … [Read more...]

Food Hierarchy

There is a lot of confusion around what people should be eating and in my opinion, we need to go back to the basics. People are focusing on these tiny little details that make miniscule differences, but ignoring the really important stuff and the bigger picture. Everyone wants to know what are the healthy foods they should be eating or the things they should be avoiding without thinking about how all the other aspects of their diet also impact. In this post I want to give you a basic outline of how you should think about food, but more appropriately your diet in … [Read more...]

Bean Salad and Rice

Grabbing some take away for lunch can often be unhealthy or expensive (or both). Below is a quick and easy lunch option – bean salad with rice. It can be made in 10 minutes, even quicker if you have the bean salad on its own. Beans are a fantastic source of vegetarian protein and at about 70 pence a can they are incredibly cheap. Tomatoes contain a substance call lycopene, which helps protect the skin against UV damage. Perfect for this barmy British summer. Both onion and garlic are fantastic at fighting against microbes in the gut so help with digestion. All in all a really healthy lunch … [Read more...]