Here's my list of five things you may include in your everyday diet that, in my professional opinion, you should ditch! I've also given you some healthier alternatives!
5 - MULTIVITAMINS
Hang on, is a Nutritional Therapist telling me to ditch my multivitamins?? Yes! But hear me out before you tip them away! Multivitamins aren't all that bad, after all, you're getting at least some vitamins a day. The really cheap ones you can get from supermarkets aren't really worth it, however, if you can source a really good multivit, then it's better than nothing! But the reason I say to ditch them is simple. The amount of each vitamin you get from one capsule is usually so little, and most of the time, you may not even need half of them! Having high levels in some vitamins can even deplete others, so if your multivitamin is keeping one of your levels high, then it could actually be depleting your levels else where. It is important to note that I'm not talking about specific multis, like Vitamin B complexes for example. I'm talking about the one pill for all vitamins ones! So if multivitamins aren't the answer then what is? One pill for every single vitamin out there? Nope!!
High Quality Individual Vitamins/Minerals and Better Diet! – The most important note to make on this one is that above all, you should be looking at your diet, and what foods you can include, increase or limit and exclude to give you the right nutrients you need. Food is by far the best way to supplement your body as it is the most bio-available form of any supplement! If you have a limitation in your diet such as being vegetarian/vegan or an intolerance or allergy, then you need to look at other foods that will give you the nutrients you would usually get from the excluded food. Of course, there are high quality vitamins and minerals available out there, but these are best left for last resorts or exceptions. Exceptions like diet limitations, if you have a particularly low deficiency in a certain vitamin/mineral and also the availability of certain nutrients in food may steer you towards wanting to use supplements. If you choose the supplement route, it is highly advisable that you find ones that are high quality and have a reasonable potency to make it worth your time and money. You should never see supplements as the easy way out, or a replacement to a good diet, and you should never plan to take them long term without a professional opinion.
4 – MSG (Monosodium Glutamate)
Unfortunately, this one doesn't have a substitute! But I thought it was really important to include anyway! You should definitely consider cutting out MSG and other similar flavour enhancers. These are found in all types of food, take away, particularly Chinese takeaway, crisps, canned food and processed meats. It has been linked to headaches/migraines, weight gain and many other health problems. Many people will often feel bloated and some experience stomach pains after consuming MSG. It is very filling and tricks your mind into believing you are tasting more than you are! The good news is, as people can be allergic to this ingredient, if you are ordering fresh food that would usually contain MSG you can often ask for it to be left out! Just a thought next time you indulge in a Chinese takeaway!
3 – TABLE SALT
Now, I'm probably only saying things you've heard time and time again. There is no way around this one – table salt is bad for you. It clogs your arteries, causes all sorts of health problems, and it's already in so much of our food, just looking at the salt cellar probably isn't a good idea! So why add more to an already heavily salted diet? Well, if you're like me, and are quite fond of the odd salty snack, here's your way around the dangers!
Himalayan salt – Himalayan salt is packed with over 80 minerals and rich in iodine, so not only would you be making your food taste the way you like it, but you'd be contributing to your mineral and iodine intake too! If you can get a good source, it is 100% natural too, so no nasty additions. It does the opposite to table salt and helps with circulation and blood pressure. It's cheap and there is no taste difference. The best part about Himalayan salt is that it is so bio-available to your body, you can pour a mountain of pink goodness onto your meal if you'd like (I won't judge!)
2 - COOKING OIL
Yuck, yuck, yuck! If you've ever seen how the popular cooking oils are made, you wouldn't want to touch a single drop ever again! I'm talking about any vegetable oil, sunflower oil, you name it! If it's yellow, runny and comes in plastic bottle, don't trust it! Not only are these extremely fattening, but the majority of them come from a GM source. It is also worthy to note that cooking "sprays" aren't any better. The amount of chemicals in them to make them "diet friendly" is only going to do you more harm than good. Regular cooking oil (including olive oil) has a certain temperature that it'll reach when being cooked where it turns into trans-fats. These fats are harmful to the body, and as the body doesn't know how to process them, it ends up being stored on the body straight as fat. I'm sure we all already know that fat leads to problems like heart disease, and although cooking with Olive oil is better than most, it doesn't trump my alternative!
Coconut oil – Replace any and all of your cooking oils with coconut oil! It doesn't have to be as expensive as some places like to sell it for, and it doesn't even have to taste or smell like coconut! (Make sure you get a minimally refined version of the oil if you do want it to be odour and tasteless!) This oil doesn't do that turning into trans-fats business, which makes it much more bio-available to the body. In places where coconut oil is popular, the population are extremely healthy. It increases your energy, which means it helps you be more active and also reduces hunger, giving you the opposite effect to regular cooking oil. Coconut oil helps fight off infections, so cooking with it you are actually building a stronger immune system! It boosts brain function which has been linked to helping Alzheimer's. You can also just eat a spoonful a day to help with weight loss! And if I still haven't sold it to you, it has almost 101 other uses too, so you'll never see any go to waste!
And finally the big one, above all else, this is the one you should be doing most!!
1 – SUGAR AND ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS
Sugar is becoming increasingly unpopular, especially in the media, what with the sugar tax and Jamie Oliver's sugar campaign in schools, all whilst the sugar itself, is becoming increasingly popular in foods. Part of my candida detox included me not eating a single grain of sugar (Including natural sugars). At the time I thought it would be easy, just cut out the sweet stuff, but it wasn't until I read the labels that I realised that unless something is home made or fresh ingredients, it almost always has added sugar. You probably don't need me to tell you that sugar is bad for you. It's linked to obesity, heart problems, the list goes on and on. It's also been linked to cancer! Now, sugar taxes and bans are a great idea, if everyone wasn't pushed onto Artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, Acesulfame K, sucralose and Saccharin. Those are just their popular names, each one can also be listed under different names too! These are even worse than sugar! They are in low fat, low/no sugar foods and drinks, even in crisps, sweets, chocolate, pre-packaged foods, you name it. Even if they aren't low fat or low/no sugar, they can still contain these nasty ingredients. This is because they are much cheaper than sugar to use, so more and more food companies have started using them to replace sugar. The fact they are in "diet" food is really, in my opinion, a joke. They are linked to weight gain and obesity! The list of bad things these sweeteners cause is a long as my arm so I urge you to look these up for yourself. You can read our full article on Artificial sweeteners here: http://www.shopholistic.com/blog/goodtoknow-health-info/the-notsosweet-truth-about-sweeteners
I would just like to emphasise that whilst sugar is bad for you, it is the much better option over Artificial sweeteners! So if you have a sweet tooth and I've said no sugar, and no artificial sweeteners, then what can we use?
Xylitol – There are a couple of other sugar substitutes that are okay, but my favourite is Xylitol. It tastes exactly the same as sugar and can be used as a direct replacement, including in baking! It was a godsend for me and my sweet tooth during my candida detox as it is safe for Candida and diabetes sufferers! It has half the amount of calories as sugar, so really helps with losing weight (and remember, just because something might be calorie free, like the artificial sweeteners, does not mean it won't make you gain weight!) I deal with customers who swear by this product for their weight loss and healthier lifestyle, myself included!
So there you have it! My top five things I think people should be eliminating from their every day diet. If you don't do all of them, at least do number one and work your way down slowly! Also, baby steps are still steps! Maybe try at least cutting down on what I have talked about here! Remember, it'll be better than nothing!
Products I've talked about:
Coconut Oil: http://www.shopholistic.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=84&search=coconut (odour and tasteless)
http://www.shopholistic.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=86&search=coconut (taste and smell of coconut)
Himalayan Salt: http://www.shopholistic.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=132&search=hima (different sizes are available)
High Quality and potency vitamins and minerals: http://www.shopholistic.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=104_25
You can find many more articles about health and diet on our website blog, including more in depth discussion on what I have touched on here.
All our articles can be found here: http://www.shopholistic.com/blog.html
Article by Beth Bryant, Nutritional Therapist, Director of Shop Holistic Ltd