Everywhere we look there’s a new diet being touted as ‘the best way to get healthy – and stay healthy’.
We’re told to cut out food groups, fast for hours on end and only eat when we’re hungry … or is that only when we’re not hungry?!
It’s hard to keep up.
May 6 is International No Diet Day, an awareness campaign that’s been going since 1992. It aims to celebrate and encourage body acceptance through healthy lifestyles.
It’s about rebelling about the diet culture that is designed to make people strive for what is sometimes an unrealistic goal (and maybe make some profits off them at the same time).
So in the interests of being healthy and smashing down dangerous diet culture, The New Daily spoke to molecular nutritionist Dr Emma Beckett.
One of the biggest hurdles of turning over a healthy leaf is knowing where to start.
As we mentioned, there’s so many influencers, social media ‘experts’ and advertising agencies jumping at the chance to tell you how to get the body of your dreams.
Dr Beckett said the best thing we can do to improve our health immediately is simple and affordable.
“I’d definitely recommend bumping up your fibre and wholegrain intake,” she said.
“Fibre does so much for the body that we may not even realise. It’s one of the key things that helps to support your gut health which is responsible for a range of bodily functions including improving your mood, helping with skin breakouts, and keeping you feeling fuller for longer.”
We also asked Dr Beckett to dispel three of the biggest diet myths for us.
Here we go.
1. MYTH: The less fat you eat, the better
If you’re trying to maintain a healthy diet, fat is actually a really important nutrient for you to be consuming – the right type of fats of course.
Healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are found in foods such as nuts, cereals, fish, and avocado, and are imperative for giving you energy and rebuilding cells.
The fats you want to limit are trans and saturated fats you find in processed foods. In order to stay healthy, it’s all about finding the right balance – don’t restrict yourself!
2. MYTH: Fibre supplements are good substitutes for fibre-rich foods
Fibre is so important for our bodies as it feeds the good bacteria living in the gut, which promotes better digestive balance, supports gut health, and can also help to support immune health.
Many people struggle to meet their daily fibre intake, so they turn to supplement options instead. Supplements have their place, but it’s best to go for real food options first because foods have more benefits that come with the fibre, like nutrients and bioactive compounds.
Getting your daily fibre dose is actually really simple as there’s many high fibre options you’re probably already eating, like fibre-rich cereals such as All-Bran, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
3. MYTH: Healthy food is more expensive
Healthy food options do get a bad rap for being expensive, but they don’t have to be. Don’t get distracted by expensive “superfoods”.
There’s plenty of options you’re probably already adding to your shopping list, or easy ingredients you can start adding into your daily diet that are extremely economical and won’t go bad before you eat them.
- Related: Eat your way to better-looking skin
Take cereal for example; Sultana Bran is a great affordable option that provides you with fibre and wholegrains to support your gut health.
Fruit and vegetables are also simple and affordable editions to your diet that you can switch to if you’re craving a sweet snack during the 3pm slump.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive if you don’t want it to be and it doesn’t always need to be “Instagram quality”.