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Articles Lifestyle Food: Fact or Fiction?
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Food: Fact or Fiction?

food fact or fiction

Low-carb, high-fat, paleo, sugar-free, raw food, organic… With so many differing ‘expert’ opinions on what we should and shouldn’t be putting into our bodies, it’s fair to say that most of us are a little confused.

We chat to Dietician Themis Chryssidis from Sprout Health Studio to help us sort dietary fact from fiction.

1. Fruit is bad for you

Fiction

Fruit contains a type of carbohydrate called fructose, an important source of energy for our body. Fruit is also a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and much more. And while you can over-eat fruit – just as you can over-eat chocolate, lollies and cake – the difference is that fruit provides a range of nutritional benefits those other options don’t.

2. Juices are healthy

Fact and Fiction

It depends on what’s gone into it. Generally speaking juices are ‘healthy’, but whole fruits and vegetables are better.

Juices can deliver a concentrated source of fructose but without many of the benefits offered by the fruit itself, such as fibre and antioxidants (often found in the skin of the fruit). Before you juice your fruits, lay them out in front of you. If you wouldn’t usually eat in one sitting what you’re about to drink, then don’t juice it. By consuming all of this food much more rapidly in liquid form, you’re by passing your brain’s natural satiety regulator that gives you the sensation of feeling full. Instead, start eating the fruit and you’ll likely get halfway, be sick of chewing, feel full and ultimately eat less.

3. High-fat diets are good for you

Fiction

Fat slows down the digestion process so you’ll feel full more quickly. Eating a high-fat diet means you should consume less food and ultimately reduce your total energy intake. But, because fat contains 37 kilojoules per gram, you don’t have to eat much of it to reach the recommended average daily energy intake of 8700 kilojoules.

The trick is to eat small amounts of healthy fats throughout the day. Aim for polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as fish, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds and limit your intake of saturated fats from animal foods and processed foods, which increase the risk of heart disease.

4. A high-protein diet is the way to go

Fiction

A diet too high in protein can lead to an increase in saturated fat and low fibre intake which can ultimately put you at risk of developing bowel cancer, colon cancer and heart disease. Instead, eat high-quality unrefined carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads and brown rice and consume small amounts of lean proteins.

5. Fresh is better than frozen (or vice versa)

Fiction

As the nutrient profile of a product decreases once it’s been picked and exposed to oxygen, snap-freezing freshly picked fruits and vegetables reduces this process of deterioration. Although, fresh fruits and vegetables are more enjoyable due to their noticeably better texture and more intense flavour due to not being water-logged. The solution? If in season, eat fresh; if out of season, eat frozen.

Experience Health Partners Generous

Themis Chryssidis is an Accredited Practising Dietitian at Sprout Health Studio – a multidisciplinary health care studio in Adelaide. He has a Bachelor of Psychology, a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics and a Cert IV in Fitness.

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