BBC1 THE TRUTH ABOUT CARBS – NOT ENTIRELY TRUE

The truth about carbs aired on BBC1 on June 6th 2018 and to be honest was under scrutiny before it had even started. The title was enough to make me nervous and I knew there would be social media outcry from the nutrition world.

Being frank, the underlying message of the show is correct, we should be eating more fruit and veg, but the way the messaging comes across is poor at best.

I’m not going to spend too long on this, as I have actual clients who need educating (and now potentially) re-educating about why they need carbs in their life, however here’s a few red flags:

* White & beige carbs – used to describe sugar based items and starch based items - really? How about we just call them sugary carbs and starchy carbs. And recognise that it’s ok to have a chocolate chip cookie or a slice of bread, probably not a good habit to eat the entire pack though.
* Good and bad are used to describe food items frequently, not helpful. No food should be referred to with these terms.
* Comparing the sugar content of strawberries to white rice. Irrespective of the fact that this just doesn’t make sense and is a poor nutritional comparison, you would never substitute strawberries for white rice or vice versa = unhelpful. Let alone their energy density, micro nutrients or fibre content.
* Let’s swap lasagne sheets for aubergine – Italians will be mortified and you may as well just swap the beef mince for lamb and call it moussaka.

But it’s not all bad, and credit where credit’s due.
* Bowel cancer gets some great exposure. Being the 4th most common cancer in the UK (1) and typically in the male gender is something that’s not openly discussed it highlights the importance of getting checked and the role of increased fibre in the diet. Resistant starch also gets some air time.
* In the concluding remarks there is some positive language used around carbohydrates, and helpful advice like opting for a wholemeal or sourdough bread. Real life changes the public can relate to.

Under no circumstances believe everything this documentary has to say, but definitely eat more fruit and veg, and use wholegrain varieties where you can.

References
1. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/bowel-cancer

IS NUT MILK NUTRITIONALLY SUPERIOR THAN COWS MILK?

Nut milks have risen to fame over recent years as the non-dairy market has grown in popularity. Many supermarkets are now selling nut milks, which makes them easily accessible for the general public. And whilst nut milks are a great alternative for those who are allergic or intolerant to dairy products, for those who don’t have any problems with dairy products it shouldn’t be replaced.
So how do they stack up, nutrient wise, per 100ml


*Almond and coconut milk data provided by Alpro, Cows milk from the UK Dairy Council
Yes nut milks are lower in calories, fat and sugar, however they are also lower in protein a vital macronutrient essential for muscle repair, strong bones and cell metabolism. Cows milk is actually one of the most complete sources of carbohydrates and protein to use to refuel after intense exercise, it is however very underutilised. You’ll also notice that nut milks contain around a third of the vitamin B12 content that cows milk provide. Vitamin B12 comes naturally from animal sources and therefore nut milks are fortified with this vitamin but not to the same level. It’s absolutely essential for immune health and normal red blood cell maintenance.
So I say, 100% test out nut milks, and if you like them then ADD them to your diet but not at the detriment of cows milk. And personally, nut milks just aren’t for coffee, it’s wrong on so many levels….

EATING LATE AT NIGHT: WILL IT CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN?

I get asked this question frequently, especially by clients who want to lose weight.
It’s a theory that’s been around for a long time now but is really utter crap. A calorie deficit is the cause of weight loss, it’s science and fact and therefore as long as you burn more calories than you consume you will result in a net weight loss.

That being said there are of course other things to consider.
Eating late at night can lead to food not being digested properly, particularly if we go to sleep straight away. This can in turn lead to discomfort whilst trying to get to sleep and can lead to a restless and broken sleep.
Sleeping less than 6-7 hours a night, especially if its broken is proven to impact our food choices the following day. In fact a recent meta-analysis showed that on average people will consume an excess of around 385 calories without expending any extra energy and no change in resting metabolic rate (1).

A reduced sleep time can also impact decision making skills which can relate to food choices. We’ve all been there when we are tired and irritable and the very first thing we want to eat isn’t particularly nourishing.
So eating late at night per se may not make you gain weight but it’s the knock effects that could. If youo are truly hungry then opt for something light and easily digestible like some fruit, raw veg and hummus or a nice hearty bowl of soup
1. Sleep deprivation may cause people to eat more calories. HK Al Khatib et al, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition