It seems that the NHS is tackling healthy eating by looking at the amount of fat, sugar and salt we eat. So rather than ‘going on a diet’ we are being encouraged to look at what’s actually in the food we are eating now.
So what’s wrong with ‘going on a diet’?
Many so called slimming diets involve a form of starvation. By that I mean it is not a balanced diet. There are risks of fluid and electrolyte inbalances and lean tissue can be lost which means that because the body thinks it has been in a state of starvation as soon as you resume normal eating then there can be a rapid increase in weight . It can be a like a rebound effect.
So what is the best way of reducing the amount of fat and sugar?
First of all the government is in talks with supermarkets over reducing the amount of these substances in foods that they sell.
But I’m sure we all know when we are eating unwisely whether it’s a bar of chocolate or a cream cake but where I think we have been let down is not realising the amounts of these substances in every day food. A typical 35G pack of crisps contains about 2.5 teaspoons of cooking oil and a tin of baked beans has a total of 5.8G of sugar.
So I think if we examine our own food –where are the hidden sugars, salt and fat and start by reducing that and eating more vegetables and healthy fats such as omega 3 in oily fish and avocado is another ‘good fat’ then small changes can start to make a difference. Sustainable changes where we are not attempting anything too drastic.
Are there any magic potions out there?
Well I was looking at some research carried out with green tea. And a lot of aids for weight loss contain the ingredients in the tea catechins and caffeine and this was a review of research carried out on overweight adults. The researchers looked at studies mainly from Japan and found that green tea appeared to show a small but statistically insignificant weight loss in obese adults and it had no significant effect on the maintenance of weight loss. In other words there was a slight benefit initially but did not prove a help long term.
At the end of the day there are no surprises. If you eat less and exercise more then you WILL lose weight.