This time of year many people start the “dieting” process. By next month, over half will have given up.
There are so many fad diets out there – whether it’s low carb, low fat, caveman diet, soup diet or juicing diet. These are simply not sustainable in the long term. For us at Peak, it is so important to get the message across that healthy eating should become part of your lifestyle. There is no “quick fix” or magic potion. Eating clean, unprocessed food and seeing food as a way to nourish and fuel your body, rather than depriving yourself and giving in to temptation, means you are more likely to stay in it for the long haul.
We have debunked some diet myths below:
1. Fats are bad for you
Obviously food that is deep fried is not going to be nourishing to your body, but many people think that if something is high in fat, it is automatically bad for you. Take an avocado for example – at Peak we LOVE these! It is indeed high in fat, but the type of fats that are the good ones which contribute to good hair and nail growth. Avocados are also a great source of fibre and contain more potassium than a banana. Avocados contain healthy fats which are good for your heart and help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Nuts are another food which are seen to be high in fat, so many “dieters” steer clear of these. But almonds and walnuts are great sources of selenium, magnesium and vitamin E – again great for healthy skin and hair. Cashew nuts contain iron and zinc which is a brilliant energy source. Having these kinds of foods as a snack or incorporated into your main meal is a nutritious way of ensuring your body is fuelled with the right type of food to give you the energy you need, without the comedown of a high sugar snack.
2. Low fat food is the best alternative
Many of the “processed” low fat supermarket alternatives contain added sugars. For example yoghurts – taking away the fat from the yoghurt means invariably the taste needs to be substituted and they do this by adding sugar and flavourings. So maybe think twice before reaching for a low fat flavoured yoghurt and instead opt for some full fat Greek yoghurt with a banana and some seeds and a dash of cinnamon or honey (if you really need the sweetness) – this is a great way to get the potassium and calcium your body needs. It is also a great post workout snack, as it contains protein which is essential for muscle repair and probiotics which are great for a healthy digestive system.
3. Chocolate is bad for you
Of course chocolate containing lots of sticky, gooey caramel and flavours will have some extras and be fairly high in sugar. But some good quality dark chocolate can be a great way of stimulating the feel good endorphins and making us feel happy – who doesn’t like chocolate, right? Dark chocolate contains fibre, iron and magnesium and it a great antioxidant. Dark chocolate can also help lower blood pressure and improve brain function – so you heard it here – Chocolate is good for you!
At Peak, we are firm believers that whilst having goals to work towards is a great idea (it keeps us motivated and challenges us), when it comes to diet, it is important that you see food as essential to give your body the nutrients it needs to function. There is no magic wand or timeframe. It should be a long term commitment to your health and become a lifestyle. That way, if you are eating well most of the time and giving your body what it needs, you will not feel bad about having a glass of wine, pudding or takeaway. We’re all human and you’ve got to enjoy yourself – so eat well for your body and if you want a slice of pizza – have one (just not every day!)