Nutrition basics

Understand the science to make informed choices

There is so much conflicting nutrition advice out there telling you how to lose weight and achieve health.

“Eat less fat.”

“Eat more of this superfood.”

“Cut calories.”

“Adjust your macros.”

“Lower carb!”

It is all very confusing and it’s easy to get caught up or obsessed with a single piece of advice. Most diets tell us the “what”  for a quick fix. But a lot of programs don’t give us any information about the “why.”

Rather than telling you what you can and can’t have, I want to educate you on why certain things might work for your body and why others won’t. I have written extensively about some of the very basics of nutrition to empower you to make sensible choices. I think we can all look after ourselves a lot better if we understand why certain things work and others don’t

 

Back to basics: What makes up our food?

In these articles we look at some of the very basics of nutrition starting with simply breaking down what is in our food: calories, macronutrients, minerals and vitamins.

Adrenal fatigue – everything you need to know

“Adrenal fatigue” refers to a cluster of conditions where the adrenal glands become overworked and unable to produce the right balance of hormones. In a society where we value hard work, deal with financial stress and often don’t meet our nutritional needs, the occurrence of stress related fatigue is epidemic. In this article I cover the basics of adrenal fatigue and why it is critical that we all de-stress a little to support our physical and mental health.

Why our ancestors would not recognise today’s “food”

Today the western diet bears little resemblance to what our bodies have evolved to eat. While we might like to think of ourselves as completely different to our ancestors of 40,000 years ago, the truth is 99.9% of our genetics are the same! Of course our intelligence...

Five inflammatory foods that are doing you damage

Food can be the most powerful form of medicine, or the slowest form of poison. If you’ve been following me for a while, then you will know just how much the food we eat impacts our health. But some of the things we eat on a daily basis are some of the most...

How chronic stress can kill you

We live in a world full of stress -busy jobs, tight finances, relationships. But our bodies can’t tell the difference between chronic emotional stress, and a life threatening situation. In this article I will teach you about the very important parasympathetic vs sympathetic states and how these stress responses effect every cell in your body. 

Why protein is critical to human health

Protein is the building block of life. Muscle, neurotransmitters, hormones and many other critical parts of the human body is made from proteins.
Learn why consuming protein is so important and understand which forms that your body will absorb.
Plus a key recommendation to support gut health.

Fats, prostaglandins and anti-inflammatory drugs

An important part of nourishing yourself well is including plenty of healthy fats in the diet. Fats are the building blocks of many things in the body including cells, hormones and prostaglandins, regulators of inflammation. Fat can be either saturated (butter, beef...

What’s the deal with dairy?

“Drink your milk so you grow up big and strong.” I imagine there are not many readers who didn’t hear this phrase at least once or twice as they grew up. The need to consume dairy products is ingrained in all of us. On this blog I talk a lot about how marketing is...

5 quick ways to detoxify your life

We live in a modern world full of toxicity. In this article I look at five quick and easy ways to reduce the toxic load on your body and detoxify your life. These are life hacks that won’t break the bank or stress you out – focus on simple, clean living. Quality of food and personal care products DOES matter, learn why here.

5 quick reasons to avoid grains

Avoiding grains will have many health benefits. In today’s article I explore the macronutrient problems as well as the inflammatory components of grains. We also have a quick look at the environmental problems associated with farming huge monocrops like grains.

5 quick reasons to eat more saturated fat

In my first 5 quick reasons article I look at why we should eat more saturated fat! It is an essential building block, tastes great and helps with maintaining a healthy weight. Everything you need to know in my short article.

How to build healthy neurotransmitters & mental health

In part II of my mental health articles we look in detail at neurotransmitters. What are they, what are they made from and how can I support healthy production. This will challenge the accepted paradigm around mental health. Do not miss this.

Good nutrition will support mental health…here’s how

We all know someone that suffers from anxiety or depression and the common solution is to write a prescription. Mental health is treated the same as other chronic physical conditions, we are told to take a pill. Rarely is there any investigation of what could be the root cause of our mental health troubles. But we cannot overlook the role of nutrition in supporting mental health.

Macronutrients: nutrition basics you need to know

Carbs, protein and fat – confusing isn’t it?
Today we look in detail at the three macronutrients our bodies need: carbohydrate, protein and fat. These nutrients have different impacts on blood sugar and hormones.

Micronutrients: nutrition basics you need to know

Micronutrients are the essential minerals and vitamins required by your body to perform all of its functions from breathing to hormone production. When we have even a small nutrient deficiency it can result in a host of issues.
Learn how to maximise nutrient consumption in your food in this explanatory article.

Calories: nutrition basics you need to know

Weight management is far more complex than a simple calories in = calories out equation. You can’t out think your body, you need to work with its hormones. Today we look at one of the very basics of diet and weight loss.
Starting with calories, we examine nutrition basics over three articles to help you.

Milestones in human nutrition: where did we go so wrong?

In part I of this series on the evolution of the human diet, we looked at how our ancestors of 40,000 years ago ate. While our brains have developed exponentially since our hunter gatherer times, the majority of our genetics, including those that digest and metabolise...

Distilled water and hydration

Hydration is critical to good health and supports a huge number of bodily functions. However, hydration is more complex than simply drinking water. In addition to H2O our bodies require the right balance of electrolytes to adequately absorb and utilise fluid in our...

Our skeleton and blood acidity (pH)

The body’s skeletal system serves a multitude of functions far in excess of providing structural support. One of they key functions of the skeleton is to act as a storage facility for our body’s mineral supply and through this serve as a key regulator in our blood pH...

Dairy’s problematic components: lactose and casein

In part one of my articles on dairy I looked at why full-fat dairy can be a healthy part of a balanced diet. However, we should be aware that like grains, dairy products contain a number of inflammatory compounds that can be quite problematic for many people. Like...

Lessons in human nutrition from the Pottenger cat study

Dr Francis Pottenger inadvertently became a nutritional pioneer when he observed that nutrient deficient diets have a long-term, cumulative effect on animals. This is a very real problem for humans in the Western developed world today. Processed and packaged food,...

Understanding cooking fats

For at least two - three generations we've been told to steer clear of saturated fat because it causes heart disease. This has pushed many people toward using polyunsaturated fats such as vegetable and seed oils as an alternative. But you need to ask yourself two...

Stop counting calories

Most of us who have embarked been on a weight loss quest have probably been conscious of calories. While it is good to take notice of what you put into your body for health purposes, focusing on calories is not a healthy or useful way to go about things.Calorie...

Humans are animals too: Part 2

Why do human animals have such special eating habits? In part I of this article we looked at two important differences in the dietary and exercise habits of humans and our friends in the animal kingdom. In this section we go a bit deeper. 3: Humans are the only...

Humans are animals too! Let’s eat like them: part I

Why do human animals have such special eating habits?   We might be more intelligent than most other animals, but physiologically humans work in pretty similar ways to other living creatures. We have developed the tools to provide shelter, farm food and implement...

Let’s get back to real food

A big portion of our modern diets comes from things our ancestors would not recognise as food. Today I talk about the importance of real food for health.

Leptin and grehlin: get to know your hunger hormones

Your metabolism is so much more than just a balance of calories in and calories out. There are reasons, more complicated than a simple equation that people become obese and lose control of their appetite. In this brief article we look at two of the key players in metabolic process: leptin and grehlin.

Carbohydrate and insulin: get to know your hunger hormones

Different foods trigger a different hormonal response in the body with impacts on how we metabolise and utilise the energy from food. Sounds pretty complicated, but it is something important to get your head around! Failure to manage insulin and carbohydrate can result in a host of metabolic issues like diabetes and obesity.
Learn all about how insulin works they way it impacts weight loss and management in this easy-to-understand article.

All about carbs and grains

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