Eating With Dr Emma Kirke

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Rounding off our healthy kick start to the year we thought we’d get Dr Emma Kirke from Medicinal Kitchen to give you some advice on eating right. The site mixes advice, recipes and information alongside tips, with a focus on tackling allergies and how eating can aggravate medical conditions.

Head over to her site to see the services and results she offers . . .

10 biggest nutrition mistakes you’re making right now –

We all make mistakes and we can all learn from mistakes. Here are 10 nutrition mistakes you may not even realise you’re making every day. Teamed with some simple ideas of how you can make adjustments to your diet plan to avoid them and incur high health yield returns.

Drinking Fruit Juice – you could well think you’re being healthy but be aware that some of the brands are boosted with sugars and man-made chemicals that are unnecessary and can seriously affect your health. Even if you select a brand that says 100% pure fruit juice it can astoundingly contain the same amount of sugar as a glass of Coke or Pepsi. On top of that you are consuming the fruit without the fibre. The best bits of the fruit have essentially been left out of the product leaving you with the rapidly digestible sugar.

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Nor Reading food labels – be honest, how many of you actually take the time to read the labels on products? Do you actually just look at the front of the packet and take it as read that the product it as it appears. Products can be miss leading – for example if it has added omega 3’s it neither makes the product healthy nor does it make up for the high quantity of sugar contained.

Not focusing on real or unprocessed foods – we have become a modern world of pre made and processed foods, I appreciate that this assists with our world of fast moving and convenience, but food in its original form hasn’t had nutrients interfered with or removed. If you can include as many in your diet as possible your intake of micronutrients will inevitably be a more complete profile.

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Not eating enough protein – this is one of the biggest mistakes I come across with my nutrition patients. Health authorities advocate a relatively low amount of protein, setting the target at 56g for men and 46g for women per day. Be aware this is the minimal requirement for your intake to prevent a nutritional deficiency, this is not the optimal amount for health. If you can increase your protein you could enhance your fat burning capacity, reduce your appetite as it has a high satiety effect and you could improve your muscle mass and health.

Being afraid to eat Fat – in the 1960’s and 1970’s scientists gave us information leading us to believe that fat made us fat and caused heart disease. This belief lead to the low fat, high carb idea that most Americans were encouraged to take up. By 1977 it was common knowledge that Fat was a bad thing and should be avoided. There have been multiple studies since that have shown that this system doesn’t work, it doesn’t cause heart disease, it doesn’t cause cancer and neither does its removal from your diet assist with weight loss. You should endeavour to cut out manmade fats and remember it is not necessary to avoid eggs, meats and coconut oils which are natural fats.

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Believing that calories is all that matters for health or weight loss – it is a common miss conception that counting calories is sufficient especially when concerned with weight loss.  Yes a simple formula of calories in vs calories out is ok in theory, but different foods and macronutrients go through different metabolic pathways, and can affect hunger and hormones in different ways. Granted counting calories or portion controlling is a system that can and does work for some people, however, for a large number of people this system fails. For a general rule of thumb try reducing sugar and processed carbs and increasing your protein.

Not eating enough – Now this is always difficult for patients to understand. When you have to try to explain to them that the reason they aren’t losing weight is that they aren’t eating enough. They really can struggle with this concept. It goes back to the simple formula – Kcal in vs Kcal out. If you eat less you lose weight right? Well yes but not if you starve yourself, certainly not a healthy weight loss anyway, it really isn’t the answer. A secure foundation for long term weight loss is to build muscle. Use a calorie counter to work out the amount you should be consuming daily to cover your minimum needs. A good guide to follow is to split this amount into 30% calories from fats, 40% calories from carbs and 30% calories from protein. If you are having coaching or you are in training for something these amounts may vary so please stick to what you have been advised.

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Cutting out Carbs completely – It is true many people should probably be cutting back on the quantity of carbs consumed, especially if that source is a hand cut, triple fried chip source. Going carb free has several consequences including a lack of fuel for your workouts either pre or post, but more worryingly I am seeing more and more people in my clinic that are carb free that are presenting with stomach problems, and that hit a plateau with their training, changing their shape or weight loss. The stomach issues are becoming increasingly apparent with what appears to be the development of involvement of amateurs competing in fitness shows or having a desire to “hit the stage” without taking good advice on training and diet. Please seek the advice of a professional before undertaking anything more extreme, but try to reduce white processed carbs or alcohol varieties, and if you can, aim to eat your carbs around your exercise programme.

Picking Brown eggs instead of White – How many times do you open the egg box and see the white eggs inside, put the box down and take home the box of brown eggs? Is this because we believe that the brown eggs must be better for us? Just as with white and brown bread or white and brown rice? The truth is that there is no difference in the proportions of white and yolk between the two. Neither is there any significant difference in the nutritional values. The sole differences are that they’re from a different breed and cost different amounts with the brown eggs being up to 25% extra in cost.

Solely using your favourite enhanced peanut butter as your omega source – now I do know plenty of nut butter addicts. I am partial to a good nut butter myself, but if you are relying on this as your source of nutrients you are probably not consuming a sufficient amount in your diet. Enhanced and fortified foods can be brilliant and very useful, but they can also be enthusiastically marketed too. 1 cup of fortified peanut butter is equal to the amount of omega in a single serve of salmon. That is 1520 kcals vs 200 Kcals. In short don’t rely on this as your source, use a good quality nut butter (some cheap varieties are in fact depressingly lacking in good macro profiles) and ensure you still have a balanced diet with plenty of variety.

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About Ross Pollard

Since starting writing on my 31st birthday in 2011 I have held a number of positions at magazines and websites as well as regularly producing articles for numerous publications alongside contributing to TV & radio shows as a freelance fashion journalist including Hoxton Radio & Fashion One TV. Alongside writing, I have worked in other industries helping to design & grow digital platforms, develop businesses and support operations practices. This experience has proved invaluable in building an understanding of how businesses work, and the landscape in which retail, B2B commerce and other commercial operations develop. Knowledge of commercial interests has helped shape my fashion industry insights beyond critiquing of garments

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