The Problem with Paper Nutrition is this - it promotes advice that damages your health on a fundamental level.
Recently on Facebook I was directed to an article published in Irish Newspaper, the subject of which was how to enjoy a nutrient diet for under €30 a week. I think that's a great idea. A lot of people, students, unemployed, and to be honest, most of us would love to save on the shopping bill. Even better if it was a highly nutritious diet!
The diet was backed by a registered dietician who "gave it the thumbs up".
I was looking forward to reading this...then I was worried. By the end I was appalled.
This is how it goes -
Porridge - an inflammatory substance that causes digestive issues, bloating, etc. In addition, in those with a sensitive insulin response can have a significant surge in blood glucose after eating oats. In addition they can be contaminated with other grains and trigger a lectin response.
Oats also have contain phytic acid which can damage the body. And contain anti-nutrients, which leach needed nutrients from the body. Combined with the levels of inflamation this can casue, it can lead to secondary infertility - this is all just from the Western Medical perspective.
Looking at it from a TCM point of view, they'd agree completely and have been saying the same thing for over 3,000 years. Oats are bad for your Kidneys and reproductive health as well as your foundational health and longevity.
And then, these oats would also be likely served with milk - which is seriously problematic.
So this isn't looking well.
Fresh (good) or dried fruit (bad) and honey (ok) - the problems here are the dried fruit. Dried fruit is very high in sugar and calories and of course processed preserving agents including Sulfur dioxide, a type of sulfite, even a small amount of sulfite can wreak your health. If you have asthma, sulfite sensitivity or sulfite allergy, consuming dried fruits can cause serious health problems, such as breathing problems, life-threatening allergy-like symptoms or, in rare cases, death.
But the normal fresh fruits are good, and contain live enzymes which dried fruit does not.
The article also recommends protein Greek yoghurt for calcium and protein - there is little protein in this breakfast as a whole, nor is dairy something I would recommend (a subject for a lengthy article later).
So far this is diet nearly entirely sugar based. There is very little protein - the foundation of our nutritional health and very little actual nutrition. In addition from a TCM perspective the excess sugar and dairy will damage the Stomach and Spleen, impairing your ability to build blood and energy.
Eggs, such as an omelette with a serving of vegetables like tomatoes, peppers etc would be perfect. High in protein and slow release carbohydrates and incredibly high in vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Oh and it's cheaper.
And the recommendation is a salmon-avocado and cream-cheese bagel. Faceplam.
Yes, I like the Salmon and avocado, the salmon a source of excellent protein and fat along with the avocado which also contains a boat loads of healthy fats and nutrients - but why ruin it with a bagel? Bagels, delicious as they are they are just empty calories and what's more packed with hard to digest, inflammation causing, energy sapping and nutrient killing grains? Ditch the bagel; replace it with a high nutritious backed potato, or fresh salad. And leave out the cream cheese - it's lethal.
They also recommend pasta instead of a bagel. I just....I don't know what to say....I'm mystified?
But hey, it's midday and they finally recommend some protein!
Dinner is ready
Actually, I've pretty much no problem with this at all. The recommendation is lean meat, (pork shoulder in this case, or a fish dish), with frozen vegetables. The only tweak I'd make is to drop the oat based sauce (why?) and switch the potatoes (low in nutrition and high in starch) to a sweet potato (packed with nutrition, low in starch and really tasty too!)
Finally, the coup de gras - dark Chocolate rice crispy cakes. Sigh. (which contains enough sugar and caffeine to cause a number of problems with reproductive health, blood health and more!)
Want to know what I eat, and my recommendations on a week of food under €30 quid? I'll have my shopping list for you next week. ;-)