So there is a bit of a nutrition war going on out there at the moment and it is getting NASTY!
On one side of the fence sit the Paleo camp – promoting whole real food and a way of life that looks very much like what our ancestors ate back in the Palaeolithic era. On the other side of the fence sit the DAA (Dietitans Association of Australia), where the CEO, Claire Hewat has gone so far as to call the Paleo diet ‘dangerous’. Seriously!!!
So for those of you who follow our blogs and Facebook page, you may know a little bit about me and what I promote and believe in. For those of you who don’t, well here is a summary:
I am a qualified dietitian and have been practicing for the past 14 years. My qualifications include a Bachelor of Science (Monash University), a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics (Deakin University) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Nutrition (Deakin Uni). In addition I am a qualified Pilates instructor. I am a massive believer in practising what I preach and therefore live and breath this stuff every single day. My kids have grown up in a house where we drink water when thirsty, we have a weekly trips to a market to purchase fresh, local and where possible organic food for the week, we ride our bikes or walk more than we use the car and even though most people think this is really strange, we don’t even have a TV (we decided to purchase a trampoline instead about 5 years ago and have never looked back!). My passion above and beyond anything is nutrition and food and I therefore spend the majority of my time researching, reading, learning, experimenting, cooking and of course eating. I was previously a member of the DAA and was given the status of Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), however at the start of this year I made the decision to discontinue my membership and thereby my APD status was removed. Why you might ask? Well for a number of reasons:
- Over the past few years my eyes have been opened up to a world of nutrition that the DAA and dietitians in general cast a blind eye upon. After so many years of promoting the Dietary Guidelines and not getting results with patients I have finally discovered a way in which I can assist my clients/patients get real results for the long term. This way is NOT supported by the DAA despite it being an effective and real alternative for many (most) individuals.
- I whole-heartedly believe in a Low carbohydrate high fat approach to nutrition. I have seen the impact it has had on myself personally and I see the results in my clients on a daily basis. I cannot and will not be associated with an organisation that is partnered with the likes of Campbell’s Arnott’s, Nestle and Unilever. To me this would be completely contradictory and ethically wrong.
- I totally embrace many of the Paleo principles but do believe that these principles can be adjusted to suit the individual. To me what makes the most sense about the Paleo diet is going back to eating REAL food, moving away from the packaged, high sugar, highly processed rubbish that the likes of the companies listed above profit from. I believe the Paleo and LCHF principles can act as a template to design a diet that can optimise a persons weight, health, energy levels, performance etc. This is NOT a rigid, one-size-fits-all approach. The key is being open to new ideas and alternative theories. I believe that the current Dietary Guidelines promoted by the DAA are a rigid way of eating that do not work for most individuals.
On a personal level, since changing my diet to LCHF and following the majority of the Paleo principles (however I do personally include dairy as I do not have any issues with this) I have experienced the following:
- A renewed passion and love for the world of nutrition!
- Fat loss – I am leaner now then when I got married and was training for Ironman triathlon 11 years ago.
- Consistent energy levels – I no longer experience a mid-afternoon slump, in fact my energy levels are consistently high always.
- I do NOT get hungry! This to me is remarkable and the real reason why low fat diets just don’t work and are not sustainable. Fat keeps me satisfied and it keeps me lean – who would have thought!
- I do not get sick. Many people think/believe that a cold during winter is normal, well it isn’t! We are all exposed to the same germs/infections but why is it that some of us get sick so often and others don’t? Makes you think doesn’t it?
- Recently I had a full blood test done and the comment from the doctor was that he had never seen such a metabolically healthy person, ever! My cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, insulin, in fact everything was perfect.
- And finally I am happier! It is a really good feeling knowing that everyday I am putting quality wholesome nutritious food into my body.
So to the DAA and any dietitian out there who thinks that LCHF and Paleo is a fad or a quick-fix or too expensive or that there hasn’t been enough research to support it or that it is unsustainable, I urge you to get out of your comfort zone and start reading. The fat revolution has begun and it is getting stronger with more and more supporters. Either you can jump on board or you can be left in the dark. The choice is yours.