Whenever people hear that I am a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, I am inundated with questions about what they should or should not be doing with their diets.

I come away from these conversations thrilled that people are so interested in improving their health yet amazed at how much misinformation there is about nutrition.

Here are a few of the concerns and questions that I would like to respond to from a holistic, natural perspective:

  •  Eliminate artificial sweeteners from your diet completely (this includes aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin to name a few). They will not help you lose weight.  In fact in the long run you will end up gaining weight.  They can cause headaches, nausea, bloating, gas, rashes, and heart palpitations.
  • MSG – the additive found in restaurant foods that “enhances” it flavour, is also found in many commercial tomato sauces, candies, soups, processed foods, etc.  MSG is found in many forms including monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrolyzed soy/vegetable protein, autolyzed yeast or yeast extract.  MSG side effects include headaches, swelling, chest pain, numbness or tingling around the mouth.  Studies have also linked MSG to obesity.
  • I have already discussed milk and milk alternatives in a previous blog so to summarize – no, I don’t drink cow’s milk and I don’t think that most people should be drinking it.  There are alternatives available.
  • Caesar salads are not a good choice for most diets.  This may seem obvious but I have often heard people say that “they started their diet today and had a Caesar salad for lunch”.  An average Caesar salad with croutons and bacon bits contains about 14 gm. of fat and has very little nutritional value.
  • Yes we do need to drink 6 – 8 glasses of water a day (or more depending upon the air temperature, level of exercise, fitness level, health, etc.).  Our bodies are made up of anywhere from 55% to 75% water depending upon where you draw your research from.  We use body fluids to carry nutrients to the cells, excrete toxins, and control body temperature.  The brain is 80% water.  If we don’t have adequate levels in our bodies, these functions will not be performed properly.  If you don’t like plain water, drink herbal teas, add fresh juice to it, add lemon or lime juice.  Just drink the water.
This is not rocket science but there is so much conflicting information available from the media and our caring friends that it is sometimes hard to sort through all the information that is available.

You will always be able to find studies that refute each side of an argument depending upon where you look.  These are simply my opinions on the topics based upon my research, education and what, to me, makes sense…… we should be trying to eliminate as many processed foods from our diets as possible.

 “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ― Hippocrates

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