My Most Surprising Lesson from Studying Nutrition

cabbage lasagna

One of the things I’m super excited about at the moment is completing my Health Coaching Certificate.

Last month we focused on nutrition.

The last time I had formally studied nutrition was back in the 1990s – the height of the low fat era.

Ugh.

So I was hoping that there would have been a few changes in current nutrition thinking since then.

And thankfully there are!

Which inspired me to share one of the biggest lessons today…

HOW you eat is more important than WHAT you eat.

In the past, nutrition guidelines focused on specific nutrients. And the number of servings from each food group.

In most countries this is still the case.

But the current conventional prescriptive approach isn’t working.

People are getting sicker.

I love the guidelines I learned at PreKure because they focus more on how to eat rather than specific nutrients and food groups.

It’s all about choosing nutritious whole, unprocessed foods that are ethically produced and local where possible.

It’s about minimizing food that comes in packages.

If you are eating packaged food, it’s about looking for options that contain 5 ingredients or less (sound familiar?!)

It’s about choosing vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, seafood, poultry, pork, organ meats, dairy, nuts, seeds, legumes, as tolerated.

It’s NOT about eating ‘healthy’ whole grains.

It’s about choosing traditional fats and oils over highly processed, refined oils.

It’s NOT about avoiding saturated fat.

And it’s about minimizing total sugar, added and intrinsic.

It’s about planning your time to make cooking and eating an important part of your lifestyle.

It’s about eating mindfully.

Sharing food with family and friends.

Amen!

Read more about the PreKure dietary guidelines over here.

What do you think?

How do these guidelines sound to you?

Are you interested in reading more about my discoveries from the world of nutrition?

I’d love to hear in the comments below.

As always, thank you for reading Stonesoup.

I really appreciate you!

Have fun in the kitchen,

With love,
Jules x

30 Comments

  • I like the sound of the new guidelines. However, I would balance that with paying attention to how much of various food groups one gets. I know that I need a good amount of protein. I also know that I need to watch those carbs because I know that if I don’t restrict those somewhat it would be too easy to become diabetic. I think that the way we eat ought to be guided by what we know our bodies need and traditional diets. The lack of whole foods in our diets seems to be the result of industrialization. I’m all for innovation and ease of preparing foods, but one can achieve that without having their diet guided by capitalism (which in my opinion is how we ended up with all that packaged stuff).

    • Yes the perils of capitalism for guiding nutrition Susan…

      If you follow these ideas, you’ll naturally be eating fairly low carb – just as long as you watch the fruit and higher carb vegetables. :)

  • Definitely interested in nutrition info. Some of your recipes contain sausages and chorizo sausage. These are processed foods I would think and probably contain preservative. Mince used to have preservative as well but not sure if it still does.
    I would like to learn more about grains and their place or not in our diet.

    • Yes I do use chorizo and bacon from time to time Julie. And they do contain nitrites to preserve them. But they’re more special occasion things for me rather than every day.

      Fresh sausages, at least the ones I buy don’t contain any preservatives so I consider them to be fine. Although I guess the mincing and stuffing is a processing step!

      Regarding grains it comes down to whether you can tolerate them…

      If you’re happy with your health and weight then go for it.

      However, if you are struggling with weight or blood sugar or if eating them causes bloating, then I’d recommend avoiding them like I do :)

  • “It’s NOT about eating ‘healthy’ whole grains.”
    For me, whole grains ARE healthy. For a lot of us, that’s the case.
    I get pretty tired of seeing grains trashed (meaning grains that are as close as possible to their natural state, not those that have been nutritionally destroyed by processing).

    Here in the Southwest of the US, people were nurtured and sustained by corn for millennia, and it is seen as sacred. In Asia, civilizations existed and continue to exist because of the domestication of rice. And so forth. Grains in themselves are not where the problems have come from.

    I understand that you’re diabetic, Jules, but not all of us have your particular type of biology. For me, fats are problematic, whereas reasonable carbs feel great. I feel best eating rice and vegetables. Your mileage may vary. But don’t dump unwarranted guilt on people who eat grains.

    • I’m so sorry Elene,

      I wasn’t intending to put guilt on anyone for eating anything… that’s not helpful at all.

      The interesting thing is for people who are insulin resistant like me, even whole grains send our blood sugar out of control.

      But for people who are not insulin resistant, whole grains are a significantly better choice than flour or processed grains.

      Isn’t it fascinating how different we all are :)

      • Hi Jules,

        Now that you’re heading down the road of citing nutritional evidence, could I ask that you start giving references for your claims, please? I’d also love it if you addressed the problems with the evidence for whole grains and against saturated fats in moderate-to-large portions. A lot of people are promoting low-carb, but few are explaining what their take is on the evidence that supports whole grains and limited fat intake.

        Thanks in advance.

        • Hi Jacqueline!

          Thanks for the feedback on citing references – will definitely take that on board.

          In terms of the best review I’ve seen for the evidence that saturated fat isn’t harmful I’d recommend the book ‘The Big Fat Surprise’ by Nina Teicholz.

          It also details the weaknesses in the original research that indicated that saturated fat was to be avoided.

  • I wholeheartedly agree. Old time grains were good for you, but the GMO grains and pesticides have ruined it for me. My system cannot tolerate them. I can only eat homemade bread now.
    For me the hardest thing is getting off sugar.

    • For me Barb I find the less sugar I eat, the less I want it.

      You know sugar is more addictive than cocaine?

      I’ve recently decided that I don’t eat sugar at all (unless I’m in the best restaurant in the world). Having that blanket decision make’s it much easier. I don’t have to decide every time.

      The other option is to apply the same principles I used to get on top of my alcohol consumption – https://thestonesoup.com/blog/2019/02/11/alcohol-addiction/

      Jx

  • Hi Jules:)

    First congratulations !!
    I love the feeling when I get something completed. It makes me feel a bit like wonderwoman .
    I would be very happy to read more about what youve learned from your nutrition coach course. And the way you described it, sounds too familiar…
    Have a great Day and week
    best regards
    Idit Israel

  • From September through November 2018 walked 400 miles @ 133 miles per month @ 5 miles per walk for most walks. Weight decreased by a little over 20 pounds
    and felt great.

    Suddenly the heart went out of rhythm, really fast heartbeats,

    Was doing the calories burned method but only using canned vegetables and fruit with about three days per month of meat consumption. Believe there is not sufficient protein in that even though Doctors never knew what caused the irregular heartbeat.

    Not easy to get nutrition correct but believe you are on the right track.

  • I try very hard to listen to my body. My salt and sugar intake are minimal, i taste everything as I’m cooking so as not to over do either of them. Although they are both in my pantry, the boxes/bags are still almost full and that’s after almost a full year. I don’t eat red meat aka beef often, about once per quarter, but I do have a weakness for smoked sausage. Meaning to me, I need/want the fat associated with the product. Most of my protein is derived from chicken thighs, pork loin and eggs. Not sure if this is enough, but it does seem to be working for me. There are also lots of greens and other veg in my diet and I detest white bread, so it is whole grain for me. My best advice, listen to the bod, it will tell you what you need.

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