After many months of silence ‘Healthier You’ is live. Produced in association with the British Dietetic Association a great team of dietitians (Angie Jefferson, Linia Patel, Duane Mellor and Johanna Hignett) and I put together this ezine. It’s specially for you, the consumer.

There’s plenty of noise on social media, TV, magazines and the rest on what to eat, what’s good for you, what’s bad for you. It’s so loud it’s not just confusing, much of it is plainly WRONG. Opinions and personal experience dominate and this is where ‘Healthier You’ can help. What you read in this magazine is strictly evidence based and is supported by sound science.

Pressure on the environment is increasing. Greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food production and there’s an increased demand for food as the population grows. We’re being urged to moderate the amount of meat and increase the amount of plant-based foods we eat. Plant-based eating can help add more choice, colour, flavour and nutrients into our diets.

Everyone has their own personal preferences about what they eat, how much they eat and how often they eat. ‘Healthier You’ has been specially written to help YOU work out what’s best for YOU and your family in terms of eating a nutritious healthier balanced diet.

Read the first edition of Healthier You by pasting this link into your browser…….

https://cloud.3dissue.com/176015/176401/205849/HealthierYou/index.html

The foods we’re choosing to eat today have changed hugely in the time I’ve been practising as a dietitian. Gone are the days of eating the same food for weeks when it was in season; apples, pomegranates, strawberries, raspberries, parsnips and the rest.

Today we can have almost anything we want at any time. And…… with increased availability of prepared and partially prepared food….. we don’t even need to cook much, if at all, either.

And then there’s the dietary restrictions; gluten free, dairy free, wheat free, lactose free, vegan, vegetarian and the rest……not to mention the arguments for sustainability, how foods are farmed and produced and of course, what happens to the waste.

To my mind, for every action there is a reaction so if you eliminate a whole range of foods or food groups from your diet there will be inevitable consequences. So think on before you try the next new diet fad or ‘superfood’ (how I hate that terminology!) and consider carefully what the impact on your long term health may be.

Of course, if you have a diagnosed clinical condition that requires dietary changes then go for it and eat and live that diet but if you don’t……… think Variety, Balance and Moderation. It may not sound very sexy and sell very much but I like to think that it’s the way to be!

The Scientific Advisory Commission on Nutrition (SACN) report on Vitamin D and Health was published today.

Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Now the risks of sun exposure are more understood, people are guided to be ‘SunSmart’ and Public Health guidance is to slap on the sunscreen and cover up from the sun when it is strong.

Previous guidance on Vitamin D intake has now been updated. The RNI/Safe Intakes have been developed to ensure that the majority of the UK population has a satisfactory vitamin D status (as measured in the blood) throughout the year, in order to protect musculoskeletal health.

Since it is difficult to achieve the RNI/Safe Intakes from natural food sources alone (provided by oily fish such as salmon and sardines, meat, liver, egg yolk and foods fortified in Vitamin D such as some breakfast cereals and fat spreads), SACN recommends that the Government considers strategies to help the UK population consume the recommended intakes of vitamin D.

So in a nutshell the new report recommends the following:

1. A reference nutrient intake (RNI) of 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day, throughout the year, for everyone in the general population aged 4 years and older

2. An RNI of 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day for pregnant and lactating women and population groups at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency

3. A ‘safe intake’ of 8.5 to 10 micrograms per day for all infants from birth to 1 year of age

4. A ‘safe intake’ of 10 micrograms per day for children aged 1 to 4 years

A simple internet search for information leads you to simply millions of links to people and organisations who profess to be experts in the nutrition field so how do YOU decide where to seek YOUR dietary advice?

Many people claim to be an authority on the subject, but in reality they may have very limited knowledge and simply offer eating plans based on their opinion. Their heart may be in the right place, but then again, I may like to drive, but I really couldn’t service my car or repair it if it needs maintenance or breaks down – I call in the experts! It’s no different in nutrition – Just because people are famous and have an interest in diet or like cooking, that doesn’t mean they are an expert.

Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist and unlike the title ‘dietitian’, the title of ‘nutritionist’ is not protected by law. Increasingly, most reputable nutritionists are registering with the Association of Nutrition – the ‘AfN’. The UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN) distinguishes nutrition practitioners who meet rigorously applied training, competence and professional practice criteria. The purpose is to protect the public and assure the credibility of nutrition as a responsible profession.

Dietitians are the only qualified professionals that assess, diagnose and treat diet and nutrition problems. They are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law and governed by an ethical code. You are in safe hands when you see a dietitian as they always work to the highest standard.

So…… why oh why do people believe celebrities and health bloggers above the professionals??? Perhaps our messages are too simple – you know, variety, moderation and balance? And not expensive too!

This is a super documentary on the subject so take a break and sit down for the next 35 minutes and have a watch…

http://bbc.in/29vGbJx

** Authored by me but some text taken from an article I wrote entitled ‘What do Dietitians do?’ and published in ‘Eating Well, Living Well’ magazine in March 2016

http://www.eatingwellmag.co.uk/

If you are like me and still confused about the key issues of whether we should vote ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the EU then it’s always of interest to see the reasons why people take a stance one way or the other.

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has finally taken a position on the possibility of Britain leaving the EU, known as Brexit, as 71% of its members “overwhelmingly endorse” the decision to stay in the EU.

http://www.foodnavigator.com/Policy/FDF-speaks-on-Brexit-We-should-remain-an-EU-member!-FDE-agrees

 

The causes of obesity are complex but in light of the recent announcement of a sugar tax we need to remember that it is not caused by one component of our diet.

There are no ‘good foods’ or ‘bad foods’ – I love food and love life and trust lots of you out there do so too. Take a look at this interesting blog which aims to put a bit of sense into things when it comes down to sugar

http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/newsroom/2016/03/18/61692/#.Vu07hyuysEM.twitter

 

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) is pleased to announce that today sees the launch of a new magazine publication Eating Well Living Well (EWLW), produced in conjunction with the BDA.

http://www.eatingwellmag.co.uk/http://www.eatingwellmag.co.uk/

The BDA, founded in 1936, is the professional association and trade union for registered dietitians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is the nation’s largest organisation of food and nutrition professionals with over 8,500 members.

Targeted at dietetic patients, clients and the general public, this magazine is available in hard copies and e-versions, as well as having an accompanying microsite. The publication will help educate, guide and inform the public about healthy eating and lifestyle messages, while promoting the role of the dietitian in achieving better health and wellbeing.

Andy Burman, BDA Chief Executive Officer said:

“I am thrilled to see this public-facing resource come to fruition. The publication is a great culmination of dietetic and healthy eating messages.”

An e-version of the magazine can be accessed online