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WHY YOU REALLY SHOULD BE EATING GLUTEN AND SIX OTHER ESSENTIAL EXPERT DIET TIPS by Delicious.

WHY YOU REALLY SHOULD BE EATING GLUTEN AND SIX OTHER ESSENTIAL EXPERT DIET TIPS by Delicious.

WHY YOU REALLY SHOULD BE EATING GLUTEN AND SIX OTHER ESSENTIAL EXPERT DIET TIPS by Delicious. - SIX ESSENTIAL EXPERT DIET TIPS Carbona by Gwneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow’s healthy carbonara

Do we really need to be gobbling Himalayan berries and bee pollen to be healthy? What about ditching carbs, gluten and meat? Lindy Alexander clears up some common food misconceptions.

Type “healthy eating” into Google and a whopping 60 million results pop up. Not exactly surprising when you consider that every week brings with it new studies, nutritional claims and trending ingredients that purport to be good for us.

Ideas about eating for wellbeing have changed notably says Kelly Donati, a gastronomy lecturer at William Angliss Institute in Melbourne. For Donati, the emphasis should be on the range of ingredients we eat.

“It’s a common misconception that health comes in a package and that individual ingredients are healthy or unhealthy,” she says.

We asked some of Australia’s most respected nutritionists, dieticians, academics and chefs to set the record straight on everyday food fallacies.

Meat is the best source of protein

“Fifteen to 20 per cent of a healthy diet should be comprised of protein,” says Bryce Edwards from Melbourne’s Transformer, a restaurant focused on plant-based cuisine. That protein doesn’t need to come from meat. Balanced vegetarian and vegan diets have been confirmed as nutritionally adequate by the US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Meat-free sources of protein include beans, pulses, legumes, eggs, yoghurt, nuts and quinoa.

It’s expensive to eat well

If you’re filling your trolley with acai berries, matcha powder, bee pollen, raw cacao, and spirulina, then your bank account might be taking a hit.

“When people decide to eat healthily, they think they have to get goji berries, coconut oil and chia seeds sourced from exotic places,” says Clare Collins, a professor in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Newcastle. “People think healthy eating costs a lot of money and they go back to eating takeaway.”

Over a third of the average Australian’s diet comes from food such as processed meat, sweets, ice cream, biscuits and cakes. Collins says the commitment starts with eating fewer ultra-processed foods.

“Buy less junk and eat less foods that have a whole bunch of chemical names or numbers in them,” she says. “These are energy-dense but nutrient-poor foods.” Eating what is in season is the cheapest way to eat well.

Your body needs to detox

“Your body has its own detoxing organs,” Collins says. “So as long as your liver is functioning and your kidneys are working, your body is doing its best to detox itself. The best way to boost it is to consume more fruit, vegetables and whole grains.”

Our ancestors didn’t eat grains or gluten so we shouldn’t either

“I don’t agree with the Paleo avoidance of grains, legumes and dairy,” nutritionist and dietician Dr Joanna McMillan says. “There is good evidence for all of these food types.”

Collins also advises against cutting out gluten, breads and cereals without a medical reason. “Whole grains have an independent ability to protect you from heart disease and bowel cancer,” she says. “You need basic wholegrain, nutrient-dense foods to fuel your body. If you don’t, you are likely to feel tired, cranky and you’re increasing your risk of chronic conditions.”

Eating well is complicated

“There are many versions of a healthy diet provided it is made up of whole foods,” says McMillan. Put simply, that means no or minimal junk foods (such as processed meats, sweetened drinks, biscuits, fried fast food, cakes and other sweet treats) and refined grains (foods made predominantly from white flour).

“You can include meat or be vegan, but we need plentiful plant foods, particularly vegies,” adds McMillan.

Grazing is good

We eat far too often and this affects hunger and satiety at mealtimes, according to McMillan. “I recommend only having a snack if you’re truly hungry and there are more than two hours until mealtime.”

If you can’t wait, opt for something simple like a handful of nuts or a bowl of berries and natural yoghurt sprinkled with chia seeds or pepitas.

Fast food is bad for you

Not the new kind. Chef and owner of Putia Pure Food Kitchen in Banyo, Queensland, Dominique Rizzo, says the best kind of fast food is vegetable-based, seasonal and delicious. “I love tucking into a smashed avocado with fresh lemon, chopped cucumber, coriander and diced tomato on linseed and vegetable crackers,” she says.

For Bondi chef and The Bucket List owner, Tom Walton, fresh rice paper rolls, lettuce leaf wraps and seasonal fruits are go-to fast foods. “There is no magic trick to healthy food,” he says.

“It really comes down to eating a balance of good quality, nutritious foods that are minimally processed.”

Want to Know More about Chef Dominique Rizzo?

Want to know more about Chef Dominique Rizzo?  

This is an excerpt from an interview with Dominique by “Gastronomy Gal” at http://www.gastronomygal.com/ for their blog “Healthy Eating Month”.

Want to Know More about Chef Dominique Rizzo - Dominique Rizzo

Q:   Having an Italian background, I guess cooking is in your blood. Did you start cooking when you were really young?

My mother tells me that I used to make her and dad breakfast in bed when I was three or four and used the hot water tap in the bath to make their coffee, so yes, I started young.

Q:  I love the idea of teaching healthy eating from an early age. Do you find that kids are more receptive to trying new things if they have been involved in the process of cooking?

Amazingly so, and also, through seeing other children trying different foods, they are highly influenced. I feel that when children have an opportunity to be in the process of making the food, they really feel proud and want to then enjoy what they have made.

 

Q: I know you are a big advocate, can you give us the rundown on ‘Whole Foods?’

To me whole foods are, as it says, incorporating “real foods” in your cooking using a variety of grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, and also fresh organic meats. So to me, it’s really cutting out all of the tinned, preservative rich foods that can sustain in packets for ages. Fresh food, like us, is living food and the more we eat the living foods the more vibrant and healthy we will feel.

Want to Know More about Chef Dominique Rizzo_ Dominique Rizzo cooking

Q: You’ve just arrived back from an Italian holiday. For Italian novices, what is your favourite region and what did you eat there?

Well, of course, Sicily is my favourite region and my favourite dishes were fresh artichokes baked in the oven with garlic, pecorino cheese, anchovies and bread crumbs.  Also, I love their pasta and cauliflower with pine nuts and currants. Swordfish crumbed and baked in the oven with a dressing of parsley garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. I had a wonderful banquet of couscous and a squid ink sauce.. and the desserts……..I could go on for hours.

Q: Biggest food influences in your life?

My Zia (my Sicilian aunt), my mum, my first Head Chef Brenda and my love for foods that say something.

Q: What would your standard weekday lunch or dinner include?

Lunch usually for me is a salad with some sort of grain. I love chickpeas, lentils and salty things like olives, feta, capers and then tossed with roasted free range or organic chicken or tuna and a home-made dressing with loads of herbs. Dinner usually is fish, I love salmon so its salmon, seared, steamed, grilled and served with as many vegetables as I can find in my fridge. I am big on dressings and make great Asian, Mediterranean and yoghurt dressings to jazz up things.

Q: What is your favourite type of food to splurge on?

Italian Gelati

Q: What is your favourite really healthy dish?

Cold Soba noodles, greens and cold poached salmon with a sesame seed dressing or a green papaya salad with a good handful of Thai herbs and prawns with a zesty lime and chilli dressing.

Want to Know More about Chef Dominique Rizzo - Dominique Rizzo picking herbs.

Q: What would you order when you are eating out and trying to be conscious of weight/health?

Usually fish or seafood, I had a beautiful warm seafood and Thai salad with coconut tom yum broth….fantastic. Or I will order chicken if it’s free range or organic.  I don’t really eat a lot of meat as my body never really asks for it.

Q: How do you manage to stay so slim whilst loving food? Diet and exercise combination?

Definitely, in fact I get asked that all the time, people are amazed and always say how slim I am which I don’t think I am, but they feel that as I am a chef I must eat all the time, and I do but it’s what I eat. Yes, I also do exercise about 4-5 times a week. It’s about balance, I eat what I want, then exercise allows me to have that food freedom.

Q: Do you have any extra tips for Gastronomy Gal on healthy eating?

Listen to your body on hunger and feeling full signals, that way you can eat what you want, just stop when you have had enough.

Q: Most used cookbook?

Stephanie Alexanders “Cooks Companion”….its now falling apart