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As an osteopath with clinics in Central London and North London, I’m always interested in people’s perceptions and attitudes towards, diet, exercise, environment, medicines, remedies and treatments, as these are fundamental elements of an individual’s take on health and fitness.

As I’ve said on many occasions, a good level of education and knowledge about these sorts of topics is generally not very common, with a lack of easy to understand information available to all. The AsapScience YouTube video below makes some very valid points about aspects of this general lack of understanding.

A couple of minutes into the presentation, it talks about perceptions of Natural versus Synthetic and explains why the difference between the two is not all that cut and dried. Natural chemicals aren’t always good for you and man made chemicals aren’t always inherently dangerous. This is especially prevalent when looking at the whole area of food and GM crops. Are fears about GM foods justified? After all, for as long as humans have been on the planet, we have selectively chosen and bred plants or animals with desirable traits, such as sweeter fruits or better disease resistance. Isn’t that genetically modifying foods?

Information and misinformation about GM and the entire natural versus chemical comparison does, in my opinion, need to be put into perspective. Not all natural foods are good for you and not all chemically enhanced foods are bad for you. This isn’t just a case of one man’s meat is another man’s poison; this is all about balance and perspective. Watch the video and see what you think.

Eat healthy and pile on the pounds says London Osteopath Robin KiashekLack of easy to access credible information about nutrition and diet, often leads to people who want to eat well seeking ‘healthier’ options, but in actual fact they end up piling on the pounds. There are a lot of issue here, from food labelling and position of goods in the supermarkets, to advertising and a general yet widespread lack of health and fitness education. With Osteopathy in North London as a focus for my clinics, I come across a fair amount of people who think part of their diet is good for them, when in actual fact the opposite is true.

Here’s a list of things that we all consume that you may think would form part of a healthy option, but in actual fact, they’re the reverse…

Health Drinks

A trend that started with very calorific glucose drinks, there are lots of health and energy drinks on the market today. These drinks are often crammed with vitamins, pro-biotic and even fibre, but when it comes to helping weight loss, they fall well short of the mark. Some flavoured water drinks can contain a cup of sugar in them! Also, recent studies have linked drinks containing artificial sweeteners with vascular issues and even increases in metabolic syndrome. To avoid all of that, stick to water!

Coconut Water

Low in calories, natural fat and cholesterol free, more potassium than four bananas and super hydrating, no wonder a lot of dieters are looking to coconut water to form a part of their diet. However, this natural form of water isn’t calorie free. In fact, a large glass of coconut water will have as much calories in it as the same amount of lager or a fizzy soft drink, so it can’t be used in large quantities to quench thirst without adding significant calories to the daily allowance.

Smoothies

Some fruit smoothie concoctions can have as much as 1000 calories in them due to the condensed portions of fruit, vegetables, and added simple sugars and syrups. By blitzing large numbers of fruits and vegetables together and drinking them quickly, the calories really load up and can put on weight rather than help you lose weight.

Health bars

Many energy, fibre and protein bars are not that far away from the calorific value of a chocolate bar. Marketing tells us these are a healthy choice, high in fibre or protein, but if you think the calories are lower, think again.

Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt seems so much healthier than ice cream and when you look at the food from a saturated fat point of view, it is. However, in terms of calories and simple sugars, there really isn’t all that much different. Certainly not a healthy choice…

Fat-Free Sweets

Fat-free sweets can be quite deceiving. People automatically think that fat-free means calorie-free, but is doesn’t. In most cases, sugar replaces the fat and the calorie count will remain high.

Granola

A popular breakfast cereal, Granola is laden with fats and sugars and therefore with large amounts of calories. Add to that the milk and the size of the portions to gain satisfaction and up to half of the average recommended calorie intake for an entire day could have gone in five minutes at breakfast!

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The AsapScience video below is quite fun and I think true. This clever presentation looks at some of the miscomprehensions about some foods and diets that we all assume are true. The basic premise that everything is made of chemicals and things that we assume are good for us, actually contain some of the same natural chemicals that in other foods we think are bad for us.

The title of this post, why detox is a marketing myth, is taken from the presentation, as I think it’s a clever line to use and actually it does, in this context, ring true. How can you truly detox when the range and amounts of natural and man-made chemical compounds exist in everything that we consume. There’s another line which states that ‘everything is poison at a high-enough dose’, which is also true if you think about it in terms of moderation. Too much of anything that you consume will have some sort of negative effect to the body’s balance. In truth, we all need a little of everything, including natural toxins, to attain a balanced diet and lead a healthy life.

The video is fun and makes some interesting points, however, as an Osteopath in North London I think the overriding message that I get is that education and knowledge about what we eat is very low and if that knowledge was more general and easier to understand, that would be a small but significant step in the improvement of health and most certainly would provide an elements of weaponry in the fight against obesity.

Check out the video yourself and see what you think…
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