Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Simple diet “tweaks” trashed

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For a special summer treat I picked-up a copy of the British Glamour (it’s so much better than the American version!). I was a little disappointed (although not very surprised) to see a list of simple diet tweaks provided by a doctor.

  1. “Milk and coffee together are very hard to digest – so swap the dairy for soya, rice or almond milk” 

There is no scientific basis for this claim as far as I can tell. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a milk alternative in your coffee, or drinking it black, but unless you have difficulty digesting milk anyway adding it to your coffee shouldn’t be an issue.

2. “Squirt half a lemon or put a spoon of apple cider vinegar into a bottle of water; ti makes your body less acidic and more alkaline”

Actually, your body has an excellent pH buffering system and consuming certain types of foods may affect the pH of your urine but it will have no impact on the acidity of your blood.

3. “Always have fruit first – not at the end of a meal. It can ferment in your gut and makes digestion more difficult.”

This myth has been making the round for years. It fails to acknowledge the basic process of digestion. Your stomach churns all of the food together with your gastric juices. That apple is going to get nicely mixed in with the rest of your food whether you eat it at the beginning or the end of your meal. There is no way that a piece of fruit is going to be sitting in your stomach long enough, nor will it be exposed to the necessary bacteria, to undergo fermentation. Eat your fruit whenever you damn please.

4. “Give your digestive system a rest by ‘food combining’ – have carbs and soup or salad for lunch, and fish or chicken with cooked vegetables for dinner.”

This is not going to give your digestive system any sort of break. It still has to operate to digest whatever foodstuffs you consume, be they carbs, fats, or proteins. All this is going to do is make eating a much more complicated affair and make it difficult to obtain all of your nutrients. Far better to have a combination of these macronutrients at each meal to ensure that you’re getting all of your nutrients and to promote satiety. After all, that lunch of just carbs is likely to leave you ravenous and pave the way for overeating at suppertime.