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Healthy Eating - what a minefield!

(16 Posts)
iloveselfhelp1 Thu 21-Jan-16 16:49:48

I don't know about other mums but I get so confused these days about how we should be eating. I appreciate the wisdom of choosing healthy options such as fruit/veg/wholemeal this and that/more fibre etc and also that over-indulgence of many foods is generally not good. However, do others feel that we're increasingly becoming more entrenched in a 'Nanny State' with the 'dos' and 'don'ts' of oral consumption? I love any bread, although I mostly eat white - shocking I know! I take sweeteners in my coffee (but I'm hearing they are also dodgy). I include fruit and veg in my everyday diet although not always the recommended 5. I don't eat much sugary stuff although I usually eat at least one sweet treat in a day. I drink red wine a couple of nights a week and no I don't stick to the recommended daily allowance (1-2 units?? Any units?? the guidelines keep changing!) and can easily double or triple that and yes, I admit that will sound quite greedy to many. Nonetheless, it seems there is so much in the 'no-go' areas these days, but is it really that bad to have treats a bit more often than the proverbial 'occasional' and how often is occasional anyway? Once a week, once a month, once every 3 months?? Sorry but aren't we all getting a bit too miserable feeling we have to deny ourselves (YET ANOTHER!!) food that we enjoy eating? Instead of all these involved weight loss diets, losing weight should be based simply on expending more energy than we are taking in. Apart from those who have complicated health concerns, would simply consuming a good balance of LOTS MORE of the good stuff, VERY LITTLE of the bad stuff and GETTING ACTIVE be more achievable for us instead of being so prescriptive about it all? What do others think? Am I being unreasonable?

PollyPerky Thu 21-Jan-16 19:37:23

I don't know about other mums but I get so confused these days about how we should be eating. I appreciate the wisdom of choosing healthy options such as fruit/veg/wholemeal this and that/more fibre etc and also that over-indulgence of many foods is generally not good.

However, do others feel that we're increasingly becoming more entrenched in a 'Nanny State' with the 'dos' and 'don'ts' of oral consumption?

I love any bread, although I mostly eat white - shocking I know!

I take sweeteners in my coffee (but I'm hearing they are also dodgy). I include fruit and veg in my everyday diet although not always the recommended 5. I don't eat much sugary stuff although I usually eat at least one sweet treat in a day.

I drink red wine a couple of nights a week and no I don't stick to the recommended daily allowance (1-2 units?? Any units?? the guidelines keep changing!) and can easily double or triple that and yes, I admit that will sound quite greedy to many.

Nonetheless, it seems there is so much in the 'no-go' areas these days, but is it really that bad to have treats a bit more often than the proverbial 'occasional' and how often is occasional anyway? Once a week, once a month, once every 3 months??

Sorry but aren't we all getting a bit too miserable feeling we have to deny ourselves (YET ANOTHER!!) food that we enjoy eating? Instead of all these involved weight loss diets, losing weight should be based simply on expending more energy than we are taking in.

Apart from those who have complicated health concerns, would simply consuming a good balance of LOTS MORE of the good stuff, VERY LITTLE of the bad stuff and GETTING ACTIVE be more achievable for us instead of being so prescriptive about it all? What do others think? Am I being unreasonable?

Put it in p/gs for you!

StealthPolarBear Thu 21-Jan-16 19:40:02

Can I just check - are you a journalist?

PollyPerky Thu 21-Jan-16 19:43:22

Not sure what you are asking?

yes we all ought to eat more of the good stuff and less of the bad.

There are lots of points in your post.

1 - you say you are confused about what healthy eating is.

2 - you say you eat healthily some of the time

3 - you don't intend to stick to guidelines on alcohol

4 - you appear slightly unknowledgeable about how overweight and obese people behave. If it was only a case of eating less and being more active well, voila! no one would be fat!

Your attitude to alcohol is worrying. As a woman, you could perhaps be drinking more than 14 units ( there can be 2 units in a medium-large glass and you may have 6 glasses or more.) Alcohol is related to breast cancer. For women over 50-ish 1 glass of wine a day is more risky for breast cancer than HRT, as an example.

iloveselfhelp1 Fri 22-Jan-16 01:17:07

Thank you PollyPerky for your reply and also for taking the time to put my post in paragraphs for me that was really sweet.

However, I am sure I am not the only person who would feel a bit saturated with the dos and don'ts of what we consume these days. I prefer to say I eat healthily most of the time but then there's the rub - what you consider healthy vs mine and another's and so on it goes. There are always others that know best and better how we should be eating. My point I suppose is where does it stop?

I don't claim to be knowledgeable on any of these issues, the point of these posts I feel is to learn about the knowledge and feelings of others. Perhaps my post did sound slightly militant against healthy eating but that was not the intention. You may or may not be a knowledgeable health professional, however, my comment on the methods of weight loss although targeted at overweight individuals, did exclude those with complicated health concerns and many obese individuals may fall under this heading.

Btw I personally count 1 unit of alcohol as being 125ml. I also am aware that there are a host of other supposed causes of breast cancer that we are being made aware of.

iloveselfhelp1 Fri 22-Jan-16 01:24:10

Stealthpolarbear your comment may have been to PollyPerky I think but I am not a journalist as such although I do produce a community magazine each month.

StealthPolarBear Fri 22-Jan-16 06:33:49

No it was to you
Your style or writing, greeting and the fact this is your first post just made me wonder.

PollyPerky Fri 22-Jan-16 08:31:20

I'm still not sure what you're getting at!

The media is awash with advice, sure, but the basics are very easy to understand and - follow!

Eat less red meat, processed meat, and increase fish and pulses. Eat as much fruit and veg as you can, cut right back on sugar ( 6 teaspoons a day max for an adult which includes sugar in bought products like ready meals and cakes etc) limit alcohol, eat good fats, etc.

The balance seems to be around 80:20. So allow yourself a treat once a week maybe but don't binge. Personally I think your one sweet treat a day is too much but it depends on what it is. As a family we allow ourselves a desert once a week, at a weekend, maybe but in the rest of the week we don't eat any cakes, biscuits or buy sweets.

sadie9 Fri 22-Jan-16 09:56:49

I agree. The first post was like someone purposely trying to start a conversation about this topic. Not really like someone actually asking for help.
If someone is eating 2000 calories too many a day, there's not enough time in the day to burn those extra calories off.
Lack of awareness of food, exercise, and lack of awareness of how our thoughts, beliefs, feelings and emotions work in food & lifestyle behaviours are the main issues.

PollyPerky Fri 22-Jan-16 11:19:11

I think this OP is more a discussion for AIBU or Chat.

You don't seem to be asking for advice per se, but asking if women feel confused at conflicting advice.

This is why someone thought you might be a journo trawling for comments / sounding people out.

If you want actual advice and guidelines there are plenty posters who'd be happy to help. smile

iloveselfhelp1 Fri 22-Jan-16 11:36:40

With all due respect Polly I thought what I was getting at was pretty clear. I am aware of the basics of healthy eating as are most people (although I spoke to a lady not so long ago who thought her five a day counted if she ate five of the same fruit!). There are some days I might not get my 5 a day but most days I do and some days may get up to 7 or 8 portions. I do eat wholemeal bread sandwiches but like white toast (I happen to eat a bit more toast in the week than sandwiches). I eat red meat on average once a week and usually have a meat free day. I grill most things and use sunflower oil in my cooking. My sweet treat might be two small biscuits or perhaps once a week a small chocolate bar or couple of chocolates although I appreciate that still may be too much for some people. I stopped taking sugar in my coffee a few years back and now take sweeteners but am finding out these are bad as well.

By your own admission 'the media is awash with advice' and that's just my point, when many people have got to grips with the basics (and I have no problem with the basics) they are bombarded with yet more dos and don'ts. I have a friend who is passionate about healthy eating and reads a lot of articles on various food groups. She lectures me on the horrors of consuming meat and dairy products, I thought I was ok with dairy as I take semi-skimmed milk and limit the amount of cheese and butter I use but she went on to explain about other microbes in milk that could lead to cancer etc. She tells me meat is linked to cancer. I think there was an article not so long ago stating tuna wasn't safe to eat. All I am saying is I feel society is getting a bit too paranoid about it all. Most of us know the basics but do we also take on board everything else that's supposed to be bad for us?

Btw Sadie9 you are right I was purposely trying to start a conversation about this topic with no direct request for help, although I am always happy to take on board others' advice and ideas smile Just wanted to know if I was alone in this way of thinking or if others shared my view of feeling, after getting to grips with the basics, it is all a bit of a minefield.

iloveselfhelp1 Fri 22-Jan-16 11:40:38

Btw I am new to mumsnet so perhaps I have violated some rule in this particular link and should have been directly asking for advice??

StealthPolarBear Fri 22-Jan-16 11:48:04

No you haven't and I'm sorry if I gave started the finger pointing smile
It's just we do get journalists fishing for people to say outrageous things and your op reminded me of the style.

iloveselfhelp1 Fri 22-Jan-16 12:09:35

Sorry if it gave that impression Stealth, having re-read my original post it did sound like a bit of a rant! Lol

PollyPerky Fri 22-Jan-16 12:54:08

It wasn't clear- sorry. It sounded on the one hand like a rant, but on the other like a post inviting opinions.

This is perhaps more suitable to Am I Being Unreasonable (AIBU) than this section where people ask for help.

The point is that no one really knows about some things and science is always proving and disproving things.

Don't know if you watched Trust Me this week (BBC2) but two highly qualified eminent scientists discussed if meat was healthy- one said yes, the other said avoid altogether. So even the experts can't agree.

I don't know the exact details about tuna but assume this is the possible mercury content you are talking of?

I'd take issue with a few things you consider you are doing right: sunflower oil is not healthy. It's high in Omega 6 and most experts say that we have too much Omega 6 in our diets at the expense of Omega 3. Olive oil is healthier. Also, you may not be aware but last year there was new research which showed that saturated fat (in cheese and meat etc) was not responsible for heart disease. The new culprit is sugar.

Two biscuits a day may well be taking you near you daily allowance of 6 teaspoons if you eat any other type of processed food or drinks with sugar in them. Also, using sweetener instead of sugar still keeps your addiction to sugar alive- far better to stop altogether.

I'd say there are some scare stories around some foods (never heard of the microbes in milk) which are not based on serious research.

If you want to keep up to date, something like Google Scholar will throw up quality research papers if you put your question into the search engine.

It's all about balance. No one should feel they are denied a treat, or the very occasional sausage or bacon butty, but the evidence is there to show that some food eaten often or in large amounts can cause harm.

iloveselfhelp1 Fri 22-Jan-16 13:42:05

Thanks for the info Polly, you are obviously very informed. You are right and as I have already indicated it is all about getting the right balance. However, your message made me smile - your picking apart of the items I mention kind of proves my point about the potential minefield with dietary issues smile

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