Forget fad diets – this is what you should eat

Forget fad diets – this is what you should eat

More advice on what constitutes a good diet:

You'll find the Eating Well article on the CLL Support Association site has many common elements with the above and much more helpful information, including specific important tips for those with CLL:

See also Why weight reduction diets usually fail:


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  • With the exception of nuts, which I can't have, I generally agree. One trick is to walk around the grocery store (at least in the US) and buy less on the interior. That is where the processed foods are - the outside contains, meat, milk, some cheese, grains, etc.

    And don't forget some desserts and some fun things! Life without pleasure just isn't quite the same.

  • How do frozen, canned and dried food compare with fresh food? Senior Lecturers from the University of New South Wales, Australia provide some answers:

    Health Check: is fresh food always the best choice?


  • Brilliant article!!!

  • I look at the bin of tomatoes in my grocery store and vegetable market... and ask myself...'how many people have picked up and handled those tomatoes?'

    What have they transferred from their hands to that vegetable? SCARY!

    Peel your fruits and vegetables if they are store handled if possible

    Tomatoes, Apples, Peaches etc... wash others really well like mushrooms.

  • And for those of us on a neutropenic diet, we should only eat vegetables that have been cooked and not eat raw or dried fruit, raw nuts and much else:

  • How to lose weight: Keep a food journal, avoid eating out often and don't skip meals.

    "Greater food-journal use predicted better weight-loss outcomes, whereas skipping meals and eating out more frequently were associated with less weight loss," writes Dr. Anne McTiernan, a research professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle.

    "We didn't test men, but there would be no harm in men trying these methods also," McTiernan said.

    Researcher's Bio:

  • Some good info, except I totally disagree with "base meals on starchy foods"! And no rapeseed oil (canola oil), it's all GMO in the US.

    If you eat fish, make sure it's not high in mercury (e.g., tuna)...

    Eat less processed foods, more whole foods, esp. fruits and *vegetables*, low glycemic index foods... Nutrient dense foods like nuts, seeds, berries, onions, kale, broccoli, salads, etc....

    Read anything by Dr. Joel Fuhrman: He's all about just eating healthy and nutrient rich whole foods, no gimmicks.

    Someone wrote about juicing the other day... Eating whole fruits/veggies is preferable, but juicing is fine as a supplement to get more nutrients, but must be mostly low sugar VEGETABLES, not fruits!

  • The subject of juicing comes up often and thus the MD Anderson cancer clinic have a publication on this subject.

    The nutritional quality of what you juice being the important factor of course.

    Details at this web address.

    If the link fails the subject is on their April blog 'Focused on Health '.

    For an MD Anderson Juicing recipe see this link


  • .... Forget fad diets – this is what you should eat

    Nice picture, but there can't be much meat on them once they've been plucked, anyway, my supermarket only offers chicken, turkey and sometimes duck ....

    ... this is what you should not eat

    We treated ourselves to fish supper's from our local ' chippy ' on Sat afternoon .... It has turned out to be a novel way to lose weight ... I am now on the green tea only diet ... with plenty of exercise running up and down the stairs to the toilet ... two or three stairs at a time .... I don't even have time to say Oww!

  • ygtgo, I hope that by now you are getting your exercise how you want and not having it forced on you...

    Congratulations too on being the first to make the comment I was expecting well before you made it on the amount of meat on a sulphur crested cockatoo! These birds are a bit longer than a pigeon, but no where near as plump. They are also a great deal harder to catch - even on camera!

  • Sugars are commonly included in processed foods to improve their taste - and sales. With the World Health Organisation(WHO) recently releasing draft revised guidelines on daily sugar intake which halves the recommended amount, many of us are expected to struggle to stay within these new guidelines due to 'hidden sugars'. The article below explains the reasoning behind the WHO's recommendations (primarily concerns about weight gain and dental health) and why it could be challenging to achieve:

    How ‘hidden’ sugars are pushing up your daily dose

    Those on low salt diets also might want to check that low salt equivalents of their favourite foods don't have added sweetening so the food doesn't become unacceptably bland for the consumer.

    More on sugar and what it does to your teeth:


  • 'What's the best diet for weight loss?' , an article by Clare Collins, Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at University of Newcastle, News South Wales, Australia, has been opened up to a Q&A session, so be sure to read the comments discussion:


  • my diet has changed - I now eat nothing raw but my wife has become very adept at getting all my nutrients into the food I eat. Where we might have had organic stuff veg and fruit we still do but ensure its cooked before consumption. No reduction in volume - I have a busy lifestyle but I'm down into my BMI for the first time since the early '70s - my main concern is keeping my muscle bulk up because the hard aspects of farming need strength. My wife is diabetic so her healthy diet and my need for a healthy diet have come together to provide a very satisfactory outcome but I miss my wine and odd malt whisky or Caribbean rum!

    Never mind, halfway through FCR then 6 months recovering my immuno and I'll be back to normal - WON'T I?

  • Of course you will ...

    ... and when you do, I'll come off the lemonade/cream soda and take a nice glass of whisky from the drinks cabinet and celebrate with you.

  • way to go ygtgo!

  • There was an interesting study done, I think in England, with two twin men, each on a different extreme diet. Neither showed much progress with their diet. Where they did show success was when they ate home cooked meals, not processed food. Anyone know of the study?

  • And here's further incentive to lose weight if you've considered that while overweight, you are at least fit...

    Fat and fit? There’s no such thing for most people

  • What do cholesterol-free rice, 99% fat-free lolly snakes, potato chips with 75% less saturated fat and yoghurt that can help reduce digestive discomfort have in common? They're all cleverly labelled to make us think they're healthier than they are.

    Sandra Jones, Professor and Director of the Centre for Health Initiatives at University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia outlines the seven most common food labelling tricks – how they mislead us, and how to decode them in this article:

    Fat free and 100% natural: seven food labelling tricks exposed

    While the above article references Australian/New Zealand legislation and uses illustrations of products familiar to Aussies and Kiwis, I'm certain that the product marketing wording examples will be familiar to everyone!


  • "..Research has highlighted some interesting (and complex!) relationships that we’re only now starting to tease out. What we can say with confidence is that eating a well-balanced diet may confer not only physical health benefits, but also better mental health through improved mood."

    Health Check: how food affects mood and mood affects food:

  • Australia is rather unusual in having just two major supermarket chains dominating the industry. What isn't unusual is how it is the highly processed foods that are generally on special plus having end-of-aisle and checkout displays devoted to chips, chocolate, confectionery and soft drinks.

    "A recent study of end-of-aisle displays in UK supermarkets illustrates how position can have profound effects on what people purchase. It showed that placing soft drinks at the end of aisles increased their sales by 52%"

    Worth reading, just so that you can be more mindful on how your grocery spending is being manipulated towards unhealthy food choices:

    Don’t be fooled, supermarkets don’t have your health at heart


  • You are what you eat: how diet affects mental well-being:

    Can you train your brain to crave healthy foods? It seems that you can:

  • How valid is the Palaeolithic Diet? Not very according to Darren Curnoe, Human evolution specialist at UNSW Australia:

    "The picture is rapidly emerging that genetics play a pretty minor role in determining the specifics of our diet. Our physical and cultural environment mostly determines what we eat."


    "In the end, the choices we make about what to eat should be based on good science, not some fantasy about a lost Stone Age paradise.

    In other words, like other areas of preventative medicine, our diet and lifestyle choices should be based on scientific evidence not the latest, and perhaps even harmful, commercial fad.

    If there is one clear message from ethnographic studies of recent hunter-gatherers it’s that variation – in lifestyle and diet – was the norm.

    There is no single lifestyle or diet that fits all people today or in the past, let alone the genome of our whole species."

    And more:


  • So now we know what we should eat, how do we know how much to eat? Two approaches, the mathematical; counting calories and the instinctive; how to let your body tell you, are provided by Amanda Salis, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow in the Boden Insitute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders at University of Sydney:


  • Thanks Neil, for all your posts on what to eat.

    I also found the following article very interesting (thanks Chris D). It seems that the old dietary rules for controlling cholesterol are no longer valid! Sugar is still a problem though.

    I quote: "In the 2010 dietary guidelines, the daily cholesterol target was set at less than 300 mg. Now, says the committee, dietary cholesterol is "not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption" and current evidence suggests there is "no appreciable relationship" between heart disease and dietary cholesterol.

    The recommendations also provide good news for coffee lovers in that caffeine is no longer considered an enemy of the people. In fact, the advisory committee says consuming three to five cups of coffee per day can be part of a healthy diet and that data to date suggest that coffee reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This amounts to approximately 400 mg of caffeine per day. The consumption of added sugar, fatty milk, or rich creams with the coffee, though, is not advised."

    All those "healthy eating" leaflets we used to give our patients (as District Nurses) will have to change drastically! But how long before the "experts" change their minds again? Well we'll just have to enjoy the butter and coffee while we can.


  • Can Leafy Veggies Each Day Keep Dementia Away? A single serving of leafy green vegetables each day may help keep dementia away, new research suggests:

    "People who eat plenty of fruits and veggies may preserve more of their memory and thinking skills as they grow old, a new large study suggests.

    The findings, published online in the journal Neurology, add to a growing body of evidence linking healthy eating habits to a lower risk of dementia."

  • Tim Olds, Professor of Health Sciences at University of South Australia on whether it's what you eat or the exercise you don't have that is responsible for weight gain: -

    "Obesity researchers have been in a tug-of-war for decades now — is obesity really that bad for us, or isn’t it? Is it getting worse or better? Is it a matter for individual choice or collective action?


    Fire from the opposed camps — diet versus exercise — has been focused on two key strategic points: whether physical activity promotes weight loss; and whether the obesity epidemic is almost entirely due to increases in energy intake rather than decreases in energy expenditure.


    So, is the obesity epidemic due to people eating more or exercising less?"

    Read on to find out what Professor Olds believes is the case - supported by some interesting long term research:


  • Rosemary Stanton, Nutritionist & Visiting Fellow at UNSW Australia (and well known to Australians for her many years of encouraging Aussies to eat better), provides plenty of references in her article - Health Check: is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

    Here Rosemary Stanton explains why healthy diets need a broad approach and why we should eat food, not nutrients:


  • The December CLL Society Tribune has (in my humble opinion) an excellent article on better eating for CLL patients. While it has a strong American flavour, other Western country members probably have a similar diet...

    High fat and sugar diets stop us from feeling full, by Heather Francis, Postdoctoral Researcher & Clinical Neuropsychologist, Macquarie University, Australia:


  • Health Check: which fruits are healthier, and in what form? 'Nutritional qualities of fruits vary and it is hard to predict which fruit might be best. Generally, the more different types of fruits you can include in your diet, the better. For many fruits, eating fresh at its correct ripening stage may be more beneficial, perhaps more for taste than nutrition.

    Overripe fruits may be still good to eat or easily convert into smoothie, juice or used as an ingredient such as in banana bread. Eating an over-ripe fruit such as a banana does not mean that you are putting more sugars into your body as the total amount of carbohydrates in the fruit does not increase after harvesting.

    While fruit products (juice, dried or tinned products) that are higher in sugars and also preservatives in some cases are not as good as whole fruit, consuming fruit in this form is better than consuming no fruit at all.'

    Senaka Ranadheera, Early Career Research Fellow, Advanced Food Systems Research Unit, College of Health and Biomedicine, Victoria University, Duane Mellor, Associate Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Canberra and Nenad Naumovski, Asistant Professor in Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Canberra.

  • Our ancestors were carnivorous super-predators, so do we really have a choice about eating meat? Darren Curnoe, ARC Future Fellow and Director of the Palaeontology, Geobiology and Earth Archives Research Centre (PANGEA), UNSW Australia explains the evidence behind the argument that we are well adapted to eating meat:

    I've noted before that ethically, you can make a good argument for avoiding meat in your diet, but if you do so, you need to be more careful with your dietary choices (possibly aided by supplements) to ensure you are providing all the requisite nutrients to keep you as healthy as possible.


  • 'A recent editorial in the journal Open Heart suggests many of us have it all wrong when it comes to the balance of fats we eat.

    The authors urge a return to equal amounts of specific types of fats known as omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in order to help combat global obesity.

    The paper reflects a recent wave of evidence supporting a revision of guidelines around dietary fat, including in Australia.'

    Here's an overview article by a panel of academics involved in nutrition and cardiovascular health/medicine:


  • Do vegetarians live longer? Probably, but not because they’re vegetarian

    Melody Ding, Senior Research Fellow of Public Health, University of Sydney :

    "It’s important to acknowledge that in most studies vegetarians tend to be the “health-conscious” people, with overall healthier lifestyle patterns than the norm. For example, among the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up participants, vegetarians were less likely than non-vegetarians to report smoking, drinking excessively, insufficient physical activity and being overweight/obese. They were also less likely to report having heart or metabolic disease or cancer at the start of the study.

    In most previous studies, vegetarians did have lower risk of early death from all causes in unadjusted analysis. However, after controlling for other lifestyle factors, such as the ones listed above, the risk reduction often decreased significantly (or even completely vanished).

    This suggests other characteristics beyond abstinence from meat may contribute to better health among vegetarians. More simply, it’s the associated healthier behaviours that generally come with being a vegetarian – such as not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly - that explain why vegetarians tend to have better health outcomes than non-vegetarians.


    While we can’t say for certain if being a vegetarian helps you live longer, we do know having a well-planned, balanced diet with sufficient fruit and vegetables is certainly good for you.

    We also know sufficient physical activity, moderating alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco smoking are key factors in living longer. And the growing body of evidence shows vegetarians are more likely to have these healthy habits."

  • What is a balanced diet anyway? by Clare Collins, Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle:

    Note in particular the very interesting comments, which largely come from people who are very knowledgeable about nutrition - and note how the referenced questionnaire just doesn't work with this audience.

    Whole grain diet could boost weight loss: Whole grains not only help dieters feel full for longer but could also help people cut down on calories, a new study has revealed.

    Those committing to a diet with whole grains, instead of eating refined grains, lost 100 more calories per day.

  • Clare Collins, Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Newcastle, on the health benefits of being flexitarian, which include 'better weight management, lower blood pressure, better metabolic health and lower risk of type 2 diabetes':

    'A flexitarian is defined as “one whose normally meatless diet occasionally includes meat or fish”.'

  • Sobering reading - CardioBrief: Has Nutrition Science Been Poisoned?

    The inevitable weaknesses of observational and diet studies

  • More academic articles recently published in 'The Conversation' on diet:

    Why you should eat a plant-based diet, but that doesn’t mean being a vegetarian

    Food as medicine: why do we need to eat so many vegetables and what does a serve actually look like?

    Food as medicine: your brain really does want you to eat more veggies

    Choosing healthy food: your surroundings can help or hinder your dining choices

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