Diets: what we read in 2014. Diets: what we read in 2014.
Diets: what we read in 2014.
Diets: what we read in 2014.
It’s been a big year on the fitness and wellbeing front. But the biggest stories of the year may not be what you’d expect.
Diet and nutrition features took a big bite out of the top 10. But, despite the immense splash it caused and the amount of conversation he generated about it neither the Paleo diet nor Pete Evans made the top 10 most-read stories.
Instead, in 2014, we reached peak kale, you said yes, yes, yes to sexercise, wanted to know what the ‘world’s best diet’ was and dropped your jaws to the floor over the random rise of nude exercise.
You were curious about the chemicals in your food, jumped on board the Body Image movement and threw Lisa Curry’s advice about Rushing Women’s Syndrome overboard.
Let’s take a look at the year that was, with our most-read diet and fitness stories of 2014.
Nude yoga: the naked truth
A little rudie nudie downward dog caught everyone’s attention because let’s face it any excuse to get our kit off in public, right? Or at very least have a voyeuristic peek at the weird and wonderful folk who do like to tackle their workout with their tackle out.
And why not?
The fact is, the shots are fascinating; the human body is fascinating. Why do we need to snicker about it in all its glory or cover up our curiosity with pseudo-intellectual justifications?
Whether it’s yoga or running or even, these days, on the red carpet, it’s almost more surprising when people aren’t trying to get naked.
Is it really all that shocking or is it time to loosen our ties a little and take a good hard look at why we’re all getting our knickers in a twist over a little nudity?
Sexercise: an exciting alternative to the gym
Hallelujah! Sex should be considered a significant exercise for burning calories was the happy conclusion reached in a recent study.
“If you struggle to schedule a fitness routine in your daily life, a workout under the sheets maybe a very good idea – you could even think of it as healthy multitasking,” said sexual health therapist and Fairfax blogger Matty Silver. “‘Sexercise’ has many health benefits; it releases feel-good hormones and endorphins that lower stress levels, it improves overall mood and it fights off depression. It also improves the immune system and contributes to better health overall.”
What 200 calories of food looks like
We’ve learned that a calorie is not just a calorie – in that the calories in chips or nuts might be the same while the nutrients are absolutely not.
That said, 200 calories is 10 per cent of our recommended daily intake and we were curious to know what those portions look like.
It is also a lot less than most of us probably think. A whole mango is more than 200 calories, and so is that iced doughnut.
Having this sense of visual portion size, when we normally talk about it in numbers, can’t hurt, said Professor Linda Tapsell, Discipline Leader in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Wollongong.
“”There’s so much information you can read about it and we’re not sure how much information you can take in, so I think anything like that could be helpful.”
Taryn Brumfitt’s Body Image Movement
In a year when we’ve had thigh gap, bikini bridge and finger trap as well as seen the illusion of the transformation photo, Taryn Brumfitt’s body image movement came as a breath of fresh air. And maybe a bit of a middle finger up to the thinspiration movement that has touched a nerve.
Brumfitt turned the idea of the typical before and after bikini shot on its head when she posted a ‘before’ shot of her in a bikini contest and an ‘after’ shot of her looking softer and curvier and more satisfied.
She had, she said, learned not to hate her body and try to contort it into an image of perfection. Rather she was on a mission to help women like herself embrace their natural bodies, be healthy for health’s sake, and change the way we view beauty and ourselves.
“What do you think you’ll be thinking about when you take your last breath?”
This is the question she said she asked women thousands of times over the past few years.
“I’ve never heard anyone say ‘cellulite’ or ‘thigh gap’.”
And thank god for that.
Doctors quick to criticise Lisa Curry over Rushing Women’s Syndrome advice
The former Olympic swimmer opened up in a compelling interview blaming a hormone imbalance on the breakdown of her marriage.
There were times, she said, where she was “being an absolute bitch, a cow, angry and irritable for no reason”.
“I had days where I felt completely out of control,” she said. “I was moody, I would cry for no reason, I wanted to kill the world.”
But, when the 52-year-old blamed her behaviour on a non-medically recognised condition called Rushing Women’s Syndrome (RWS) and it was revealed she had her own supplement line to remedy the so-called syndrome, red flags were raised by medical professionals.
The term RWS was coined by biochemist and author Dr Libby Weaver, not as a diagnosis, but rather to describe a clusterf**k of symptoms women can experience as a result of chronic stress hormones being produced.
Curry adopted the term however and said a “happy hormone supplement” cured the problem and so she now sold the supplement herself.
But professionals were highly critical that a hormone supplement could cure either a diagnosable hormone imbalance or the sense of feeling out of control and crying for no reason.
“If you’re feeling constantly miserable, no supplement out there will help,” said Dr Ginni Mansberg, who pointed out that such advice was “at worst a lethal issue” for those who were seriously depressed.
Top 10 powerhouse fruits and veg
You could barely escape kale and its curly cruciferous claws in 2014. There were kale salads, soups, chips, smoothies, juices, even brownies (which is really messed up).
But kale is no longer king.
Despite its rapid rise up the ranks of so-called superfoods in recent years, kale does not even make the top 10 “powerhouse fruits and vegetables”, according to a 2014 study.
Rather, watercress was the unlikely winner, packing a peppery punch with its cross-section of critical nutrients.
Watercress, as its name suggests grows in water, and its peppery tasting leaves contain more iron than spinach, more calcium than milk, and more vitamin C than oranges.
Go figure – let’s please not make 2015 the year of watercress cakes.
World’s Best Diet revealed by scientists
We can rest assured the ‘World’s best diet’ is not Paleo, which News苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au ridiculously referred to as ‘no better than drinking your own urine’ in a sensationalist piece last week.
Instead, from the plethora of diets promising to be the holy grail of weight loss, the Diogenes Diet emerged as a smart, science-backed answer.
Diogenes, a higher protein/ lower carbohydrate pattern of eating, is a mash-up of the words diet, obesity and genes. In a study comparing different diets, researchers found those on the Diogenes diet lost more weight, kept it off for longer (i.e. were actually able to sustain the plan long-term) and had healthier inflammatory markers in their blood, which are related to a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
“But while the World’s Best Diet is higher in protein and lower in carbs it’s no radical diet,” wrote Paula Goodyer, the article’s author. “The idea is to modestly lower the carbohydrate content of the diet and modestly increase the protein content to give a ratio of around 2:1 in favour of carbs… a typical Australian diet is generally higher in carbohydrates with a ratio as high as 4:1.”
Debate fires up again about the 5:2 diet
Michael Mosley, arguably the world’s most famous human-health guinea pig, managed to transform his health and lose 12 kilograms through a regime now known as the 5:2 diet.
The basic concept behind 5:2 is that for two days of the week you restrict your calorie intake to about 2500 kilojoules a day, in order to give your body a break from processing food and a period where your blood is not filled with glucose.
His book about the diet became an instant best-seller and preliminary research has shown promising results in terms of blood sugar levels and cholesterol as well as weight loss.
But, as dietitian Susie Burrell pointed out, there is no one size fits all when it comes to diet and, like any other plan, 5:2 was backfiring for some.
She said, for busy people racing around all day, the fasting days were unsustainable. They could also lead to an unhealthy obsession with food and compensatory eating on non-fast days.
“My experience is that followers tend to eat more like 800-1000 calories per day while fasting, as an extra coffee or snack slips in, which unfortunately negates the benefits of the ‘fast’,” she said.
“You may be surprised to find that you can also lose a few kilos just cutting back slightly, every single day.”
The hidden chemicals you eat every day
Chemicals in food, drinks and in the environment always piques people’s interest, not least because, as many are quick to point out, even the chemical name for water (dihydrogen monoxide) can sound scary and like something we ought to avoid.
That said, there are certain chemicals that actually ought to be avoided, hence the 24th Australian Total Diet Study by Food Standards Australia New Zealand, which tested 94 commonly consumed foods and drinks.
They tested three food chemicals: acrylamide, aluminium and perchlorates.
While the results fell within the safe range overall, levels of acrylamide appeared to be of possible concern to human health.
Acrylamide forms naturally in carbohydrate-rich foods when they are heated at high temperatures by roasting, baking, grilling, toasting and frying.
The study found that cereals and grain-based foods were the main sources of acrylamide in our diets, followed by snacks, condiments, fried potato products and meat.
Although information is power, some readers felt frustrated that, as one commenter put it, “According to the latest studies reported in the media over the last few years, everything we eat is bad, so we have to consider stopping eating altogether I think. “
Kate Middleton’s extreme diet
Kate Middleton is always popular amongst readers, but generally we’re reading about her fashion choices.
There is also very little that is extreme about the Duchess of Cambridge except that she is extremely sensible.
So no wonder we all wanted to know about her ‘extreme’ diet.
The gossip bible that’s hardly gospel AKA the Daily Mail reported that according to somebody, the Duchess was on a strict raw food diet in attempt to improve her complexion and regain her teensy post-baby body.
The elusive source DM supposedly interviewed was very specific about the diet and that the Duchess was particularly fond of ceviche – raw fish marinated in lemon juice and spices.
Other dishes from the diet she apparently indulged in included watermelon salads, gazpacho (raw vegetable soup), goji berries, tabbouleh (a vegetarian dish), and almond milk.
“Believers of the trend say it promotes glowing skin and stronger nails, because raw food is a better source of vitamins and nutrients.”
But then the claims may have been half baked – or completely cooked – to begin with.
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