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Are you confused about what you ‘should’ be eating?

 

Do you feel like every time you’ve finally got it all figured out, another health fad or diet no-no comes flying out of nowhere?

 

You’re not alone. I speak to so many women who are completely confused about what is a healthy diet – and it’s no wonder, really.

Every day, we’re bombarded with conflicting advice about what we ‘should’ be eating.

‘Fat makes you fat!’ ‘Carbs are the devil!’ ‘It doesn’t matter what your food sources are, as long as you hit your macros!’

Honestly, it’s enough to make you want to dive into a packet of chocolate biscuits.

There’s so much misinformation out there that even foods that are perfectly healthy for you are being demonised. But in avoiding these foods, you’’re actually missing out on many of the valuable nutrients that are key to a balanced diet.

Well, I say it’s time to welcome these foods back with open arms!

Read on for 5 so-called ‘unhealthy’ foods you should reconsider adding back into your diet.

 

1. Pasta

Pasta Bowl

Image: Unsplash

Pasta gets a bad rep for being too high in carbs, but there’s plenty of research to suggest it can actually be good for you and help manage your weight.

Plus, it’s incredibly affordable and versatile — just add in a protein source and veggie-rich sauce and voila, you’ve got yourself one beautifully balanced meal.

However, not all pasta is created equal. Wholegrain pasta is typically higher in fibre, as well as rich in vitamins like manganese, selenium, copper and phosphorus. I also particularly love pasta made from legumes and pulses, which you can find in any major supermarket these days.

My trick with pasta? I see how many serves of veg I can add. This is what I call crowding. Crowding in more veggies to help you get to your 5+ a day. I normally aim for 2-3+ serves in a bowl of pasta by adding tomatoes, onion, shredded carrot, baby spinach etc.

2. Cheese

Parmesan Cheese Salad

Image: Unsplash

Many people avoid cheese when trying to lose weight. But I’ve got good news for you: cheese isn’t actually bad for you and you shouldn’t feel guilty for eating it!

Cheese contains calcium (essential for healthy bones), protein and vitamins and minerals like zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin B2.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not recommending you eat an entire wheel of Brie in one sitting (mmm brie…).  But adding cheese to healthy foods makes them tastier, meaning you’ll eat them more often.

Try adding feta to your salads, finishing a homemade soup with parmesan or stirring ricotta through a pasta in place of cream.

3. Bread

Healthy bread

Image: Unsplash

Due to the popularity of low-carb diets like keto, it seems to have become public enemy number one. But there’s no reason you have to cut bread out of your diet completely if you’re not allergic or intolerant to gluten.

In fact, like wholegrain pasta, bread is high in many nutrients and vitamins, as well as fibre to keep you full for longer. Whether it’s wholemeal toast with a smoosh of avocado and poached eggs for brekkie or a wholegrain sandwich with chicken and loads of veggies for lunch, bread can be a super convenient vessel for a healthy meal. The key here is moderation — eating bread once a day isn’t going to hurt you.

4. Rice

Super foods bowl

Image: My lunch bowl with SunRice SuperGrains

Rice often gets lumped in with bread and pasta categories. Unlike bread and pasta, though, rice is a plant-based food which is minimally processed and naturally gluten-free.

It also happens to be one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, as it is high in fibre and contains B minerals and magnesium.

Other varieties of rice, such as brown, black and red rice, basmati and jasmine as well as other grains like millet, buckwheat and quinoa are all loaded with the healthy stuff and make the perfect base for a nutritious meal.

5. Peanut butter

Pear and peanut butter

Image: Unsplash

Many people wrongfully label peanut butter as ‘naughty’. However, this isn’t the case. Our beloved PB can actually have its place in a healthy diet — and it’s an ingredient I enjoy often. Not only is it a source of  protein, but it’s got lovely nutrients like with vitamin E, potassium, magnesium and other minerals and vitamins. 

I always go for the more natural, unprocessed varieties you can find in most supermarkets. Team it with sliced banana or apples or roll it into some bliss balls for a super satiating, delicious snack.

Ready to take the confusion out of eating healthy?  You’re going to love my new book, The Nude Nutritionist. It’s available for pre-order now!


About The Author

Lyndi Cohen

Lyndi Cohen is best known as The Nude Nutritionist. After a decade of yo-yo dieting and hating her body, Lyndi finally realised that life's too short to obsess over calories and punish yourself with exercise. Lyndi quit dieting, learned to stop emotional eating. While she ended up losing 20kg, the real benefit was that she was no longer controlled by food. Today, Lyndi is an advocate for positive body image and eating healthily, without restricting, becoming obsessive or screwing with your mental health to lose a few kilos. She is a regular on Channel 9's TODAY show, quoted frequently by the media and is now an author of her first book, The Nude Nutritionist which is available worldwide.

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