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Eating Real: Clarity over Confusion

Recently, Eddie Abbew—a proponent of unprocessed foods who's known for his straightforward style (lots of swears)—found himself at the centre of a heated exchange with a dietician. While he played the debate out publicly on his feed, it underscored an essential conversation about our food choices.

Eddie advocates for whole foods, pushing back against common dietary staples like bread, cereal, and porridge in favour of options like eggs and avocado. This is because he improved his health and claims others with his low carbohydrate approach. The dietician countered, supporting these foods as part of a balanced diet.

This clash of perspectives brings us to a vital question: what is the best approach to nutrition?

Eddie’s emphasis on minimal sugar and unprocessed foods has merit, especially given our easy access to overly processed options. His approach cuts through the clutter and makes us rethink convenience food. Yet, not all traditional foods deserve dismissal. Quality is critical—artisanal bread can be part of a nutritious diet, for example. Porridge can work for some and it is naturally full of nutrition. Cereal is not best choice however if you can't part with it, think about adding extra protein. Add some ground seeds or have an egg after. This will give you extra nutrition and keep you fuller for longer. 

For me, variety is crucial. Carbohydrates, in amounts appropriate for my lifestyle, support my health and activity levels. It's about wise selection—opt for complex carbs and use nutrient-dense vegetables as your base.

As I explore carbohydrates and brain health for my upcoming talk, I'm further reminded of the complexity that underpins our food choices. Pasta and rice, whether wholegrain or white, offer a compelling case study. Despite their differences, they have comparable effects on how quickly sugar enters the bloodstream, which in turn influences our energy levels, appetite, and mood.

My preference leans towards white pasta, particularly durum wheat pasta, which not only satisfies the palate but also delivers a protein boost, offering a more favourable position on the glycaemic index. Basmati rice, known for its aromatic taste, similarly ranks well in terms of sugar release.

Yet, there's a caveat with brown rice—it may contain higher arsenic levels compared to its white counterpart. My practical approach? Alternate between the two. Enjoy white basmati rice one week and switch to brown the next, balancing health considerations with culinary variety.

When it comes to pasta, if you're weighing options for taste, white durum pasta or fresh pasta stand out as the best choices. Pair with foods with protein and or fat and don't overeat, use veg as the filler. Eat like the Italians - pasta, meat or fish and veg after. Also cooking the pasta al dente can further assist the speed we metabolise it.

Eddie speaks to people in a way they will listen so we should not be dismissing him if the aim is for us all to eat better. There is a place for both views however listening to both can leave you thinking "what can I eat???"


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