The real answer to health is easier then you think
FORGET keto, veganism and high-protein low-carb eating, it's time to ditch the fad diets and get back to basics, says leading nutritionist Jessica Sepel.
Taking to the main stage at Australia's largest free food festival Regional Flavours at South Bank yesterday, the cookbook author, JSHealth blogger and qualified nutritionist said people had become confused about what to eat and simply needed to focus on real food.
"I think we need to block out the noise of the diet culture a little bit. I think there's too much inundation of mixed messages," she said.
"One diet tells you to eat carbs, one tells you not to eat carbs, one tells you high fat, high protein, then there's the whole vegan thing, and we're so confused and how can you not be."
Ms Sepel said eating healthily was easy and could be done cheaply, it was simply a matter of using fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein, seeds, nuts and wholegrains.
"Healthy living can be fun and delicious and it's not in any way about deprivation, it's actually about abundance," she said.
"It's utilising healthy herbs and spices and homemade sauces and dressing to really lift those meals and make sure they are tasty because, at the end of the day, you're not going to continue the healthy life if it's tasteless."
Ms Sepel said people could still eat their favourite foods, it was just a matter of tweaking the recipe, like with her sugar-free chocolate mousse and teriyaki salmon she cooked at Regional Flavours, which saw 80,000 people celebrate Queensland's best produce.
"It doesn't have to just be about steamed broccoli. It's just making healthy versions of your favourite foods. Like who would have thought cauliflower pizza would be the next big thing?" she said.
The nutritionist said healthy swaps were also the easiest way to make long-lasting changes, as going hardcore healthy was a bad idea.
"When I was in my practice as a nutritionist I can't even tell you how profound the changes were with people who made one to two small changes a week," she said.
"It could be swapping your white bread for wholegrain bread, diet soda or soda to sparkling water, your milk chocolate to dark chocolate, swapping your ketchup and sugary dressings to homemade dressing; going from three or four take-out meals a week to two take-out meals a week.
"What will happen is that person will start to feel so much better and so much more energised they'll be so excited to continue making those adjustments."