There’s no denying health writer and author Sarah Wilson divides opinion.
Some of her views on food have been labelled “extreme”. Others praise her mission to cut sugar out of her life and credit her popular I Quit Sugar (IQS) series for turning their health around.
In fact, last year the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the IQS franchise was set to clock in $4 million at the end of the last financial year. If you think that’s substantial, just think of the trillions of gummy bears that would’ve been left stranded on shop shelves.
In a recent post on her website, Wilson shared the health perspectives she once “copped flack” for but believes she “got right”. And yes, she’s talking a lot of sense. In fact, it’s plain, simple, sensible health advice.
“The best way to have true influence is to quietly just get on with things and not ram an idea down anyone’s throat… I have never told a soul to quit sugar. My book is called I Quit Sugar, not You Must Quit Sugar,” she says.
Watch: How much sugar is in your favourite drinks? (Post continues after video.)
If traditionally you’re someone who felt your throat was getting rammed, this might change things.
1. The whole “superfoods” movement is basically bullsh*t.
Amen. While the superfoods and clean eating fads seem to be finally losing puff (yes, you can stop bulk buying matcha now), there are still a lot of people who truly believe that if a food doesn’t come with the “super” prefix, it’s not worthy of your mouth.
“Interestingly, recently in the UK experts and journalists have declared ‘Clean Eating’ a problematic way of eating, for various reasons,” Wilson writes.
“Given that this term is used to describe meat-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, date/almond milk/cashew/raw greens-saturated foods and the like, instead of plain and simple real food, cooked at home, using basic ingredients in sustainable, economical ways, I tend to agree.”
Wilson also describes ‘superfoods’ as “the simple, un-messed-food our grandmothers could identify”. Those raw superfood balls packed with rare fancy fruits and health powders? They’re imposters.
“They’re complicated. Mucked-with. And expensive.” Agreed. (Post continues after gallery.)
2. Yeah, we kinda do need to cut down our sugar intake.
While I’d personally never be able to quit sugar, nor do I really want to, Wilson makes a good point where cutting down on sugar is concerned. She points out a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report on sugar intake that made the strong recommendation for us to cut down our free sugar intake to less than 10 per cent of our total energy intake.
What constitutes this “free” sugar, you ask? The WHO states that it includes “monosaccharides and disaccharides added to foods and beverages by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates”.
The global health body also suggested “a further reduction of the intake of free sugars to below five per cent of total energy intake.” Which, as it turns out, is around six to nine teaspoons — what Wilson has been suggesting for some time now.
“The British government endorsed this decision and amended its national guidelines accordingly. The American Heart Foundation also amended its sugar intake prescriptions and currently recommends a limit of nine teaspoons for men and six for women. It’s become accepted,” she explained.
3. Fat is not the enemy. We repeat, quit hating on fat.
Wilson argues that it’s sugar, and sugar only, that she’s always been wary of.
Fat? Fat isn’t the problem. There are numerous studies that back her up. It’s true, the many claims that fat is the root of obesity and heart disease haven’t been proven.
“One massive study published in 2010 looked at data from 21 studies that included 347,747 individuals. They found no association between saturated fat consumption and the risk of cardiovascular disease,” she wrote.
“A more recent meta-analysis published in The Lancet Journal showed that low-fat diets are not particularly efficient for weight loss either (especially when compared to a ‘fatty’ Mediterranean-style diet).”
You might not be flush enough to buy your whole market haul from the organic section, but the following stuff is worth the investment: - almonds - beef - berries (more contaminated than any other fruit) - chicken and eggs (organic is the ONLY way to eat chicken) - coffee (not just a #hipster affection) - dairy products - peanut butter - thin-skinned fruit and veggies that can’t be peeled. I share the nitty gritty as to why you should be eating #organic in #Simplicious. #SimpliciousHack #foodwastegirl
4. Forget about counting calories. Ever.
Wilson also argues that the all-calories-were-born equal approach is fundamentally incorrect.
Let’s just say the calories in a donut are the same as the calories in a certain piece of fruit. Just because they contain the same amount of calories doesn’t mean that those calories will have have the same effect on your health, your metabolism, your body. Nutrients are what really matters.
Yes, that means you have our permission never to count a calorie again. *Fist pump*