New Irish food pyramid – any basis in science?

Ireland's new Food Pyramid - 2016

Ireland’s new Food Pyramid – 2016

Food Pyramid 2012

Food Pyramid 2012

The Food Pyramid on which Irish dietary guidelines has been revamped. At first glance, it looks like an improvement but as they say – the devil is in the detail. And if the Irish population were to adopt it wholeheartedly – would the health of the nation improve and would it help us head off the looming obesity crisis? Currently we are set to become the fattest in Europe by 2030 according to the latest projections of the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to these projections 91% of Irish men would be overweight or obese and 83% of women. This would obviously have a dramatic effect on our already over burdened health services with the corresponding increase in related illness for example heart disease and type two diabetes. Continue reading

Is fruit allowed on the Atkins diet

The ‘5 a day’ campaign has been so successful that anyone you ask on the street would tell you that we should all be eating five portions of fruit and veg a day. Fruit is practically the default health food. So is this true and is fruit appropriate on a low-carb diet like Atkins?

Is fruit appropriate on Atkins?

Fruit on AtkinsSo to answer the question on whether you can eat fruit on Atkins –  it depends on your individual carb tolerance and whether you trying to lose or maintain your weight. Fruit contains fructose which is a natural sugar. However, natural or not, it is still sugar to your body and like all other carbs it is converted to blood sugar and used as fuel for the body, with any excess stored as fat. Continue reading

Roast vegetables

Roast Vegetables

Roast Vegetables

Roast vegetables are a great option on Atkins and go well with many meat or fish dishes. For instance you can have them with roast duck, lamb or beef. Just put your meat in the oven and add the vegetables about 40 minutes before the end (or less depending on the type of vegetables you choose). Continue reading

Quick and Easy Salads on Atkins

Salads are an excellent option for lunches on Atkins and can be very quick and easy too. Of course, salads don’t need to be anything fancy – you can just take whatever ingredients you have in the fridge and add a tablespoon of full fat mayonnaise or another dressing. For instance you could choose from the following:

  • meat such as chicken, ham, turkey, pork – meat left over from foods you have cooked would be better as cooked meat you buy in packets tends  (unbelievably!) to have sugar added as well as other additives. It’s not very much but worth keeping in mind when making dinner so you can cook some extra meat for dinner so you can have it with your salad the next day.
  • tinned fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines or fish such as prawns or smoked salmon
  • cheese such feta, brie, cheddar, mozzarella, swiss cheese, goats cheese – and these are all acceptable in phase one
  • vegetables such as red, green or yellow bell peppers, lettuce, avocado, cucumber, radish, mushroom, olives, onion, spinach etc.

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Breakfast ideas on Atkins

Broccoli and Tomato Omelette

Broccoli and Tomato Omelette

Breakfast can be the biggest change you need to make to your eating habits once you start the Atkins way of eating. We’re so used to just having cereal and toast before rushing out of the house in the morning, if we eat anything at all. As a result the idea of having a hot breakfast or something more substantial takes a little getting used to (unless its a full Irish breakfast at the weekend!). However, once you make having a truly healthy (i.e. low-carb) breakfast a habit, it really becomes much easier and will transform your health as well as getting you to your goal weight and keeping you there. Continue reading

Creamed spinach

Low carb creamed spinach

Low carb creamed spinach

Creamed spinach is a delicious and very easy dish to make and would go great with fish. It is also naturally gluten free.

There are lots of recipes for this online but we’ve just done the work of converting cups to grams and using fresh spinach rather than the frozen spinach (not sure you can even buy this in Ireland?) you see in most recipes. Continue reading

5 Common Myths: Answered

In any walk of life, be it gardening or teaching or politics you will get some mis-information or myths. But when you speak to someone who knows what they are talking about you tend to find out the truth.

Like the above example, the subject of diet, nutrition and the human body’s reaction to food isn’t one that everyone is expert in, and this may include your GP. So, when it comes to a specific way of consuming food and getting nutrition into the body via the Atkins Nutritional Approach, then a lot of conjecture, hear-say and third hand information can get mixed up with the truth.

To help you along, here are five commonly held myths about the Atkins Nutritional Approach. Hopefully, this knowledge will benefit you and give you confidence in following and talking about the Atkins Nutritional Approach. Continue reading

O Broth-er Where Art Thou?

Apologies for the misdirection, if you were lead to believe that this post may be a review of the classic Coen brothers film “O’ Brother Where Art Thou?” and some tasty photos of George Clooney. I’m afraid you will be disappointed in that department.

However, if on the other hand, you have just begun Induction and you are following the Atkins Nutritional way for the first time, you may be experiencing some short spells of dizziness or mild headaches. Don’t worry, it is a very short term and easily rectifiable situation as you can find out by reading our guidelines on the Induction Phase.

What you may be experiencing are the diuretic effects of following the Induction stage of the Atkins Nutritional way. As you may be aware, in the first week or two you will lose some fluids from your body and along with these fluids, some minerals, such as sodium are also lost. So, how to overcome this? Continue reading

Spoiled for Choice on Phase 1

Glorious Food Choices on Phase 1 of Atkins

Whenever we speak to someone about the Atkins® way of eating, usually the first thing that we encounter is an objection wrapped in a question. “Isn’t that an all meat diet?”. Nope, there is no end of vegetables, meats, poultry, fruit, nuts and grains that can be eaten while on the Atkins® diet.

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