Nutrition mistakes even healthy people make

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You eat healthily right? Smoothie bowls for breakfast. Dairy and gluten-free. Even healthy people make nutrition mistakes that only a nutritionist or naturopath can tell you about. Learn more about how to refine your healthiness and take it to another level.  

You drink coffee with meals and when you take your nutritional supplements

Coffee and tea are diuretic. They will cause you to urinate out the minerals and vitamins in the meal you just ate or the supplements you just swallowed. By waiting 45 minutes or more to have that much loved caffeine hit you are ensuring you are not losing precious nutrients.  

You leave lemon or vinegar based dressings off your salads

Adding acidic dressings like lemon or vinegar to leafy greens in your salad ensure you are unlocking the heme iron (i.e. the ready to absorb form of iron). By leaving the dressing off you are missing out on a great vegetarian iron hit.

You take vitamin A, D, E or fish oil capsules away from food

It is important to take these fat soluble supplements with a fat containing meal. In order for capsules to be broken down and absorbed well lipase is the enzyme that gets activated to emulsify the fat in the capsule.

You take zinc, magnesium and/or iron together

Minerals are best absorbed when separated. To work out when to take what keep in mind that iron is best with a meat meal or away from food at the start or end of the day. Magnesium is best absorbed on an empty stomach and zinc is best tolerated and absorbed when with food.  

You’re taking probiotics at the same time you take your course of antibiotics

It makes sense to want to take a probiotic to repopulate your gut microbiome when you are on a course of antibiotics. Taking probiotics during an antibiotic course is beneficial. However it is important to separate the time you take the probiotics from the time you take the antibiotics by at least two hours to not kill off the probiotic strains of bacteria as well as that nasty bacterial infection you are ridding your body of.

Loading up your smoothie with lots of fruit is not healthy.

Smoothies are an excellent way to pack in nutrients and fibre in a convenient way. They start to be less health when they are loaded up with too much fruit. You end up with a high sugar and high kilojoule drink. As a rule three vegetables to one fruit is a good ratio to balance sugar load. Berries are the best fruit smoothie addition as they are low GI and high in fibre.

Eating anything that professes to be fat-free

As a general rule when manufacturers take the fat out of a food they will usually increase the sugar to keep it tasting good. The only fat to be afraid of is trans fat and excessive saturated fat. Full fat dairy for those that tolerate it and have good cholesterol levels, is a good thing so get eating full fat dairy products and skip the low fat option.

You drink too much water around mealtimes

It’s a good thing to be hydrated right? Timing with drinking water is important to keep in mind. Restricting water intake to no more than 150ml half an hour either side of meal times means you are not potentially diluting gastric juices needed to breakdown food efficiently.

Susan Hunter
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Susan Hunter

B.Hsc (Naturopathy), B.A. (Psych) at Healthful Clinic - Founder and Director
Susan Hunter is a double-degree qualified naturopath, a published academic author and the founder of Healthful Clinic. She writes widely on mental health, digestive conditions and children's health.
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