There is a wealth of nutrition information available to us: books, magazine articles, online blogs and TV programmes all providing advice about diet and what foods we should and shouldn’t eat.
Nutrition is such a vast subject that in an attempt to simplify the information, foods often get labelled as healthy and unhealthy. The articles that are written may have had their origins based on solid research but the specific detail that makes it relevant to us is rarely presented.
One liners leap out from the newspaper stands….Is Sugar the New Tobacco? Eating Chocolate Helps You Stay Slim Health Toxin Warning on Oily Fish Are too Many Bananas Bad For Your Health?
These are genuine headlines and by their very nature, are meant to shock or draw your interest, it is so common for us to be informed’ in this contradictory and abstract way, that many people are often misled into thinking these statements are absolute food rules that apply to everyone and worst still, that foods are either good’ or bad’.
I have lost count of the times a client has told me a particular food is bad and they avoid it. When I ask why, nine times out of ten they say they don’t know the reason but they read it or heard it somewhere.
So let me take the simple, but all-important question… Are too many bananas bad for you? Firstly, we need to assume that ‘too many’ is referring to a regular intake of 1 a day …after that, it really does depend on you…
- Do you have chronic Kidney disease? Bananas are high in potassium, if you have chronic kidney disease you may need to look at the overall potassium level in your diet and avoid high potassium foods like bananas and avocadoes.
- Are you asthmatic? Some people with asthma find bananas aggravate their condition – what is your experience?
- Do you have diabetes? Bananas are high in natural sugars, if you have diabetes you will need to monitor your overall sugar consumption and that may mean limiting the number of bananas you eat.
- Do you digest them easily? Less ripe bananas can be quite difficult to digest, although some people have no problems. How does your belly feel after eating bananas?
- What other foods does your diet contain? Nutrition is all about balance, we need a range of nutrients – Bananas provide Fibre, Carbohydrates, some of the B vitamins and Vitamin C. Are these nutrients you need more of?
- Do you have high cholesterol? Bananas contain soluble fibre which can help lower total and LDL cholesterol.
- Do you like the taste? If you don’t like them – don’t eat them!! There are plenty of other foods that have similar nutritional properties.
- Are you following a particular eating programme? If you have found Paleo, Raw Food, Macrobiotic, Low GI or any of the other regimes works really well for you, then read up on where bananas fit.
Okay, so I admit I’ve given a lot more questions than answers, I ask them not to confuse you further but to relay how personal your diet should be to you and your current health needs.
So before you take on the next piece of nutritional advice you receive as your new food rule….do some questioning of your own.