The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease - Thomas Edison 1903
Eat food, not too much, mostly plants - Michael Pollan 2009
Optimum nutrition is the medicine of tomorrow – Linus Pauling 1968
About SP Nutrition
Nutrition is an area of popular science that generates more media coverage, articles and books than any other. Vast sums of money are spent by governments, universities, and the food industry on research projects and studies.
A good example of this is the Framlingham Heart Study. This huge project, aims to give us a better understanding of what causes heart disease, started in 1948. It has over 5,000 participants, a current budget of around £4 million a year and is still going on today. The aim of pretty much all these research projects can effectively be summed up in a single sentence “which foods are good for you, and which ones aren’t? “.
You would naturally assume that with all this money and time being spent on research over the last 100 or so years, we would have a pretty good answer to this apparently simple question. The reality unfortunately is that this is still no agreement on even the most basic issues. Let’s take as an example the question of fat.
The story of fat, bad guy or good ?
This state of confusion is perfectly illustrated by the story of fat. Fat comes in many difference forms. It is one of the three main essential building blocks of life along with protein and carbohydrates. For most of the last 40 years the message from public health bodies around the world was that fat was the enemy. It made you put on weight, clogged up your arteries and lead to heart attacks.
This seemed to be logical as fat has over twice the calories per gram (9) compared to protein or carbohydrate (4). It is also the main constituent of the stuff that apparently caused heart disease, cholesterol. However this position has in recent times been increasingly challenged. It became clear that reducing the fat content in our diets wasn’t stopping us getting fatter, or necessarily reducing our risk of heart disease.
We read widely differing articles and books that lurch from one position to another, low fat diet this week, high protein next week. We get more and more confused, whilst as a population we continue to get fatter and fatter. At the last count in 2015 27% of the UK population were classified as obese.
My goal therefore is to help my clients to navigate their way through all the confusing and conflicting information around diet and nutrition. To help them find a way of eating that will allow them to continue to find pleasure in eating, as well as good health and vitality. As a starting point on this journey I want to share the 3 most important points I have concluded from years of following scientific debate in the field of nutrition.
The accepted model of weight management based on the concept that if you restrict calories and do enough exercise you will lose weight is a gross oversimplification of how the human body uses energy, responds to calorie restriction, and regulates body weight. For example when you restrict calories, the body typically responds by reducing your metabolic rate which means you burn less calories and therefore don’t get the weight loss you would expect.
Two people may respond very differently when consuming identical diets. The exact reasons for this are still unclear but possible reasons are genetic and/or related to our gut bacteria makeup (microbiome). For this reason there is no single one size fits all optimum nutritional protocol, we each need to determine what works best for us.
Macro and micro-nutrients naturally found in our diets interact with one another in complex ways which we are only just starting to understand. Identifying specific foods or micro-nutrient as being nutritional beneficial and then consuming them in large quantities in isolation and out of context risks losing out on many of these benefits and may even have unintended negative health consequences. The story of antioxidants is a classic cautionary tale of this kind of reductionist thinking, more on this here.
NUTRITIONAL THERAPIST BSc (Hons) DipION MFNTP
I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between our minds and bodies and our environment. While working in a high-pressure role in finance in London, I suffered from personal health issues. It was then that I became particularly interested in the role of nutrition in our physical and mental well-being and re-trained as a nutritional therapist.
I am a member of both the Nutrition Society and the Federation of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners. I have a diploma in nutritional therapy from the renowned Institute for Optimum Nutrition in Richmond, and also an honours degree in Human Environmental Science from Kings College London. Alongside my Brighton nutritionist clinic I also write articles on nutrition for the local press. I have lived and worked in Brighton with my wife and son for the last 15 years.
Get in touch
To arrange a free initial 15 minute telephone consultation, please call me on the phone number below, or complete the short nutritional questionaire on the contact page.
07787 565 250
23 Lowther Road, Brighton BN1 6LF
30 Cheapside, Brighton BN1 4GD