The 49 "needn't" foods - Someone's having a joke...right?

I wasn't going to jump on the comment bandwagon about this, but I really think researchers time could be better spent than coming up with a list of foods that many of us Nutritionists already know about and teach our clients. We don't need a PhD or a research grant or a fancy office at Otago University to intuitively know that these foods aren't what nature intended for us. It isn't rocket science.

Publishing this research is not going to encourage an overweight woman with 3 kids to not eat this stuff. What she really needs to know is how is she going to manage her job, her family and herself WHILE eating better. Muesli bars ARE quick and easy and some have heart ticks on them, but who's going to go up against the Heart Foundation and tell them they need tighter restrictions on who gets a tick and who doesn't so these people aren't encouraged to buy them? My clients and the people who are not yet my clients don't care about these coffee swilling researchers "findings". And quite frankly, neither do I and I'm annoyed that's what the extent of our University Nutrition department can come up with with all their large brains, experience and knowledge.

And I just read this "The authors intend carrying out further research to examine the impact of the NEEDN'T list on overweight or obese adults who want to lose weight".

Hey, let me save you some time and money. I can tell you exactly what the impact is... duh, isn't the impact (obesity and disease) the reason the list was created in the first place? Aren't we in some sort of waste of time negative spiral here.

We little people on the ground, me and my fellow Nutritionists are the ones making the changes. We are the ones teaching dietary change, we are the ones giving each individual a strategy that is useful for them, we are the ones helping, supporting and offering advice on their health and how they are going to make it realistic while juggling a family, work and the insane amounts of stress and tension that go along with being unhealthy and having to run a family and life.

So... what's on this magical list then: (copy and pasted with no changes from
BTW, if you got as bored as I did just reading the first 5 then skip to the bottom for my comment.


With suggested replacements (* = omit entirely):
1. Alcoholic drinks Water/diet soft drinks
2. Biscuits *
3. Butter, lard, dripping or similar fat (used as a spread or in
baking/cooking etc.) Lite margarine or similar spread or omit
4. Cakes *
5. Chocolate *
6. Coconut cream Lite coconut milk/coconut flavoured lite evaporated milk
7. Condensed milk *
8. Cordial Water/Sugar free cordial
9. Corn chips *
10. Cream (including crème fraiche) Natural yoghurt (or flavoured yoghurt depending on use)
11. Crisps (including vegetable crisps) *
12. Desserts/puddings *
13. Doughnuts *
14. Drinking Chocolate, Milo etc. Cocoa plus artificial sweetener
15. Energy drinks Water
16. Flavoured milk/milkshakes Trim, Calcitrim or Lite Blue Milk
17. Fruit tinned in syrup (even lite syrup!) Fruit tinned in juice/artificially sweetened
18. Fried food Boiled, grilled or baked food
19. Frozen yoghurt Ordinary yoghurt
20. Fruit juice (except tomato juice and unsweetened
blackcurrant juice) Fresh fruit (apple, orange, pear etc. + a drink!)
21. Glucose Artificial sweetener
22. High fat crackers (more than 10g fat per 100g) Lower fat crackers (less than 10g fat per 110g)
23. Honey *
24. Hot chips *
25. Ice cream *
26. Jam *
27. Marmalade *
28. Mayonnaise Lite dressings/lite mayonnaise
29. Muesli bars *
30. Muffins *
31. Nuts roasted in fat or oil Dry roasted or raw nuts (less than 1 handful per day)
32. Pastries *
33. Pies *
34. Popcorn with butter or oil Air popped popcorn
35. Quiches Crust-less quiches
36. Reduced cream Natural yoghurt
37. Regular luncheon sausage Low fat luncheon sausage
38. Regular powdered drinks (e.g. Raro) Water/Diet/Sugar free powdered drinks
39. Regular salami Low fat salami
40. Regular sausages Low fat sausages
41. Regular soft drinks Water/Diet soft drinks
42. Rollups Fresh fruit
43. Sour cream Natural yoghurt
44. Sugar (added to anything including drinks, baking, cooking
etc.) Artificial sweetener
45. Sweets/lollies *
46. Syrups such as golden syrup, treacle, maple syrup Artificial sweetener
47. Toasted muesli and any other breakfast cereal with more than 15g sugar per 100g cereal Breakfast cereal with less than 15g sugar per 100g cereal, more than 6g fibre
per 100g cereal and less 5g fat per 100g cereal (or less than 10 g fat per
100g cereal if cereal contains nuts and seeds)
48. Whole Milk Trim, Calcitrim or Lite Blue Milk
49. Yoghurt type products with 10g sugar per 100g yoghurt Yoghurt (not more than one a day

So in other words, a healthy diet should consist of fresh or frozen fruit, vegetables, raw nuts/seeds, lean proteins, low fat dairy and unprocessed grains.  Someone call the media for goodness sake, this is groundbreaking stuff.

Now, I have my own opinion on things like grains and low fat dairy, and my opinion is shared by and supported by research from nutritionists, naturopaths and the like worldwide.  But all that aside, the above list of healthy food categories are natural, unprocessed and created as per God or evolution intended.  Whichever religion or school of thought you support, the principles are the same, life and the planet did not begin in a cardboard box, tin can, bottle and it sure as heck didn't contain artificial sweeteners and additives.

And on that note, I notice all the alternatives either contain artificial sweeteners or transfats.  And what shocked me the most is that researchers KNOW that processed meats increase our risk of bowel cancer, yet they are on the list of healthy alternatives (the low fat options).  Are you kidding me!!!!!!!!!  Look I know that is a ridiculous amount of exclamation marks, but it reflects my frustration over how ridiculous this entire research topic is.

Stevia as a natural sweetener is becoming almost mainstream now...but it appears nowhere on the healthy recommendations.

I would like to see the researchers get off their butts and come and spend a day in my office and see what it takes to change a person's habits.  I would love to see money going towards letting us nutritionists have a nutrient testing service here in NZ so we can find out what nutrients are deficient from a cellular level, or what a client's gut flora, serotonin or cortisol is up to.  These (amongst other things) are huge instigators in driving us to choose sugary, salty, stimulating and fatty foods.

Most people know what to eat and what not to eat, so this research is just telling everyone how to suck eggs...without actually telling them how to implement a better strategy.