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Not all food and vitamins are created equally

By Strive_holistic_personal_training 28 January 2011 29

The quality of our food today is questionable. Processed foods that contain little or no nutritional value are consumed as part of a stable diet and modern day agriculture has lowered the nutrient value of our fruit, vegetables meat and dairy produce. I encourage all of my personal training clients to buy certified organic as their first choice then work down the availability food chain. In the ACT we are lucky to have the access to some wonderful organic food available each weekend at the Farmers Markets or from Organic Energy at Griffith shops and local grower Choku Baj Jo North Lyneham and Curtin shops.

Availability food chain order

Produce                                              Meat

1 Certified Organic                             1 Certified Organic Free range

2 Organic                                            2 Organic

3 Locally Farmed                                3 Locally Farmed Free-range

4 Commercial                                      4 Commercial-Hormone Free

5 Commercial

Even if you are doing all of the above, none of us are perfect. We lead busy and sometimes stressful lives, and in these times we have a tendency to let our health slip, either by eating the wrong foods, drinking to much coffee or alcohol, or not getting enough sleep. All this adds stress to the body. Supplements at these times may be helpful. Other reasons to take supplements are for body ailments or prevention, for example bad knees, joints, osteoarthritis, hay fever, insomnia, digestion and so forth.

At one point in your life you have most likely taken a vitamin, mineral or herbal supplement. When considering a supplement take into account the following, as not all are created equally.

  1. What is the purpose of the supplement?
  2. What benefits do I hope to gain by taking the supplement?
  3. Is the supplement safe to take with other pharmaceutical or herbal medications?
  4. Quality – does it come for a natural food source or is it synthetic? (your body does not recognized synthetic compounds hence no benefit)
  5. Manufacturers’ reputation and quality controls; is the supplement TGA approved?
  6. Price.

I recommend if you are taking a supplement to run through this check list and see if it measures up. Another good idea is to stop taking the supplement for four weeks then re introduce. Trust that your body will give you feedback and then honour what it is telling to you. Like all things in life its about finding balance.

Tanya Gendle


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Not all food and vitamins are created equally
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rubaiyat 3:41 pm 25 Jun 15

zllauh said :

Its been many years and i am still not able to find the right answer .
I have been told by many doctors that not to take supplements like mass gainers and consume natural food instead .
But at the same time my gym trainer says that one cannot consume enough amount of protein with natural food.
Now comes a dilemma where i don’t know what to do ! :0
But still natural diet is the best diet according to me if it is pure

Don’t listen to your gym trainer, they really are not expert on anything except on bulking up your body in unnatural ways. Many Gyms actually promote the massive consumption of synthetic products to change your appearance to conform to transitory notions of what is supposed to be healthy but is anything but.

We go through fashions of what we are supposed to look like, mostly exaggerations of one feature or another. A normal healthy looking body looks normal not some cartoonish exaggeration of abs or bulging biceps. That is all cosmetic, for show.

There is no harm in eating organic food but neither is there any great benefit. Yes it is better for you to avoid food which contains pesticides and has been stored for too long in refrigeration or is bred or modified for cosmetic reasons, but it would be extremely rare for anyone to suffer from malnutrition in today’s Australia. Other than the malnutrition of either eating too much or restricting your diet to the point where you are avoiding a wide range of foods.

Every industry or profession has a good slice of fakes and frauds. My favourite line when my wife goes into the Health/Alternate Food/Medicine shops and they ask if they may help me, is to ask them for something for hypochondria. Most times they actually start searching through the shelves or offer me random vitamin supplements.

In our society it is considered rude to actually point out that they haven’t a clue what they are talking about. You are supposed to nod your head and listen politely to the words of wisdom falling from their lips. Should we be so lucky.

zllauh 1:59 pm 25 Jun 15

Its been many years and i am still not able to find the right answer .
I have been told by many doctors that not to take supplements like mass gainers and consume natural food instead .
But at the same time my gym trainer says that one cannot consume enough amount of protein with natural food.
Now comes a dilemma where i don’t know what to do ! :0
But still natural diet is the best diet according to me if it is pure

Thanks for the feedback see more references below

“organic Farming, Food Quality and Human Health: A review of the Evidence” UK: The SoilAssociation.2001

http://www.soilassociation.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=cY8kfP3Q%2BgA%3D&tabid=388

http://www.soilassociation.org

Price, Weston A.Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. San Diego, CA:Price Pottenger Foundation, 1939.

http://www.price-pottenger.com

Pommy bastard 8:04 pm 03 Feb 11

So to back up his/her claims “Strive”, gives us no evidence, but points us at;

The National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA) is the nation’s leading organic certifier.

The Biological Farmers of Australia, “the voice of Australian organics”, is Australia’s foremost organic body, a not-for-profit organisation that represents and develops the interests of more than 3,000 organic industry farmers, operators, producers, processors and traders.

The Campaign for Truth In Medcine.

Some Yank Doctor hawking his stuff.

Mike Adams, the creator of NaturalPedia, is the editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet’s top natural health news site, creator of the Honest Food Guide (www.HonestFoodGuide.org).

The Organic Growers of Australia (OGA) formally the Organic Herb Growers of Australia is one of Australia’s six fully accredited organic certification bodies which is catering for the increasing adoption of organic farming practices across Australian agriculture.

A neat mix of “wooo” and trendy lefty quackery sales pitches, absolutly NONE of which backs up their original post and the year 10 level views it proclaims.

Major fail.

3/10 must try harder.

Special G 5:35 pm 03 Feb 11

This one always cracks me up – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-jy3OtZAss – Eat less.

How about we take some food miles off as well and grow your own produce in the back yard. Throw a couple of chickens into the mix while you’re at it.

While we are on weight loss it’s easy – Eat less + Do more = success. I’ll take direct debit or Paypal.

Elite athletes and average Joes are very different beasties. What works for some will not work at all for others. Depends on the sport/goals, reasons etc.

What I don’t understand is people who drive around the gym car park to get the closest park to the door then go and walk on a treadmill – wtf?

For more information on organic farming I recommend visiting the following sites,

http://www.nasaa.com.au/
http://www.bfa.com.au/
http://www.organicherbs.org/

For information on Supplements and Natural Health visit

http://www.naturalpedia.com/
http://www.mercola.com/
http://www.campaignfortruth.com/Eclub/170310/

Deref 12:48 pm 29 Jan 11

gospeedygo said :

I hear at the Australian Institute of Fitness you can become certified as an ‘awesome personal trainer’. How do I get my qualifications recognized as ‘radical’?

I think they do it at the same place as I got my Doctor of Divinity. It only cost $50.

gospeedygo 12:11 am 29 Jan 11

I hear at the Australian Institute of Fitness you can become certified as an ‘awesome personal trainer’. How do I get my qualifications recognized as ‘radical’?

far_northact 8:46 pm 28 Jan 11

Funniest post ever. Full of contradictions …..

Primal 7:58 pm 28 Jan 11

beejay76 said :

I can’t get past “as part of a stable diet”. Hay?

And the odd carrot, if you’re well behaved.

beejay76 7:28 pm 28 Jan 11

I can’t get past “as part of a stable diet”. Hay?

Deref 7:18 pm 28 Jan 11

More bullshit from a “personal trainer”.

You have a science degree do you, Tanya? Please point us to the scientific research that backs up your contentions and disproves the vast amount of research showing that processed foods are indistinguishable nutritionally from “organic” food.

When you’ve done that, please point us to the research showing that, other than in cases of medically-diagnosed malnutrition, food “supplements” are anything more than a scam and a waste of money.

Once you’ve posted that evidence I’ll pay attention. Until then I’ll assume that, like so many of your “personal trainer” colleagues, you’re just another liar.

You like organic food? Good for you. Choku Baijo is great – I shop there all the time. But lying is lying – except when you charge people for your service. Then it’s called “fraud”.

wildturkeycanoe 7:09 pm 28 Jan 11

I am so glad this forum has people with intellect enough to follow what the original post was about rather than wander off into tangents and endless arguments that should be set aside on sub-topics of their own! I bet the OP is so impressed with you all for your constructive/destructive opinions on the merits of genetically un-modified foods.

damien haas 4:50 pm 28 Jan 11

Inappropriate said :

your body does not recognized synthetic compounds hence no benefit

Then why does organic farming prohibit synthetic pesticides and fertilizers if they’re benign to humans?

When you believe something, despite the science not conforming to your beliefs, its called faith. Many religions are faith based.

When you can convince a group of humans to believe you, and they happen to be able to pass laws, then you have laws to support your faith.

Sometimes no matter how good your science is, the courts wont listen. Ask Galileo.

Inappropriate 4:15 pm 28 Jan 11

vg said :

Losing weight is the simplest thing in the world. If you expend more energy than you take in then you will lose weight. The simplest ‘diet’ in the world is to eat exactly what you do now, just less of it. You don’t hear that level of simplicity come out of the fitness ‘industry’. Mob of charlatans

It’s not so easy if you have untreated sleep apnea and/or insulin resistance.

Diggety 3:31 pm 28 Jan 11

My foods weren’t “created”, they evolved.

Erg0 2:56 pm 28 Jan 11

I would make the point that there’s a world of difference between elite athletes and the average punter who just wants to lose a few kegs without dedicating 2-4 hours to it every day. If you want to make it your life’s work to optimise your fitness then it’s probably worth going down to the level of detail that you’re talking about, but “eat less, exercise more” (applied with a little common sense) is all that 99% of people require.

dtc 2:52 pm 28 Jan 11

vg said :

Losing weight is the simplest thing in the world. If you expend more energy than you take in then you will lose weight. The simplest ‘diet’ in the world is to eat exactly what you do now, just less of it. You don’t hear that level of simplicity come out of the fitness ‘industry’. Mob of charlatans

Somewhat simplistic – there is ample evidence that:

– different sources of energy (fat, carbs, protein) cause the body to act in different ways (eg: insulin production)
– different sources and amounts of energy give ‘feedback’ to the body and cause the body to change the way it behaves and thus change the way it deals with energy in the future (ie: starve yourself and your body will produce proportionally more fat because it needs to store food, thus being a completely pointless diet)
– different forms of exercise have different effects on how the body acts in processing energy

So if you are currently eating 2000 calories of sugar, changing your diet to eat 1500 calories of sugar ain’t going to change your body very much. On the other hand, you can eat 3000 calories or more a day and not get fat – indeed, Michael Phelps was famous for his 9000-12000 cal per day diet, which is impossible to burn off through exercise (there just arent enough hours in the day to exercise) and he wasn’t fat.

People actually don’t understand this very well. Yes, eating less is good, but eating right is better.

Of course, changing from ‘non organic’ apples to organic apples makes no difference to your weight.

Inappropriate 2:44 pm 28 Jan 11

your body does not recognized synthetic compounds hence no benefit

Then why does organic farming prohibit synthetic pesticides and fertilizers if they’re benign to humans?

triffid 2:23 pm 28 Jan 11

VG said: “Losing weight is the simplest thing in the world. If you expend more energy than you take in then you will lose weight. The simplest ‘diet’ in the world is to eat exactly what you do now, just less of it. You don’t hear that level of simplicity come out of the fitness ‘industry’. Mob of charlatans”

I agree, VG, that the level of conduct becoming ‘charlatanism’ (?) in the fitness industry is eye watering. That’s from my close-up observation. But, it’s a sort of symbiotic thing. For instance, the boot camp phenomenum. It’s popular. Why? Well . . . it’s a hammering. Client thinks, “Wow! I’m flogged. I must be getting ‘fit’ / losing the kilos . . . whatever”. Imagine how popular it would be if you assembled a group of people, stuck ’em on bicycles, armed them with heart rate monitors and told them to ride for an hour and not let their heart rate get over 75 per cent of their max heart rate, while keeping the cranks spinning at 90 rpm? Yeah . . . dullsville. But, which activity is making who fitter? (Trick question. Answer can be neither, as it depends on the recovery undertaken afterwards. But, low HR invariably wins out).

I must take small issue with your losing weight theory. It’s close, it’s true, but it’s also a touch simplistic. Things can be more involved. Let me illustrate.

An athlete I was working with while travelling with a team overseas was lamenting aspects of her performance. She reckoned she was too fat. Sure, she was bigger than some of her competitors but, in her sport, it theoretically was of little disadvantage. Anyway, I agreed to help her out. First thing we did was, while away, I broke one of my rules, broke out my Harpenden callipers, took her skinfolds and calculated her body fat percentage. The answer was 24 per cent. Pretty high for an elite athlete in any sport. She weighed in at 72 kgs.

Once we returned home (and after an active rest period) we sat down and worked out a plan. I actually increased her food intake, but structured it differently. I also had her doing endurance activity of long duration (2 – 4 hours a session) and low intensity (no more than 75 per cent max HR). I also had her doing proper resistance training. After a while, we increased the intensity of both the endurance (but still not over 85 – 92 per cent max) and the resistance training. The plan was more complex than I am describing, but you get the picture.

I can still remember her calling me after three months of that regime. She called in tears, having just easily put on a pair of jeans that she used to wear as a 16 year old (she had just turned 32). She now weighed around 75 kgs, but her body fat was now around the 10 per cent mark. We had increased her muscle mass, provided the nutrition to make that possible and, into the bargain, increased her metabolic rate. She improved her performance in her sport by a quantum leap and went on later that year to win an Australian title and to represent Australia in one of those once-every-four-years gigs. Seeing her taking to channel 7s Greg Walsh on my TV from that event bought a tear to my eye.

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