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Monarch Update
Monarch Update

Carb Free diet for the family ?

There is currently much media mention of a number of diet theories particularly for carb  or gluten free diets.  For the majority of adults, following these regimes may be a matter of personal choice.  However, increasingly parents are imposing the same food restrictions on their children.  Children have very specific requirements.  Their bodies are still developing and they need a really balanced diet to supply all the nutrients and energy they need.  Cut out one food group and it makes it more difficult to provide that balance.   According to a recent Sunday Times article, 1 in 12 households with children under 12 avoid gluten which is basically all wheat products.

They quote an example from the British Dietetiic Association of a child whose mental and physical development was being affected by a carb free diet . Other children whose diet had led to "the bones of an 80 year old". and brown teeth full of cavities.   

With all the publicity about obesity and reducing sugar and salt in or diet, it is perhaps inevitable that that parents, who want to do the best for their children, should be looking for advice on a healthy diet.  

But what advice and where to find it?  Too often information is obtained from fashionable nutritionists who do not have a comprehensive knowledge and are keen to promote the restricted diets.   .  

When I look at some of the courses for nutritionists, it seems clear that they seem to be a bit light on the factual science side.

On the face it appears to include very little immunology which is essential for understanding allergens or the working of the digestive system. etc

Whereas a  nutritional degree from the University of Nottingham is a completely different type of course.

When reading articles on Nutrition and Diet  I ask myself the following questions

1. What's the qualification of the person giving advice?
2. Are they trying to sell me something (a book, product or TV show)?
3. What evidence is there for what they are telling me?.
4. Would it make it to a scientific journal like the New Scientist?.

 Nutrition is defined as "The process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth"   Our diet is the way in which we provide it and for most of us the best way forward is with a good mix of food stuff.  If you do have a problem don't take the popular press too seriously and be selective about the advice that Dr Google gives! 

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