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diet myth vs research

Over the years health recommendations on the best dietary choices for maintaining health have changed and even those within the healthcare professions may struggle to keep up with the latest research.

It was previously believed that low fat diets offered optimal health benefits, with carbohydrates taking the place of fats. It is now understood that high carbohydrate intake and low fat diets may be linked to higher incidence of health issues such as insulin resistance and obesity.


Therefore a more personalised approach to ensure a balance of beneficial fats, good quality protein and complex carbohydrates, combined with identification and resolution of possible nutrient deficiencies may offer a healthier outcome.

National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2013-2014 identified the following:

Between 15 – 39% of women and 15% of men over the age of 65 do not meet dietary requirements for magnesium, a mineral which contributes to maintenance of bone. Declining levels may also promote symptoms linked to tiredness, fatigue, depression and irritability.


In addition to inadequate intake some medications, poor digestive health and certain lifestyle choices also may reduce magnesium levels. 

Reduced active B12 was identified in all age groups and has been linked to symptoms of fatigue, sore tongue, tingling and numbness to fingers and toes, depression and dementia like symptoms.

Low vitamin D levels were again evident in all age groups, a concern as vitamin D contributes to normal function of the immune system, a healthy inflammatory response, normal muscle function and bone health.

20 – 40% of women between 11 and 64 do not meet suggested levels for iron, which is linked to symptoms of fatigue.

20 – 30% of adults do not meet recommended levels of potassium within their diet, necessary to maintain blood pressure and muscular function.

Selenium intake a nutrient important for thyroid function is inadequate for 20-30% of those over the age of 11.

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