A nutritionist has revealed what happens when you cut popular food groups including red meat, dairy, eggs and seafood from your diet, and why other foods like pasta, rice and potatoes aren’t as bad for you as you think.
Sydney’s Susie Burrell said while many popular diets these days eliminate whole groups, we often don’t think about the nutritional implications of doing so.
We also need to think about how we can replace “forbidden foods to ensure we don’t miss out on something the body really needs to be healthy long-term.”
A nutritionist has revealed what happens when you cut popular food groups including red meat, dairy, eggs and seafood from your diet (pictured Susie Burrell)
The first—and one of the most popular—food groups people cut back on is dairy, and cutting them out can have major health consequences.
“The first thing we generally think of when we think of milk and other dairy foods is their calcium content, but dairy foods are also rich natural sources of magnesium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, protein, vitamin D and vitamin A,” Susie wrote in her website.
“If you don’t eat dairy, all of these vital nutrients will be affected over time.”
The nutritionist explained that it is very difficult for adults to get the 800-1000 mg of calcium they need each day without dairy in their diet.
Even when you drink alternative milks that have been “fortified” with calcium, it’s rarely in the amounts found in three servings of dairy, she said.
Long-term health consequences of low intake of dairy products and calcium include brittle bones and more frequent diseases due to lack of calcium in the body.
If you must cut back on dairy, Susie recommends making absolutely sure you regularly drink plant-based milks that are fortified with calcium, and consider a calcium supplement to make sure you get the 800-1000 mg of calcium you need. day’.
When you cut out red meat (pictured), Susie said the key problem is that you’re eliminating one of nature’s richest sources of iron
2. Red meat
The second food that many choose to skip is red meat, usually on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
“But while you may choose not to include red meat for many different reasons, the key concern from a nutritional perspective is that you’re also eliminating one of nature’s richest sources of iron from your diet,” Susie said.
Foods such as white meat, eggs, whole grains and dark leafy greens contain iron, but Susie said it is “poorly absorbed” by the body when compared to red meat.
Low iron levels are common in Australia, with up to 25 per cent of women struggling with low levels.
“Low iron levels make you tired, short of breath, and low on immunity,” Susie said.
If you still want to cut down on red meat, the best thing to do is to pay ‘special attention to include iron-rich foods in every meal and snack,’ Susie said.
It is important to note that adult women need between 9 and 15 mg each day.
It may be a little less common to cut up poultry, but if you do, you’ll need to think about the amount of lean protein you’re getting.
Lack of protein can lead to weakness and fatigue, loss of muscle mass, sugar cravings and risk of bone fractures.
If you don’t eat poultry, Susie said you should make sure you have a source of lean protein with every meal.
Good examples include fish, eggs and dairy products.
All of the nutrients in eggs (pictured) can be obtained elsewhere, except for selenium – a powerful antioxidant that plays a key role in cell health.
Eggs are very popular with dietitians – and for good reason.
“Eggs are an extremely nutritious food containing over 20 essential vitamins and minerals including quality protein, good fats and vitamins A and E, making them a good addition to any diet,” said Susie.
But while they’re all good for our health, Susie said we can get all the nutrients from eggs outside of eggs, except for one: selenium.
“Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that plays a key role in cell health, and it’s found in very few foods other than eggs and Brazil nuts,” she said — with a single egg providing a quarter of your daily selenium needs.
“Eggs are also a good source of vitamin D, which can be low in our diet overall,” said Susie.
All of this means that if you’re cutting eggs, you’ll need to pay close attention to your diet.
Susie is a big fan of the anti-inflammatory diet (pictured), which requires you to eat fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens.
5. Fish and seafood
Finally, if you are someone who has eliminated fish and seafood from your diet, you need to know that you will be missing out on omega 3 fats and zinc.
“Fatty fish is one of the few natural foods that offers omega 3,” said Susie.
“This means that skipping fatty fish entirely will make it nearly impossible to get the amount of omega 3 you ideally need without supplementation.”
Finally, cutting out fish and shellfish leaves you low in iodine—which has been linked to long-term thyroid dysfunction.
All of this means that if you are not eating these two things, you must have a supplement.
To learn more about Susie Burrell, you can visit her Instagram page here.
Foods that aren’t as bad for you as you think
Susie shares foods you may think are bad for you, but may actually be healthy.
PASTA: While pasta is high in carbs, Susie said it’s fine to eat it if you opt for portion control. She recommends plain pasta or, better yet, one of the new high-protein, low-carb varieties. Pair it with a vegetable dip and a sprinkling of cheese for a delicious yet healthy meal.
MEAT: Many people who don’t eat much or no meat will extol the virtues of avoiding it too much, but actually Susie said it’s good to include it. Ideally, choose lean protein and enjoy it in “portion-controlled portions 3-4 times a week.” The mistake most people make, she said, is eating massive portions instead of the 100-150 mg we really need.
BREAD: Bread is one of those foods that many people will tell you is unhealthy to eat, but again Susie said it depends on ‘the type you choose’. If you’re counting calories, try sourdough or low-carb, high-protein breads instead of Turkish or white bread.
RICE: Rice has a high GI, which means it can cause your blood glucose to rise quickly if you’re not careful. For this reason, Susie said you should keep your white rice intake to a minimum and choose high quality brown or black rice instead.
POTATOES: Like rice and pasta, many are concerned about the carbohydrates in potatoes. But in fact, Susie said a whole potato has just 100 calories, 20g of carbs and “lots of fiber and B vitamins.” He recommends eating them in the form of a jacket or plain, but sees no problem with adding potatoes to your diet every day.
FLOODED MILK: While whole milk offers “a hefty dose of saturated fat,” Susie said it’s perfectly fine, provided you don’t overindulge in milky coffees and dairy products.
BREAKFAST CEREALS: Finally, breakfast cereals regularly get a bad rap for being sweet and therefore unhealthy, but not all are created equal. If you like cereal in the morning, opt for options that are high in fiber and whole grains and lower in added sugar, then top it off with Greek yogurt and fruit. Plain muesli is almost always a good choice.
Source: Susie Burrell