Celebrity diet trends set to be BIG in 2014!

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By Lorna Driver-Davies, Nutritional Therapist  at The NutriCentre www.nutricentre.com

Patches and vitamin sprays – celeb fan: Katy Perry

We know that conventional patches for drugs like nicotine or hormone replacement do work but little is known as yet if nutrient patches are effective. If used, they would be in addition to a healthy balanced diet – not at all as a replacement for proper food. Vitamin and mineral sprays are becoming more popular and there is good research behind them.

Drops and sprays are put directly into the mouth. These are officially termed as ‘sublingual’ which means in simple terms ‘under the tongue’ whereby the nutrient is absorbed via the blood vessels under the tongue (and rest of the mouth) rather than the digestive tract.  Using this type of product to administer nutrients via the mouth, rather than via the digestive tract directly may in some cases enhance the availability and absorption of the nutrient or nutrients. Indeed, some prescription medicines are administered in this way too.

A recent study was carried out by Cardiff University experts tested samples of a vitamin D oral spray supplement. Their findings showed that more than a third of the oral spray enters the bloodstream immediately when compared to using vitamin D capsules or tablets. Therefore vitamin and mineral sprays may be a good option for those wanting to enhance nutrient absorption from a supplement.

DIY juicing – celeb fans: Miranda Kerr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Ritchie, Rosie Huntington-Whitely

Juicing is not a diet as such because its not all encompassing but it is something that can be added alongside a varied and balanced diet. Juicing involves putting fruits and vegetables through a machine which literally just excretes the juice. Preferably, these juices should be 90 % vegetable based rather than fruit so the word ‘juice’ is a little misleading. It’s not to say that fruit isn’t good for you but fruit still contains fruit sugar called fructose. Fructose does effect blood sugar levels and is linked to weight gain if a person has lots of it in their diet. Due to the acid content in fruit, eating lots of it may also damage the enamel on your teeth. So stick to mostly vegetables juices with a small amount of fruit added for sweetness.

The benefits of juicing are getting more vegetables into your diet all in one go, with less cooking preparation time or having to constantly sit down to eat large portions. You should still eat actual ‘whole’ fruit and vegetables because juicing removes the fibre which is important for regulating appetite, digestion and healthy bowel movements.

Juicing used to be very time consuming, mostly due to having to clean fiddly mechanical parts. However newer juicers are smaller and have become easier to clean and many parts are now dishwasher friendly!

VeryWise’s brand new range of Omega 3 oils come in 6 fruity varieties, great added to juices for super smoothie lovers, from £5.95 at www.verywisenutrition.co.uk

Gluten free – celeb fans: Lady GaGa, Ryan Phillipe

Gluten is a protein contained in certain grains, including wheat, barley and rye. It is a protein that many people may be sensitive or ‘intolerant’ to, meaning that their body can have an immune reaction to the substance, potentially causing unwanted symptoms such as bloating, headaches or constipation. The most extreme reaction to gluten is coeliac disease, where there can be severe damage to the digestive tract and the person has to remove all gluten from their diet permanently. However, it is possible to have a milder intolerance reaction to gluten and not have coeliac disease, with symptoms suchas bloating and gas or other digestive disturbances, for example. Most people do not have actual coeliac disease – but sensitivity to gluten instead. It is worth establishing if you are indeed gluten intolerance or only wheat intolerant – before you cut out nutritious and delicious foods out of your diet for the sake of it.

Cutting out gluten containing foods doesn’t mean you would miss out on good nutrition. Other nutritious gluten free foods are:

• Rice
• Millet
• Oats – but only those certified gluten-free, as ‘normal’ oats can often be contaminated with gluten from other grains due to production processes.  Note that all oats do contain a protein similar to gluten, called avenin: this is tolerated by most people who are sensitive to gluten, but may still cause problems for some.

• Buckwheat
• Quinoa
• Amaranth

There is more awareness about gluten free diets so its easier to follow since supermarkets, food outlets and online health stores stock more gluten free options. The downside is that sometimes specific gluten-free packaged products such as breads, cereals, cakes and biscuits in the ‘free-from’ section of supermarkets are not always ideal healthy alternatives. They are often based on potato starch, tapioca starch, white rice flour and/or maize (corn) flour, which havea very high glycaemic index. They also tend to contain more sugar than the conventional equivalents: many of the gluten-free cakes, biscuits, brownies, etc that you may find available in supermarkets and cafesoften have the first ingredient as sugar or glucose syrup.

Want to get cooking gluten-free, but don’t know where to start? Try Carol Fenster’s ‘100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes’ £10.79 from www.nutricentre.com

Vegan – celeb fans: Jay-Z, Beyonce, Bill Clinton, Mike Tyson, Alicia Silverstone, Kriss Carr, NataliePortman

A vegan diet is completely free of any animal products and animal by-products. This means that all meat and fish is off the menu as well as honey, eggs, animal milks and cheese. Vegans will also avoid leather clothing and using products on their body or around the home that are animal derived; for example beeswax candles. A vegan diet is healthy if enough protein is consumed – as vegans can easily fall into the carbohydrate dominant diet trap! Vegan proteins include: nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, tofu (soya) and plant protein powders such as hemp protein and rice protein. However be careful not to eat excessive amounts of soya (another common habit of vegans) – as this may imbalance hormones over time and effect thyroid hormone conversion. Stick to 2-3 portions per week.

Vegans may need to potentially supplement with B12 (sources  include eggs, meat and dairy products) – as this particular B vitamin cannot be obtained through vegetables and fruit. Fat soluble nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D can be obtained fromother sources than dairy products and meat (for example, vitamin D from the sun or through a supplement) but the vegan dieter would need to be aware of this and pay close attention on making sure they get themfrom plant sources (i.e vitamin E from seeds and avocado) or through a supplement. This is a hard diet to follow if cooking isn’t your forte and eating out can be a challenge; since lots of seemingly vegan products are not. However if you can master it; it can be a great healthy diet that is ethical too!

Quest Vitamins’ new Vitamin B12 capsules can help reduce tiredness and fatigue and are 100% vegan friendly, £7.90 from www.questexcellence.com and www.nutricentre.com

Paleo – celeb fans: MileyCyrus, Matthew McConaughghey, Megan Fox

The diet focuses on what would have supposedly been eaten by Palaeolithic people – who were our stone age ancestor’s (roughly 8,000 years BC ago). The diet promotes healthy eating (so no refined sugar for example) and focuses on meat, fish, eggs, vegetables but not potatoes (other root vegetables are fine, ie carrots), fruit that can be picked, and nuts (but not peanuts). It excludes anything that would have to be grown and farmed (the idea being that cave men just ‘hunted and gathered’) – so no cheese and cow’s milk, no grains (so no rice or wheat bread) and no beans and legumes e.g lentils (which is why peanuts are excluded because they are actually a legume and not a nut). As it’s less of a carbohydrate rich diet; the Paleo dieter would be getting their carbs from vegetables, fruit and possibly seed-grains (not a real grain) such as quinoa, millet and coconut flour bread. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as people do tend to over-eat on stodgy carbohydrates and do not consume enough protein and fibre.

I don’t think someone on this diet would be missing out on a wide range of nutrients as long as they followed the diet properly (for example, the old ‘Atkins’ diet focusedtoo much on meat, fish and eggs but the Paleo diet promotes an abundance of vegetables. Not having beans and lentils isn’t a great loss as such if you are eating vegetables, nuts and seeds as they possess similar nutrients. The only tricky thing can be eating out but of all the diets is perhaps much easier to follow than veganism or vegetarianism. A classic meal out for a Paleo dieter would be chicken breast with a side of quinoa and a generous serving of mixed vegetables and salad.

Want to stick to the Paleo diet on the go?  Try a seed based snack bar such as 9bar Flax with flax seed and protein packed carob topping, yum! 70p each from supermarkets and www.nutricentre.com

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