De­bunk­ing fad di­ets and food myths

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING - GE­OR­GIA FOR­RESTER

Women are be­ing en­cour­aged ito for­get fad di­ets and food myths and in­stead feel em­pow­ered by eat­ing what they like.

The Won­der Women work­shops, run by Massey Univer­sty, are a se­ries of dis­cus­sion sem­i­nars talking to Manawatu women about nu­tri­tion, the fe­male body, eat­ing and mind food.

Doc­tor Car­lene Starck was chal­leng­ing women to ‘‘stay away from fad di­ets’’ and lis­ten to their bod­ies.

The re­search sci­en­tist and am­a­teur ath­lete said con­flict­ing in­for­ma­tion was con­fus­ing women about they could and couldn’t eat.

She did not want women to be fol­low­ing the lat­est craze on the in­ter­net and de­priv­ing them­selves of im­por­tant foods, or feel­ing bad about them­selves when they tucked into a piece of cake.

Car­bo­hy­drates, such as potatos and bread, were not ‘‘evil’’ and the av­er­age ac­tive wo­man should be eat­ing them, she said.

‘‘It’s all about balance,’’ she told a group of 15 women at the first work­shop last week.

Starck said she had of­ten felt con­fused about food as a teenager, and as an ath­lete.

But now as a re­search sci­en­tist she wanted to ed­u­cate women on re­search-based health and nu­tri­tion.

‘‘I want them to feel em­pow­ered – I don’t want them to re­strict them­selves in any way.’’

And so the Won­der Women work­shops were born..

Dur­ing the work­shop ses­sions, she en­cour­ages women to think about where their sources of en­ergy and nu­tri­tion come from.

Whole food, di­etary fi­bre, pro­tein and fats – but not trans fats – were things women needed.

That’s in tan­dem with lis­ten­ing to one’s body and mind, she said.

‘‘My big rule is ac­tu­ally lis­ten to your body.

‘‘It’s not about what you look like. It’s about how you feel.’’

Linda Shailer, from Massey Univer­sity, is help­ing to run this month’s weekly work­shops this month.

She said there were ‘‘a lot of myths out there’’ about food that needed to be squashed.

The work­shops were a way to in­form women about their health as well as give an op­por­tu­nity to speak with an ex­pert on the topic.

The Won­der Women se­ries is run­ning through­out the month of Au­gust. For more in­for­ma­tion visit Massey Univer­sity’s web­site or call the rec cen­tre on 350 5080.

PHOTO: GE­OR­GIA FOR­RESTER/STUFF

Dr Car­lene Starck wants to ed­u­cate women about food and nu­tri­tion.

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