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It is often said that you are what you eat. If you eat well, you will be well. At Gordian Health, we aim to help you to choose a balanced and healthy diet according to your needs and preferences.

We all need to use our macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat, and protein) in line with what we are and what we would like to achieve. A comprehensive clinical assessment, including body composition analysis, will help you understand what your true
nutritional needs are.

We recognise that nutritional information is readily available from a variety of sources. But the available information can be confusing and often misleading. We strive to ensure that the information we use is based on the latest and the best scientific evidence. If we do not know the answer, we will find somebody who does.

Poor nutrition is now the biggest risk factor for disease. Globally, one in five deaths is directly due to nutritional problems. Poor diet is a major contributor to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune disease. Getting the right macronutrient balance is critical but so too are micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). We have prepared a library of information on nutritional supplements – again using the latest evidence and best clinical practice.

No matter whether you are vegetarian, vegan, overweight, underweight, or just hungry Gordian Health will help you nourish your mind and body. The we support a range of approaches including low carbohydrate, plant based, anti-inflammatory and the use of nutritional supplements.


Unravelling the myths around carbs and fats

Today we hear a huge amount about the demonisation of the humble carbohydrate. If it isn’t the Paleo diet, it’s the Keto diet. Back in the day it was the Atkin’s diet and I confess I did try this in the 90’s. Yes, I lost weight, but the halitosis was horrendous, and my gut hated me.  Low carbs, no carbs what to do? Simple like everything in life it is about balance. The issue isn’t the carbohydrates themselves it is our choice of which ones we choose to consume and, critically when!

Carbs are a necessity if we train and do regular exercise, indeed they are necessary to take us through the activities of daily living be that as a domestic engineer or a blacksmith. We burn energy from the moment we swing our little legs out of bed till the moment we fall wearily back into our pit at the end of the working day. However, it doesn’t stop there. Even while asleep we burn energy and simply sitting still on our butts watching Netflix the body is munching away at whatever fuel we have decided to consume.

This is when we get a bit technical. The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories you burn at rest. We then have the Active Metabolic Rate, (AMR) these are the calories we spend while active and getting on with our busy day. Knowing what both of these are will give you a baseline for the number of calories you need to propel you through your day. Put simply, you require more calories on days when you are more active. Playing football with your mates, gardening or simply going for a brisk walk. All these activities need calories. Those calories come from carbohydrates.

Now I know what you are thinking what of the other fuel supply; fats. Yes, fats are a crucial supply of energy and I know that most of you want to tap into that supply so as to melt off those love handles or pare away at those hips. Well, here is the thing, when we are active, we don’t burn fat we burn carbs.

Think of it like this; if the fat in our body was represented by a big log of wood and exercise was a match to burn it. If we strike the match and hold it to the log the best, we could expect is a light scorching if we are lucky. Like every fire to be lit we need kindling and that’s where the carbs come in. When we do any activity the body taps into the carbs which are stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. This powers the body through whatever is demanded from it. The more intense the exercise th more glycogen is burned. In short, the glycogen is the kindling. Think about the log again; light the kindling with the match and place next to the log and you have a fire.

So now we have a blaze on our hands, what next?

The body then burns the stored glycogen till the tank is nearly empty, but the muscles and neurons of the brain still need fuel and after the workout it starts to burn low. This is when the body says, “Hey I know let’s plunder the other source of energy; fat” and so the fat burning cycle begins. If you have exercised effectively enough this fat burning cycle can last as long as 48 hours. The trick is to get the fire started in the first place. This is called the Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)phase.

That will be my next fitness blog.

What is EPOC and how does it affect our ability to burn fat plus we will cover exactly where and what to source your carbohydrates.

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