We all need to calm down: A Sunday rant on sugar and gluten and poison.

Two years ago, I would have responded to nutrition related questions, statements and conversations. Now most of the time (there are exceptions. Now for instance), I don’t. As I sit around the table at work, with friends, with family, as I eat whatever is on my plate or in my bowl, I’m surrounded with people saying things like ‘yeah, but it’s not really healthy’, ‘I need to lose weight’, ‘you know tomato sauce is full of sugar’.

Hell, it seems that even foods that don’t have sugar in them, have sugar in them.

Anyway, I tune out, I start writing virtual rants blogs in my head or escape to my social media feeds to be unsociable. Only to find these feeds are full of the ‘sugar is the devil’, ‘gluten will kill you’ etc etc etc etc excuse me why I go stick needles in my eyeballs. So that’s why you may find me talking non-nutrition related things with my fellow nutrition professionals, eating something that someone will have a problem with.

It’s not that I don’t care about sugar, and gluten, and poison. Believe me, I do. Hence the career + blog + hecs debt + food I put into my mouth. But, seriously can we all just take a big deep breath and throw those god damn kale smoothies down the drain?

Remember in the nineties when fat was the devil? And dietitians/nutritionist/scientists/food companies/who ever you want to blame got it wrong & replaced the fat with things like sugar?

Well, now who is the devil?


And what we are replacing it with?

Agave syrup. Honey. Maple syrup. Rice malt syrup. Dates. Coconut sugar‘


And a few extra minerals which you could probably can just get from a banana. For a fraction of the price.

Why can’t we all see just how ridiculous this is?

Why do we need eat date, coconut oil, protein powder and almond filled bliss balls to be healthy?

Why can’t we all just eat a freaking banana and move on with our day?

This just really sucks.

People are confused. And heck, no bloody wonder. Some days I even find myself questioning my judgement. Maybe I should be getting my patients kale and ginger juices from the hospital kitchen? Except then I think, I don’t even like them when I’m at the top of my game, so why would an eighty year old man want one? Does he even know what kale is? Anyway. *deep breaths*

We’re missing the point.

We eat food.

We do not eat nutrients.

I didn’t have a bowl of complex carbohydrates, fructose, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, protein, fibre, antioxidants and calcium for breakfast.

I had a bowl of porridge. I made it with milk. I topped it with frozen blueberries, some pumpkin seeds, a drizzle of honey and a generous dollop of tahini.

We need to stop looking at nutrients in isolation.

Yes, a banana does contain more starch, and less sugar when they are green. Yes, they contain more sugar when they are really ripe. But holy moly, there are more fish to fry than a banana. They are full of so much goodness. Fibre. You need fibre. Vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid are in there too. Plus potassium.

And, like, it grows on a plant. You can pretty much pick it and eat it. Like hello, natural, delicious, healthy convenience 101.

Holy moly.

At the end of the day, at the end of the low carb, high carb, paleo, pegan, sugar free, high fat, high protein diet wars, we really just need to go back to basics. 

We need to eat less processed food, and we need to eat more plants

We really need to just start eating more paddock-to-plate whole food.

Real food.

But by all means, if you want to go the low sugar, cookies & cream flavoured protein bar, go for it. Just make sure you drink plenty of water to go with the whey protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, whey protein isolate, emulsifier (soy lecithin), maltitol, cocoa butter, milk solids, cocoa liquor, more soy protein isolate, more emulsifier (soy lecithin), flavour, polydextrose, glycerol, maltitol, resistant starch (corn starch, maltodextrin), cocoa powder, unsalted butter, even more emulsifier (soy lecithin) and flavours.

I’ll be off eating a ripe banana.

Have a ripper day.

Emma xo


21 thoughts on “We all need to calm down: A Sunday rant on sugar and gluten and poison.

  1. Dear Emma, I have just commenced a masters degree in dietetics and I can I just say… I feel this pain already! Thank you for explaining so delicately how it is! Eat wholesome foods, mostly plant! woo

  2. Very entertaining Emma. Refreshing to read your point of view and to understand we as dietitian’s are in the same boat. As frustrating as it is, I believe we are getting there slowly with our evidenced based and common sense advice – Saving the world one blog post at a time 😊

  3. Yup! Every. Single. Day. I work in community and have at least someone tell me daily they they are eating “healthy” by not eating bananas and/or carrots. Thank-you for this!!

  4. I just came across your blog after someone shared this post on Facebook and I could not agree more! In fact, I just published a similar rant about bananas today! I love it when people won’t eat a banana because of the “sugar” but then eat a candy bar! Amen.

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