Bayside Dietetics

Bayside Dietetics

By Sarah Smith from Bayside Dietetics

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I took the liberty of asking different generations what food or health tip they would they say was the Holy Grail for their generation. Here are the responses:


Under 10s – seeds in bread, vegetables, relaxing/meditation

10-30 year olds – keto diet, kombucha, skinny tea, smashed avocado, brain dust

30-50 year olds – carb free or sugar free, plant based eating, intermittent fasting, gut health, brain foods, gluten free, celery juice, apple cider vinegar

50-70 year olds –low fat, FODMAP, alcohol free, juice cleanse, detoxing, red wine, butter versus margarine

Over 70s – conflicting advice, changing research, supplements and fish oil, overeating, innovation of dishes, keto diet


These answers threw me. I’m going to add a second blog to address what was raised.

The job of this blog however is to identify what is the theme in what people identify as the holy grail around food/health and what does new evidence name as providing these outcomes? What is it that the evidence says we should be adopting and passing onto the next generation? What really is the Holy Grail of our time?

One of the stark underlying themes in the answers I received was weight loss. I am going to pass on this one however as there is huge evidence that focusing on weight loss is unhelpful and certainly not helpful to pass onto our children.

The other underlying principal I can see is food and habits to help the body function well. From the liver to the heart to the brain. The Holy Grail that is emerging in nutrition science in this area is gut health.

Scientists have only just had the tools to be able to see and take good photographs of the bacteria, viruses and fungi in our gut. And believe it or not, we refer to these bugs as our gut health as they actually do a really important job for us.

If we look at the gut health of someone who has lived to 100 and someone who is healthy there are a huge variety of bugs in there. In contrast, someone with a shorter life span or who is unhealthy typically has a much smaller range of bugs.

Our gut health is affected by stress, disease, antibiotics and our diet. And the diet is where I come in.

A wide range of gut bugs comes from wide variety in the diet, particularly of unprocessed food. Have a think about your diet and your child’s diet. Is it the same things day to day or do you incorporate variety? Do you change fruit and vegetables as the seasons change? Do you use new recipe inspiration to cook different foods? Do you use cuisines and foods from around the world?

You don’t need to have answered yes to all these questions, but challenging yourself to increasing the variety in your diet will increase the variety of bugs in your gut and hence improve your gut health. Particularly using unprocessed foods like fruit, vegetables, legumes (lentils, beans, chick peas) and grains (rice, quinoa, millet, wheat, rye, barley, oats).


Here’s some inspiration on getting variety in foods to improve your gut health (all through the marvel of the internet):


If you or your child has a narrow range of foods, or is skipping a particular type of food it may be worth working out how to put that food back in the diet. For a lot of people who have trouble tolerating certain foods, a low FODMAP diet is used to manage symptoms. Even if this diet goes well, it is really important to start reintroducing some FODMAPs to get variety back. If this is you or your child come and see me or your specialised dietitian for help getting a healthy gut while still looking after your tummy.

I’m guessing you and your child will be very gutful for that.

My survey raised much more than I anticipated so I plan to bring you part two of this blog next month. I’ll be telling you which trends have good evidence to support them and which you can quickly discard. Spoiler alert…skinny tea is out.


You may also like to read:

High Energy Diet for Kids

Why We Need A Mental Diet