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Diet vs Supplements: The Low-Down

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When it comes to complete health and wellbeing, which one is better – diet or supplements? Well, here at The Healthy Chef, we believe in a holistic approach to health so we really encourage embracing both. Achieving great health is not about fads or extreme short cuts, but instead about making lifestyle changes that can be sustained in the long-term.

You can’t supplement out a bad diet, and it can be very difficult to receive optimum levels of all vitamins, minerals and nutrients from diet alone.

The Case for a Healthy Diet

It goes without saying that a healthy lifestyle has a wholesome diet as its foundation. It’s so important to be eating highly nutritious wholefoods every day as they offer so many benefits to the body. Exactly as the name suggests, supplements were intended to “supplement” what we eat to top up our nutrient levels, but our main nutrients must be obtained from our diet.

The power of wholefoods

When it comes to nutrients, there are two kinds: macro and micro. Macronutrients are those that mainly make up most of what we need to source our energy and fuel our bodies, consisting of carbohydrate, protein and fat. Micronutrients on the other hand are vitamins and minerals, and are generally only needed in much smaller amounts for the body to effectively use them.

Eating the right proportions of nutritious wholefoods is the best way to fuel our bodies, especially with macronutrients. When we do the opposite and instead feed ourselves with processed foods, it can introduce dangerous levels of sugar, salt and the wrong types of fat. As these ingredients add a much higher count of calories to food with almost no nutritional benefit, people often feel that they need to eat higher portions of these foods to feel fuller and satisfied, which can lead to eating more calories than the body needs. On top of this, also add preservatives and chemicals that our body does not benefit from.

Consistently eating these harmful foods can lead to a myriad of health problems in the long run, including cholesterol issues, insulin resistance and not being able to maintain a healthy weight. The key to a healthy life is through a focus on wholefoods within your diet like fresh vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, legumes and some healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil.

“It’s all about keeping it simple, keeping it fresh and making it yourself”
- Teresa Cutter

Click here to see more about our Simple Healthy Recipes cookbook for new ways to enjoy delicious recipes designed around wholefood ingredients.

Absorption & Digestion

A healthy diet rich in wholefoods also helps the body to absorb nutrients, which is another reason that you cannot simply outdo the damage of an unhealthy diet with supplements. Nutrients within food are generally much easier for the body to absorb (you can read more about why we’ve created our supplements using wholefood ingredients below).

A diet rich in wholefoods is a great way to get your daily fibre intake in – did you know fibre helps with the body’s absorption of micronutrients like calcium, iron and magnesium? Dietary fibre is also great for gut health, which is so important as the gastro-intestinal tract is where the body absorbs the nutrients, minerals and vitamins from our food.  Fibre can also slow down the digestion of food, making it great for the regulation of sugar levels as it can help to prevent spikes in blood sugar after eating. 

In particular, fresh fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of natural prebiotics. This helps to fuel the beneficial probiotic strains within our microbiome, which is essential to maintain the right balance of good bacteria for optimum gut health.

Put the love back into healthy eating

Eating healthy should never be a chore, and nor should healthy food ever be bland or boring! Everybody loves delicious food, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy or look forward to eating highly nutritious meals.

If you feel uninspired or lost when it comes to healthy eating, our cookbook: Simple Healthy Recipes is the remedy to get you excited about healthy food again. Whether it’s healthier alternatives for classics we grew up eating or something new, these recipes have been designed with more than just nutrition in mind – they’re simple, budget-friendly and absolutely delicious!

Due to their ease, these recipes are also great to get the whole family involved with cooking too. There’s so many ways this essential go-to cookbook will change the way you cook, and with 300+ recipes, you’ll never run out of inspiration.

Shop it here or by clicking below:

Simple Healthy Recipes: Cookbook

The Case for Supplements

If a balanced diet is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, then supplements can be considered as the ‘icing on the cake’. Supplements can help to fill in any nutritional gaps we may be experiencing and in the case of diagnosed deficiencies, can also help us address them much faster than relying on diet alone. Here’s some more information about the benefits of supplements:

Going beyond the RDI

Supplements are a great way for us to top up on micronutrients that may be lacking from our everyday diets. Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) values are recommendations for certain levels of nutrients, mineral and vitamins one should be having daily. Though it’s worth noting that these are averages often worked out as minimum amounts to avoid deficiency. However, the amounts required to have our bodies performing at their optimal peak are often higher than levels suggested just to avoid deficiency. 

There are also Upper Limits to consider for each nutrient’s intake to stay within safe levels. You can rest assured that the supplements within the Healthy Chef range have been designed with a careful consideration of ingredients to deliver optimal levels of each micronutrient, and where they are higher than the RDI, they still fall under Upper Limits. They were created to work synergistically alongside a balanced diet to offer nutritional value that would be very difficult to achieve through diet alone.

As always, if using supplements to address an area of your wellbeing, we recommend consulting a healthcare professional on the best and safest plan for you and your individual health requirements. In particular, Nutritionists and Naturopaths will focus their practice around nutrition and supplements, and how they can correlate to different areas of health. 

Poorer quality soils

Unfortunately over time, the quality of our soils have degraded and there are less nutrients within it for fruits and vegetables to absorb. If you also consider practices like crop selection and breeding, where certain species have been grown because of better shelf life, appearance and size rather than their nutritional value, then this becomes another reason that our local produce is not as nutritionally dense as it once may have been.

Supplements are a great way to make up for these shortcomings, and in addition to that, we’ve used ingredients with either organic or sustainable practices behind them to ensure the best nutrient density and retention.

Supplements made from food = even better

The Healthy Chef range of supplements are created with the goodness of wholefood ingredients, which means the body recognises and digests them just as it would for food. The benefit here is that you can experience the nutritional value, enhanced absorption and purity of a range of wholefoods, rather than synthetic supplements.

We’ve made it our mission to create a range that’s as natural as possible and have sourced the best possible ingredients with processing methods that ensure the most nutritional value. We haven’t stopped there – we’ve also worked tirelessly to make each blend the most delicious it can be so you can look forward to great tasting experience every time you have a Healthy Chef blend.

Here are some examples within our range and what makes them so beneficial:

You'd have to eat 2kg of oranges to get as much vitamin C as a serve of our Immune Support! Featuring a powerhouse of immune-boosting ingredients, it offers 10x the RDI of vitamin C, as well a full daily recommended serve of vitamin D and zinc.

Pure Collagen is your all-rounder when it comes to supplements. This blend is ideal for supporting youthful and refreshed skin, sports performance and muscle health with it's impressive amino acid profile and helps restore and strengthen gut health.

Getting enough probiotics and prebiotics in your diet alone can be hard. They are the foundation for a healthy gut, so supplementing them is the ideal way to make sure your insides are happy. Probiotic + Prebiotic is your unique low FODMAP blend of both!

The goodness of 10 x organic fruits and vegetables in one great tasting berry flavoured blend! The ingredients have been cold-pressed and freeze-dried to retain the maximum amount of nutrients.

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