In a Nutshell

Have you ever wondered ...

In a Nutshell is a quick peak into some of the interesting questions we have been asked.

If there is a question that you would like to have answered, just click the link below to drop us a line.

Have you ever wondered what is the healthiest diet?

Our modern world is saturated with profound claims for new and improved ways of managing our health and wellbeing. The influence of social media and a multitude of self-proclaimed "health and nutrition experts" has many of us glued to our news feeds waiting for "the latest fix" for our health-related woes.

Amongst the conflicting information that we are confronted with every day, are ever changing rules telling us to "eat this and don't eat that". It is natural to be confused over what is and is not effective. When it comes to a healthy diet, there is no "one size fits all".

So... what is the healthiest diet?

In a nutshell.........there isn't one!

Good nutrition is the most important thing to consider regardless of what your health goal is. Whether you aspire to reduce your risk of illness, have increased energy levels, a leaner physique, or are looking to optimise your health, there are some common things that we should consider. The more variety the better, opt for wholefoods and try to reduce processed foods.

At Pulse, we are often asked,

"If I was to change just one thing about my diet, what should it be?"

That's an easy one to answer! Eat more plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes and healthy fats. A diet rich in these foods, is one we can all thrive on. Even just a small step such as including a piece of fruit each day is positive for your health. So feel free to stop restricting and start enjoying. 

Here are some other top tips for healthy living:

  • Meal Planning - planning ahead will not only reduce stress but also your budget.
  • Exercise - find time in your day to lift your heart rate, reduce stress, increase happy hormones and promote sleep.
  • Morning routine - win the morning, win the day. Have a routine that sets you up for success.
  • Mindfulness - bring peace into your life by being with... you! Starting with 5-10 minutes of focused breathing reduces stress and creates much needed space in your life.

Have you been thinking about your own health?

Is it time to take a charge of your wellbeing?

If so, contact us to find out how we can help you to optimise your health, on your terms.

written by Danielle Lazarides

Have you ever wondered if carbs make you fat?                               

Carbohydrates, or carbs as they are commonly called, are often classed as the 'devil' in the diet world. The notion that carbs make you fat is not a new one, but it simply isn't true. So, if carbs don't make you fat, then where did this idea originate from? Since the rise of the Atkins Diet in the early 70s and more recently the Keto movement, poor carbs have been getting a pretty bad wrap by the media and self-proclaimed internet nutrition 'experts'.

The premise behind the low carb diet is that eating carbohydrates stimulates the release of insulin, leading to cravings, increased hunger and weight gain. 

It's important to know that .... 

Not all carbs are created equally

When people are cutting carbs, they tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It's great to cut out soft drinks, biscuits, cakes, chips, lollies and takeaways, but many people also remove fruit and the wonderful wholegrain and starchy carbs like rice, pasta, bread and potatoes which contain lots of vitamins and minerals that are important to maintain our overall health. Alongside proteins and fats, carbohydrates are the building blocks of life. Overall, carbs are not just delicious but important to fuel our bodies and brains each day.

It's easy to say that weight loss comes down to calories in vs calories out, but we all know that it's more complicated than that. Too much of any food will result in weight gain, not just too many carbs. There are many hurdles to achieving weight loss and everyone's situation is different.

So, what do I do if I'm trying to lose weight?

To lose weight safely and sustainably it's a good idea to get professional advice from an accredited practising dietitian before starting your weight-loss journey. A dietitian can help you navigate the minefield of misinformation and help you reach your personal goals without compromising your health and without taking the joy out of food.

So, in a nutshell, the answer is no - you don't need to cut carbs from your diet even if losing weight is your goal. You can still enjoy a bowl of pasta and a glass of red with a clear conscience. Life is too short to skip out on carbs.

written by Tayla White

Have you ever wondered if coffee dehydrates you?

Coffee is a drink that many of us can't do without. We often start our day with a hot cup of coffee as it tastes nice, it gives us a boost of energy, and it can improve our mood. Catching up for coffee with our family and friends is an important part of our lives. However, there is a widely held belief that caffeine-containing drinks are dehydrating.

With summer fast approaching most of us are concerned about staying hydrated. With about 60% of our bodies made up of water, we know that drinking plenty of water is important. Not just to prevent dehydration, but for better digestion, to help our muscles and brain perform at their best, to regulate our temperature and blood pressure and for healthy skin and nails. 


So, do we need to be concerned that we are causing harm to ourselves when we indulge in that irresistible cup of coffee? 

The short answer is no! 

Recent scientific studies have shown that there is no difference in hydration levels between people who drink 3 to 4 cups of coffee per day and people who drink the same amount of water each day. Even during the heat of summer, where staying hydrated is particularly important, a moderate of amount of coffee will not cause dehydration. You may ask, what is a moderate amount of coffee? This is a great question, because there is a huge variation in caffeine content in different blends of coffee. Not only that, some people prefer a half strength coffee, whilst others prefer a triple shot! The consensus seems to be that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is safe for most healthy adults. That's roughly the amount of caffeine in four 'regular' cups of brewed coffee.

So, feel free to enjoy your coffee, and count it alongside your water in boosting your fluid intake.

Have you ever wondered about Popeye and spinach?

"I'm strong to the finish 'cause I eats me spinach."

In the late 1920s Elzie Segar created the character Popeye, who possessed superhuman strength that came from eating cans of spinach. It is widely reported that Popeye's fondness for spinach comes from a mathematical error made back in the 1870s. 

A German scientist, Erich von Wolf, was researching the iron content of leafy green vegetables when he apparently made a simple accounting error which elevated the humble spinach to superfood status. A decimal point was incorrectly placed to give 100g of spinach an iron content of 35mg instead of 3.5mg.  

It has always been thought that Segar chose spinach because of this error, but in a 1932 comic the true reason spinach was chosen was revealed:

"Spinach is full of vitamin 'A' an' tha's what makes hoomans strong an' helty"

Whilst the iron in spinach isn't easily used by our bodies, it does contain a large amount of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A is important for many functions, including vision, immunity and reproduction. Spinach is also high in many other nutrients, including vitamin K, potassium, magnesium and folate.

Regardless of whether spinach is the victim of an urban myth or an accounting error, it is really good for us and we could probably all do with eating a little more of it.