Take responsibility for your health.

This blog was inspired by one of our gorgeous community members that does take responsibility for her own health. She was horrified by a message she saw sent out by a dietician to their community. The message was that there are lots of scary claims about food additives. These claims aren’t backed up by research. Their advice was to make sure to check the credentials of the people making these claims. Then listed some additives (that we recommend avoiding) as being safe.

Let’s break this down into a few elements to discuss further:

1) Claims not backed up by research
2) Check the credentials on people advising you about additives
3) Dietitian’s experience with additives
4) Take responsibility for your health – don’t give your power away.

1. Claims not backed up by research

There are mountains of research backing up claims for avoiding additives. I know that you can find studies for an against. Especially when it comes to hotly contested additives such as MSG, you can find studies and research to support it is totally safe. You can find studies that say the opposite.

It is always important to look at who has funded the study and what is their interest in the study. I have seen studies where the interest is to promote confusion in the industry. Where there is confusion, there are still sales. It is a popular tactic.

For those that follow Additive Free Kids regularly, you will you know that there is a constant flow of research being released. Recent studies and research we have discussed:

Additive laden (ultra processed) foods linked to disease and death- Food additive 171 (titanium dioxide) is harmful to gut and may cause cancer

Overeating and obesity linked to MSG

Food additives pose risk to children’s health

Food additives impact gut health

This is just the start. New studies are being released all the time. I present you with what I have read, researched and share it with you. Take responsibility for your health – it is up to you to determine whether you will rely on that study / research.

2. Check the credentials of the people advising you about additives.

I couldn’t agree with this more! I suggest you do this also. To save you some time researching…my credentials are detailed below.

For the avoidance of any doubt, I have never professed to be a nutritionist or a dietitian.

I have always been transparent that my background is:

– A mum of 5 boys that was able to resolve health issues and behavioural challenges with her boys by moving to additive free (see my story)

– Sharing knowledge and research that I have acquired with other families to help them achieve the same benefits

– I trained as a Chartered Accountant /External Auditor (more on this soon)

Advisor to the Anti Additive Association

– Reviewed tens upon tens of thousands of products on supermarket shelves.

How is being a Chartered Accountant (External Auditor) relevant?

I was trained to:

– examine data to ensure it is accurate and complies with laws and regulations

– be unbiased and independent

– verify statements and claims by comparing items to documentation

– communicate findings by collecting, analysing, summarising information

– provide assurance that it is in order as held out to be

– comply with codes and standards The fundamental principles being:
integrity,
objectivity,
professional competence,
due care,
confidentiality and
professional behaviour.

be an agent in the public interest.

This training underpins all that I do. You know that anytime I recommend a product this training is what sits behind every product you see on the Additive Free Marketplace Directory.

So…..whilst I am not a nutritionist or dietitan (and I don’t think you need to be, to look at the quality of ingredients in a product), I am more than qualified to share my findings with you.

I do not need a dietitics degree to do this

No disrespect to those that have.

You don’t need to either.

You can take responsibility for your health.

3) Dietitian’s experience with additives

When you are receiving advice from a doctor or dietician I would like you to consider, how much time has that professional dedicated to:

– understanding food additives?
– learning about the impact these additives have on our bodies?
– understanding that food additives labelled the same way may not be the same ingredient, made the same way or processed the same?
– learning whether these additives have been grown on mould, extracted with solvents or other chemicals, made from wood pulp, or genetically modified?

Before the amazing doctors and dietitians get cross with me….I know there are many of them that know and understand the impact additives have on our bodies. They have taken the time. They have read the research. They are educating and advising their clients about them. I know we have some of them in our community!

Unfortunately, this isn’t the norm though.

Dietitians need to follow outdated nutritional rules and advice. We know our current Australian Dietary Guidelines aren’t working for us. 63% of Australians aged 18 and over are overweight or obese. The incidence of asthma is increasing. Mental health issues are skyrocketing, as are cancer rates. Diabetes is increasing at alarming rates.

Can we honestly say that our current dietary guidelines are working for us with these statistics?

I hear stories from our community about how shocked they are with the recommendations from a dietitian. A typical example:

Good fats such as butter, cream and ghee told to be replaced with margarine, canola or sunflower oils.

Has anyone seen the ingredients of margarine?

It looks something like this:

“Vegetable oils (min 49% canola oil), water, salt, emulsifier 322 (from soy), 471), milk solids, preservatives (202), food acid (270), natural colour (160a), vitamins A and D, flavour

We know the research tells us that emulsifiers disrupt our microbiome.

We know that preservatives are linked to asthma, skin irritations and hyperactivity.

We know that flavour could comprise any number of chemicals!

Why would you recommend this option over butter, cream or ghee where the ingredients are:

Cream, salt

Why?

A dietitian is required to adhere to The Australian Dietary Guidelines.

They are wanting to do the right thing and help people. The guidelines they are following are grossly outdated.

It takes time for the science to catch up.
It takes time for the science to be incorporated into new curriculums.
It takes time for this to flow through into practice rooms.

You need to ask yourself – do you want to wait?

Will it actually happen?

We know that The Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA) has been under the spot light for its links with Big Food. It’s funding from corporate partners such as Nestle, Arnott’s and other big food companies.
The DAA is being very transparent with its corporate partnership arrangements currently. There is still some way to go to restore the public’s faith in their independence though. It will take time.

4. Do you need to be a dietician to take responsibility for your heath?

We give all our power away to medical practitioners and dieticians.

Yes they have done a lot of study.

Yes they are very knowledgeable.

So are you.
You have the right to question.
You have the right to investigate.
You have the right to follow your intuition.

Don’t give your power away. Do your own research. Verify information that has been shared with you. Whether that information comes from a doctor, dietitian, family member, friend or me).

Do your own research.
Draw your own conclusions.

You don’t need to be a dietitian to take responsibility for your own health.

I personally have made the decision that I am not going to wait. My family’s health is my responsibility. It will be too late by the time the changes happen. I’m not sure if it will happen in my lifetime. I truly hope that it does!

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear them. Leave me a comment below.

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Frankie Bell - Additive Free Kids

Frankie Bell is the Managing Director of Additive Free Kids and the founder of the Additive Free Marketplace. Frankie is a food coach, mentor and is one of Australia’s leading activists against additives in food. 

Frankie is a Mum to 5 boys and has personal experience working through the damaging effects of additives to resolve multiple health issues and behavioural problems in her own children. It became Frankie’s purpose to help other families achieve the same improvement in their families.

These changes can be overwhelming, especially for time poor parents. Frankie has done all the hard work for families to ensure they have access to additive free food anytime, anywhere.