‘It’s important not to follow food fads but to look at lifestyle choices’

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik advises people on gut health. Photo: Eve Kalinik.
Nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik advises people on gut health. Photo: Eve Kalinik.
Sugar-free, gluten intolerance, food labelling, vegan, dairy and on-the-go snacking; consumers are following more food trends than ever before but is it having a detrimental effect on our health?

Nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik believes people need to be more critical in their thinking rather than following a diet or protocol.

Misguided information


There are simple principles consumers can make to their routine and diet. There is a lot of misguided information today that is not specifically related to the individual. For example, scientific research that drinking kefir, probiotics or drinkable yogurt will help our gut health is scarce. The current philosophy is that it will work for some people but not for others​,” she said.

The biggest mistake consumers make is not what they are eating but how they are eating it. You can have all the fermented foods and nutritional information but if you’re not going to sit down and eat your food properly it is not going to work​.”

Kalinik will be delving into the merits of gut health in her session​ ‘Be Good To Your Gut’, at Amorevore Food Festival in Ibiza (October 26-28).

She believes there is a lot of ‘scapegoating with food’, where consumers think dairy, bread or sugar is bad for us but the real issue is eating in moderation.

For example, there is a big difference between processed cheese and locally produced full fat cheese, which has more probiotics and fat-soluble nutrients, the same as bacteria creates the fermentation process in breads like sourdough which is pre-digested and more gut friendly.

Many people think eating bread or dairy is the issue but that is rarely the case. Sometimes it’s the ‘load’ of consumption and people self-diagnose. The reality is people are eating too much of one type of food and just need to be more sensible about it and not eat too much of it​,” Kalinik added.

I want to demystify these assumptions. I don’t believe in labelling food as good or bad as that is not accurate at all. It does not help in resolving symptoms around food. The key is helping people to understand food because we have come to adopt an ‘all or nothing culture’, and quick fixes where people go on a diet and believe that if they eliminate a particular food group that’s their cure​.

Lifestyle habits

It’s myopic to think that even though the body and the gut is dealing with so many complex processes that if you cut out bread that will make your life more harmonious. Sometimes it’s the things people don’t want to acknowledge that you have to trace things back, such as taking a look at lifestyle habits, sitting down to eat properly instead of on-the-go, turning off your phone while you eat and chewing your food slowly​.”

Kalinik added, regarding the current sugar debate, she can’t say whether sugar is good or bad for someone but people need to ask why they have a craving for sugar and if it might be an educational or emotional trigger or an imbalance in the body. 

Having sugar in your diet is fine but try not to overload on it or ask yourself why you are craving it. Food has changed immensely over the last 30 years and there are more high sugars in our diet but in my parents and grandparents generation they had white sugar in their diet but there wasn’t the high level of chronic disease as there is now but it’s irresponsible to say sugar is to blame.​”

Kalinik who is speaking at Amorevore on Friday, October 26​, from 11:30am-12:30pm, is currently working on her second book after publishing ‘Be Good To Your Gut’, in September 2017.

She is also one of the tutors for The Guardian masterclasses to educate, debunk and demystify rhetoric around healthy eating with the next masterclass due to held in London on November 20​, 6:30pm-9:30pm.  

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