Saskatoon

Saskatoon experts offer advice on food fads

There’s never a shortage of advice out there about what’s healthy and what’s not, and with new pro-vegan documentaries like What the Health making the rounds on Netflix, CBC Radio’s Saskatoon Morning convened a panel of two local food experts.

Holistic nutritionist says go raw, but dietitian is not convinced

With many people thinking about a switch to a more plant-based diet, two Saskatoon experts warn against radical change without gathering all the information you need first. (Getty Images)

There's never a shortage of advice out there about what's healthy and what's not, and with new pro-vegan documentaries like What the Health making the rounds on Netflix, CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning convened a panel of two local food experts.

Chris Kendall is a registered holistic nutritionist and coaches people on the raw-food approach to diet — which focuses on raw fruit and vegetables, and foods with limited or no processing.

He said most people agree that fruits and vegetables are healthy.

Radical changes are not easy.- Dietitian Brooke Bulloch

"But to the exclusion of everything else. …I can't believe it!" he said.

Brooke Bulloch is a registered dietitian. She agrees a more plant-based diet is a good idea but worries people do not have the information they need.  

"Radical changes are not easy," she said. "People like variety."

Saskatoon raw-food expert Chris Kendall believes you can get all the nutrients you need from fruit and vegetables. (Credit: Instagram/@sheilamattsonfineartphoto)

Keep it raw, says expert

For Kendall, raw is the best option.

"When you are hungry, eat as much fruit as you like. If you don't feel like fruit or you want a savoury flavour, go for the vegetables," he said.

"On an average day, I'm eating between eight to 12 pounds of fruit and one to three pounds of vegetables."

Kendall argues that the raw-food approach will offer all the nutrients and the essential amino acids needed to thrive and live a healthy life.  

Bulloch is not convinced.

"There may be some concerns around certain nutrients that might be lacking," she said. "Sometimes cooking our vegetables delivers more nutrients."

Brooke Bulloch worries people will be missing some keys nutrients if they shun foods like this chickpea salad with kale, beets and red peppers. (courtesy of Chickpeas)

Mix it up with beans and legumes 

Plus, Bulloch said, it's a good idea to make sure you are getting some whole grains, as well as beans and other legumes, in your diet.

Bulloch also worries that people are trying to follow new diets without gathering the information they need, or even thinking about the lifestyle changes required.

"A lot of people are more interested in eating a vegan style of diet; a lot of them are not even eating beans now."

It's another area where the two find common ground, noting that it's always a good idea to think about your diet and whether it is healthy enough.

But before you make a change in your diet, both said it is important to gather all the information you can and speak with an expert.

About the Author

Danny Kerslake is an award-winning journalist who has worked in radio stations across Western Canada. In his career with CBC Saskatchewan, Danny has reported from every corner of the province and has lived and worked in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert. Danny is a newsreader and digital AP for CBC Saskatoon.