A quick glance through widely regarded UK-based nutritionist Ian Marber’s Twitter feed confirms his obsession with all things healthy: kimchi rice, avocados, basically everything low-carb and gluten free. He is known for his no-nonsense health advice and myth-busting tips on social media.
So, my first question to him was about the biggest health industry lie. “It’s a myth that fat is bad for us. There are many fats that are considered beneficial, such as Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, butter and ghee,” he says. For years, we have been told to banish fats from our diets. However, recent studies have proved that fat is an essential part of our body. It helps with muscle movement and builds cell membranes.
Eating the right kind of fat can also aid weight loss. A high fat, low carb diet gives you energy to keep going, which means work harder in the gym. Eating fat helps you burn fat as the body starts utilising energy from the fat reserves.
And the other thing Marber can’t stand is when someone says, “You can eat what you want if you exercise a lot. That’s not true. You cannot out-train a bad diet and in terms of weight management, 80% of that is found in the kitchen, not the gym,” he adds
He was recently in Mumbai as part of Truefarm Foods, a company researching on superfoods and nutrition-based ingredients.
A regular personality on television (Channel 4) and radio (BBC), Marber also writes for several publications including The Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday and The Times, among others. He also has 12 books (The Food Doctor series) to his credit. Marber was one of the founding members of The Food Doctor, a leading nutrition consultancy in the UK, until he quit in 2012 and started working independently. So, when and how did Marber become so obsessed with healthy food?
“It was around 1993, when I was diagnosed with coeliac disease, a gluten intolerance, that my interest in nutrition grew leading to a decision to change careers and return to education,” he says. Today, his pantry is always stocked up with beans (kidney and black), matcha powder, flaxseed powder and organic oats, all superfoods that he highly recommends you make a part of your diet. “All of these are so versatile and can be easily adapted to various recipes,” he adds.
We trust him when he says this, as Marber loves spending time in the kitchen coming up with different dishes. His favourite thing to do during a regular day: “I usually spend evenings cooking for my family and friends,” he says.