Great to chat again with Gerry Kelly on The Late Lunch Show on LMFM again today I had to battle my way through Storm Brendan to get there but was fun when I got there! (13th Jan 2020) .

Today we chatted about:

Eating Meat
Good Fats v Bad Fats
The New Food Pyramid
Alcohol consumption when you’re trying to lose weight
Exercise and weight loss

Read the interview here or listen by clicking the play button below


Gerry Kelly LMFM  0:01

This is the Second part of a four part series with nutritionist Rachel Graham. She’s back with us on The Late Lunch this afternoon. And you are very welcome. Thank you. I’d say you were blown off the road.

Rachel Graham  0:11

I was!

Gerry Kelly LMFM  0:12

Ferocious weather out there today. harrowing out there in storm Brendan. Look, at least we’re in the right place now. Hopefully Nobody leaves us as the afternoon goes on.
Welcome back. And thanks for last week, I met a lot of people to the week who were listening to you. And you know, could tell me all the pointers he gave there as well. So it’s really good to hear that.

So let’s move on today and begin by talking about the foods that support weight loss. Now, when you say food and weight loss, people would say “that there’s a bit of a contradiction there, Gerry!”


Rachel Graham  0:39

No, not at all. It’s about actually filling yourself with nutritionally dense foods, and that’s what’s going to keep you full, that’s what’s going to keep you satisfied. It’s actually going to keep you happy. Because if you’re restricting yourself with these, you know, fad diets, you know, reducing your calories, you know, it’s just in the long term, not it’s just a short term gain. And that’s what I’m trying to get into people’s mindset. To get them out of that way of thinking of these short term gains, and that kind of diet mentality, those fad diets, because they just don’t work.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  1:09

while you’re on fad diets, let’s just hop to that for a second because I was going to come back to but why do you say it now? Yeah, things like the Atkins, the keto diet, they’ll be another new on next week goes all the old ways. Well, why don’t they work?


Rachel Graham  1:20

Well, because they’re really restrictive. And because they get you to cut a whole food groups, first of all. And also, I mean, the keto diet, actually, if we use that, as an example, long term is just not supporting, you know, your health at all, because it was actually designed to treat children with epilepsy when they have seizures, and it’s actually very effective for that. But as a weight loss diet, it’s not effective, because long term, it’s actually just again, promoting this short term gain mentality whereby it’s getting you to concentrate on things like high fat and high protein, and that tends to be high saturated fat, which for your long term health is really very, very damaging. So yes, you may well lose weight in the short term, but you can’t sustain that way of eating. Because it’s not normal. It’s not health promoting. And it’s just not possible. You know, you just won’t you will eventually revert to your old eating habits where you have that massive weight regain, and it’s just not good at all.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  2:18

Okay, so let’s talk about then the foods that will support proper weight loss over the long term. Yeah, can I throw in carbohydrates for the opener and people are horrified All right, let’s say no…. the enemy


Rachel Graham  2:31

I know they’re not the enemy at all. In fact, complex carbs are one of the most health promoting foods out there. So I mean, the best diet really for long term health be as weight loss, just be it your health, whatever it is, is really the Mediterranean diet, where you’re focusing on nutritionally dense foods like adding in more fruits, more vegetables, more beans, legumes, fish, olive oil, things like that. And that’s what’s going to be health promoting. So if you look at these diets and you know, ask yourself three question Pretty much, you know, is it going to benefit my health long term? Does it include exercise? And you know, those kind of things are really, really important because if you answer no to any of those things, then you pretty much have your answer there. That’s your red flag.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  3:16

okay, so no, no to those and and if I forget about it, specifically on carbohydrates, I think of bread, potatoes, Pasta, yeah, are all of those difficult in your diet? If you’re overeating, if you’re eating bread, a lot of you’re eating loads of potatoes, you’re a pasta fanatic.


Rachel Graham  3:34

So the refined carbohydrates so those are the carbohydrates like white pasta, white rice and white noodles. They’ve all had the, you know, essential minerals, nutrients and vitamins,


Gerry Kelly LMFM  3:44

White bread as well?


Rachel Graham  3:45

Yes, all refined out of them. So in that process, in that refining process, they’ve all been removed. So unfortunately, you are actually lacking in nutrients. By choosing those varieties of carbohydrates, you’re much better off choosing the whole Grain variety so brown pastor brown rice, and whole grain noodles, and then their health promotion. So you’re not saying you’re not saying I’m going to remove all of these, you know, carbs are the enemy, you know, you’re just not doing that you’re still including all of those things in your diet because they’re actually a really good way of sneaking in extra vitamins and minerals if you choose that variety of carbohydrate


Gerry Kelly LMFM  4:19

And bread, whole grain bread and good whole grain bread.


Rachel Graham  4:22

Yeah, exactly.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  4:23

And, and in moderation, or, you know, I have the food pyramid here, which we’re going to come on onto in a little while. Yeah, yeah. You know, can you eat bread every day? Should you it? Can you have more data in your diet every day?


Rachel Graham  4:35

If for weight maintenance, absolutely. But if you’re trying to lose weight, then I would say yes, you’re going to have to maybe reduce your carbohydrate intake somewhat and but also on par with your activity levels.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  4:47

Okay, so so so you’re saying the whole grain aspect of those ones there. What else in carbohydrate? You said legumes, beans, stuff like that? Yeah.


Rachel Graham  4:54

So beans and legumes as the things like beans and lentils, you know, chickpeas, all of those kind of things  Yes, they’re really Good quality sources of plant protein, and also complex carbs, fibre also. So they’re really beneficial things to add into your diet.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  5:10

My proteins when I think of proteins, again, in my mind, it’s me that’s poultry, it’s fish eggs, it’s dairy, that all that type of stuff, where do you stand on that? How can this contribute to, you know, a healthy diet weight loss if necessary?


Rachel Graham  5:24

Yeah, so the combination of protein and fibre in a meal is actually really satiating, which basically means it keeps you full for longer. So that combination is very beneficial specifically for weight loss. But in with protein specifically, it’s really important that you choose a good quality protein. So for example, if you choose to eat meat, then it is the quantity and quality of meats that’s really important. So the quality of meat being that it’s maybe organic if you can get us ethically reared, as in slow grown, it hasn’t been pumped full of antibiotics and hormones that are damaging for your health in the long term, so it’s making those good choices. That’s really, really important when I say good quality protein. And the same goes for sorry, Gerry with wild caught fish. So that would also be lower in calories and also higher in minerals. And also is that has less likelihood of containing those contaminants and those toxins, so like mercury that would be contained and things like swordfish and stuff like that. So if you’re choosing the wild caught fish, as often as possible, then that’s also another good proteins choice


Gerry Kelly LMFM  6:37

go wild, go organic, if you can tell us about red meat, your poultry, how many portions and just talk about that for a moment the size of a portion of meat, how many times a week would you recommend to eat red meat?


Rachel Graham  6:47

So using your palm as a guide, which you always have your hand with you? Yes. So that’s pretty much your guide in terms of a protein portion size, and it does matter. So really, less is more you don’t really need A huge amount of protein and people can be kind of semi protein obsessed. Because they’re always you know, thinking I need to have, you know much more protein than you actually need especially if you’re going to the gym you don’t really you need about 80 to 100 grammes of protein per kilo of body weight that’s the kind of the guide


Gerry Kelly LMFM

okay? And and I see in the news this week again is red meat What do you have to say?


Rachel Graham  7:20

Well, okay, so this is kind of like a bit of a controversial topic Jerry so and to talk about me So first of all, there is you know, there’s red meats and then there’s processed meat. So I don’t know if you’re aware of this but the eat Lancet reports and the World Health Organisation have both come out with their recommendation say yes, to basically to avoid processed meats completely and utterly because they contain two high levels of fat and salt and preservatives. And then the the eat Lancet report said just to avoid the consumption of meat because it is just damaging to our health long term in fact they are there have made global recommendations to switch to a plant based diet. So the consequences of this or if this was implemented in Ireland, that would mean or translate to roughly a 90% reduction in meat and dairy consumption in this country.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  8:17

And I hear the farming community out there screaming radio at this point in time, the number of jobs that produces the value of the exports in this country, the sales in this country. So it’s not something that’s going to happen overnight for a start.


Rachel Graham  8:30

Well, it’s not necessarily that I’m sitting here recommending Yes, I’m just making people aware of the fact Okay,


Gerry Kelly LMFM  8:35

yes, I’m familiar with that report myself. And I’ve seen it. What if you were to moderate your meat consumption? How many times I’m trying to put you on the spot here. You’redoing great. You’re being the real politician today.


Rachel Graham  8:46

What would you say? Well, I would say no more than really once a week from red meat. Yeah, just to include more vegetarian options per week. So for example, you know, our food pyramid would recommend you Five to seven portions of fruit and vegetables per day. And but actually the recommendations should really be more like 10 in my opinion. And in fact, in Japan, they recommend 13 to 15 portions a day.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  9:14

So vary it through the week with your red major poultry or fish go vegetarian or you know, don’t have any of those and some of the days as well. What about eggs?


Rachel Graham  9:22

So I think that eggs are actually good for your heart health. And but I would, I would have no more than six and per week.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  9:33

Okay, that would be your rule of thumb there. But proteins important take on board in this whole context of weight loss?


Rachel Graham  9:41

Very much. So yeah, because they’re very satiating. They’re very important for in for muscle growth and muscle repair, especially if you’re very, very active. You know, it’s an important key food group.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  9:52

You want to talk about plant protein, what do you mean there?


Rachel Graham  9:55

So I mean beans and legumes and also things like spirulina, spirulina is an algae. And it actually has 300% more protein contained in spirulina than in regular meat and fish. So it’s a really, really good dense source of high quality protein. And you can have it in tablet form if you don’t want to, you know, take it in a powder form, and you can add it into smoothies as well.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  10:19

Rachel Graham is with us on late launch, we have more to talk about, we’re going to deal with the fats good and bad. In a moment, we’re going to look at the new food pyramid as well and see what Rachel has to say about that. And the old alcohol What about that and where it comes into weight loss and healthy lifestyle. Stay with us on the Late Lunch.


Rachel Graham is with us on Late lunch and she will be with us for the month of January as we’re looking at fit well. Today we’re looking at foods that support weight loss. Can I come on to the fats and the good fat bad good cop bad cop good fat, bad fat as well. good fats.


Rachel Graham  10:55

good fats are you know things like olive oil, rapeseed oil, hemp seed oil. avocados, nuts and seeds. So they all contain poly and monounsaturated fats, which are very, very hard, healthy and health promoting. And they haven’t they’re still in their whole stage. They haven’t been messed with.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  11:11

Where do you stand on the butter equation? You know, people say butter quite a natural product product, which it is, you know, the way it’s produced in that as well. In moderation.


Rachel Graham  11:21

Yeah, I mean, it is high in saturated fats. So if you are trying to treat a heart condition or anything like that, then I would definitely recommend switching to olive oil or rapeseed oil.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  11:32

What are the bad ones?


Rachel Graham  11:34

So they’re the highly processed fats like the hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils that have basically been heat treated or pressure tracers or both, and they’ve been Denatured as a result. So these are known as kind of like the trans fats, and they’re really, really harmful.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  11:49

So name a few of them, what should you avoid,


Rachel Graham  11:52

so anything that’s really cooked in a processed vegetable oil at high heat, so chips because they’re Using really, really cheap forms of oil, you know, because they’re using them in volume. And so those kind of oils are just very damaging to your health because they can contribute to things like inflammatory conditions. And inflammation has research has proven contributes to our long term health conditions like heart, you know heart disease and stroke and diabetes and things like that.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  12:23

What about vegetable oil? sunflower oils? Those?


Rachel Graham  12:26

Yeah, so really cold pressed oils would be better than those. Yes, exactly. So the ones that I mentioned. So rapeseed oil, which is also produced locally, and is really, really beneficial. So it’s very high in omega threes and has roughly 30% less saturated fat. So that would be a really good choice as well as hemp seed oil too although it has a bit of a strong flavour. So I think rapeseed oil is a, excuse me, a great one to take.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  12:51

What about ground nut oil which I use for a bit of stir frying?


Rachel Graham  12:54

Exactly. So that has a high smoke point. Sorry, and basically, but which means that when you’re doing is in high heat situations like in the walk that you don’t get that smoke coming office which means that it’s not teenage ring and it’s not becoming damaging to you.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  13:08

So it’s a decent oil to you as well yeah, there’s some terrific local rapeseed is produced here in the northeast as well many of them check them out at your big time in favour of them. Yeah, now the  food pyramid I printed off a copy here this has been revised significantly



What do you make of the pyramid as its as it stands today so starting at the bottom of the pyramid, it says you know, five to seven servings a day of medium sized fruit you know, basically fruit and salad and unsweetened juice and vegetables if you would go for more than that?

Rachel Graham  13:46

Yeah, so I’m looking at eight to 10 portions ideally.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  13:49

Okay, so you can you can pig out on anything really on the bottom row?


Rachel Graham  13:53

Yep because they had a lot of fibre and a lot of beneficial nutrients, vitamins and minerals to your diet.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  13:59

Now they’re talking here about wholemeal bread is there a distinction between wholemeal and whole grain?


Rachel Graham  14:04

You know exactly i mean it’s essentially the unrefined unprocessed grains so is still intact containing all of the like whole


Gerry Kelly LMFM  14:12

You like meal as well?. Yeah, yeah. So the next category is three to five servings as you move up the pyramid of wholemeal bread, soda bread porridge, which we talked about here last week musilly and your you gave us your lovely recipe for that as well. Thank you. And the rice pasta noodles again, whole grain of the whole grain version, three to five a day of those Yes. Then as we move up more, it’s getting less three servings a day of milk, you know, a glass of milk, yoghurt, semi hard cheese soft cheese in that category.


Rachel Graham  14:44

So kind of going back to what we were talking about the eat Lancet report and the World Health Organisation recommendations. The Irish Food Safety Authority has positioned our meat and dairy in the middle two layers of the food pyramid. So which is kind of you know, contrary  to the growing, number of recommendations of these two bodies to pretty much remove and avoid these things.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  15:07

they should in your opinion that middle section there should drop to the bottom.


Rachel Graham  15:11

Or should be at the top!!!


Gerry Kelly LMFM  15:13

The bottom Yeah… to the top I mean. Yes, beg your pardon. I better get me up and down right here!
And then just above that you have your lean beef lamb pork mince or poultry. two servings a day your beans and lentils in there as well. Eggs two eggs a day, which would be 14 in a week?


Rachel Graham  15:30

Well, you don’t have to have them every day. Yes,


Gerry Kelly LMFM  15:32

you can. Yeah, move them about and then nuts and seeds as well there.


Rachel Graham  15:35

Yeah. Okay there with that. I think there should be more of an emphasis on the likes of the whole grains on the good fats, and on the nuts and seeds and obviously on the fruit and vegetables. And the reason for that is is that if you I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the Blue Zones. Gerry Have you?  there’s a couple of areas around the world called the Blue Zones where they have the highest concentration of centenarians, which are people who live to over the age of 100. And there’s places in You know, in Okinawa and Japan, in parts of southern Italy and in South America, so there’s a few key places and also one place in California and their diet is pretty much the Mediterranean diet which is rich in this you know, wild caught fish in the good fats in the whole grains and all of that,


Gerry Kelly LMFM  16:19

okay, south of Italy sounds appealing to me! And then as we move towards the tip of the pyramid, in very small amounts, yeah, reduce fat spreads and oil and that everything very top really, you know, to avoid really they say, biscuits, cake sweets, crisp savoury snacks and sugary drinks. Isn’t that the bane of our lives? Yeah, obesity, exploding in this country.


Rachel Graham  16:51

It’s the biggest driver of heart disease. People don’t realise that, you know, when they have elevated cholesterol levels, it’s not fat that’s actually driving their cholesterol. It’s sugar and sugar. Unfortunately, it’s a Hidden in so many of our foods and in places that you wouldn’t expect it


Gerry Kelly LMFM  17:04

So as a rough guide the new food pyramid is reasonable –  if you were to follow it?


Rachel Graham  17:09

Yes, I just think you keep in mind what we were just talking about there and reducing your saturated fat intake in the form of meat and dairy and including more fruits and vegetables in your diet and really making a concerned effort to try and increase that.

It’s actually not as difficult as you think it is.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  17:30

It’s habit isn’t it? It’s breaking one habit and establishing another

Rachel Graham  17:34

Exactly and not taking on too much at once. Not just thinking okay, I need to throw out everything in my cupboard and start again, just start slowly and build on the habits week in week out.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  17:44

So bit by bit, turn the wheel slowly. So what one thing move along rather that because if you do that big thing, it’s like the crash diet. It’s gonna come as a shock to the system change. We’re talking about weight loss and good evening to the border and if you supported was it Saying again categorically, if you follow these lines of inquiry, instruction, you will lose weight.


Rachel Graham  18:06

Yeah, absolutely. the fibre and protein combination is very powerful to keep you full for longer and keep your blood sugar’s balanced. And that over the course of a day that will actually lead to weight loss because you’re not just not consuming as much food.



Gerry Kelly LMFM  18:21

Alcohol! Talk to me.


Rachel Graham  18:24

Well, the word alcohol and weight loss just don’t go together. It just doesn’t happen. You can’t lose weight or expect to lose much weight. If you are still drinking alcohol. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news!


Gerry Kelly LMFM  18:38

We’ve gotta kick it


Rachel Graham  18:39

Pretty much. Yeah. If you really are determined to lose weight, and you have a target in mind, if you’ve set yourself a goal like I was recommending last week, then, you know, just cut the alcohol out as well.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  18:51

Because if you do eat well and make the changes, and continue to enjoy alcohol, be it in wine or beer So whatever way it’s going to be nearly impossible is you’re not going to see the result yet


Rachel Graham  19:04

Because your your body pretty much has to utilise the calories from alcohol as it is consumed. So as soon as you consume that alcohol and you also maybe eat at the same time, you know, your body is going to store all those calories that are access to requirement. It can’t actually burn those calories as fat. So that’s what’s happening. That’s why …


Gerry Kelly LMFM  19:26

…Waistlines increase. Yes. It’s as simple as, if you have things under control, and you enjoy your drink, what’s considered, you know, a reasonable regime, alcohol wise? Well, you know, what would you say to somebody, if somebody for example, doesn’t drink during the week goes out maybe one night at the weekend or perhaps two nights? Yeah, we tend to go a bit mad dont we?


Rachel Graham  19:49

I know. And I would say this, you know, red wine has, you know, known health benefiting properties, and it contains property called resveratrol, which is high in antioxidants. So if you’re going to choose a glass of wine I would recommend choosing a really good quality lovely glass of red wine. And now the thing with portion sizes that’s I probably more apt in this conversation of glasses of wine because you know what the government government classes as a unit of alcohol is actually a really small.

I don’t know if you remember, there’s very small old fashioned wineglasses we used to have here?


Gerry Kelly LMFM  20:22



Rachel Graham  20:23

Well that’s more or less one unit.

The unit I’m talking about is roughly about 170 to 180 mils. But you know, in restaurants and bars, they will pour you something between 200 to 250 mils, and then when we are at home we pour about 300 mil. So you see how it can slip and very easily add up


Gerry Kelly LMFM  20:47

Very, very easily!! Yeah, and I know people if they didn’t get a major when they’re out as well, they’ll be given out you know, but you can buy your wine to know and the little bottles as well you know there’s quite a substantial amount in the bottle. It’s also moderation. is the message on alcohol. Yeah,


Rachel Graham  21:07

Yeah, definitely I’m not against alcohol. I personally enjoy a really good glass of red wine and I love to have that with my food but, you know, if you’re in a weight loss regime, that’s what I’m saying that you really just have to avoid us and it out for the period that you have set yourself the goal of and then just stick to us, you know, just drink water.



Gerry Kelly LMFM  21:27

And then we come back around to the whole area of exercise and movement. If you combine that with all you’ve suggested here Yeah, we surely it’s a win win. I often said that, you know, food and the right food and whatever we you know, take it in, in the in the recommended way. You’ve spoken about it, plus some exercise, inevitably you will loose weight


Rachel Graham  21:49

Absolutely. What I will say about exercise, it’s obviously such a huge topic, so we kind of have to skim over it a little bit, but it shouldn’t be fanatical. It should be restoreitive of, okay, and I would definitely We recommend that you match your exercise intensity to, your lifestyle. So if you have a really stressful, very demanding job, you know, working long hours, the last thing you need is a high intensity HIT workout three times a week, what you actually need is a very relaxing restores of yoga or pilates session, because what the high intensity his session is doing, it’s actually driving your cortisol levels, which is your stress hormone. And that’s actually driving the fat storing hormone to be released, which is insulin.


Gerry Kelly LMFM  22:32

Isn’t that very interesting? Yes. Because so many people in stress with a higher power job getting to the gym at 5am in the morning, bust a gut and away they go… No, not the answer.


Rachel Graham  22:43

No. So the yoga is our resistance training. That’s what they’re called. So you’re using your own body weight as the resistance. That is actually really, really beneficial because you’re still going to build muscle and muscle will burn fat. So you’re still getting the same benefits and people think that they have to work Work at this extremely high intensity in order to be in that fat burning range. But in fact you don’t

Gerry Kelly LMFM  23:04

Now there’s one for us today, if you are feeling guilty, don’t! a little easier. Got the smiles all around, I can just see it myself. Anyway, you’ve begun your 20 day guided weight loss plan with 20 people today Good luck. 20 ladies actually wasn’t in 20 I love with it. There’s a lovely link to that. But look, if you want to find out more about this wonderful woman and what she does check her out. You can go online, Rachel All the information is there. But you want to give her a call. It’s always 087219796 days. And we have that number available here. Offer regular number next week. She’s back a week today. Sugar, honey, honey. Yes, we’re going to talk all about sugar and it is the big Boogeyman in the world today. But that’s for next week. But for the moment. Rachel Graham, thank you so much.


Rachel Graham  23:55

Thank you so much, Gerry.


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