What’s Happening in the Food & Nutrition World?

October 15th, 2014

Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food Program seems to be having a really positive impact on Australians who have taken part in it.  It is said that they’re daily veg consumption has increased, along with the cooking confidence and home-made meals. Big ticks here! Let’s hope this keeps increasing amongst Australians!

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September 24th, 2014

I’ve been somewhat lapsed in updating what is going on in the media.  This is not to say that I haven’t been keeping an eye on what’s happening though.  There have been many crazes, theories and fad diets circulating around social media, including Chef Pete Evans and his interesting views on an appropriate diet (check out my post about it), not to mention the infamous coconut water.  This traditional asian beverage has made its claim as an “all-natural, high nutrient” must-have.  It seems that not only has it appeared on Australian supermarket shelves and is continuing its success in the US, but Europe and the UK have now jumped on board.  This over priced (in my opinion – upwards of $9 a litre) is not bad but also not great.  It’s simply glorified water, but you can make your own decision about it

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March 23rd, 2014

Fresh or frozen?  We always hear that “fresh is best” when it comes to food, but this may not always be the case.  New research suggests that frozen foods can be just as nutritious, and in some cases better than fresh foods.  This makes sense really, when you consider the time spent transporting produce after harvest until it reaches us – it could be days, even weeks in some cases.  Some frozen foods, like peas and berries are great frozen, as they’re picked in season, frozen almost instantaneously and ready for us to use as we please.  All the freshness and nutrients are locked in immediately.  What are your thoughts?

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March 18th, 2014
New research has been conducted with the results that saturated fat isn’t the cause of heart disease.  This has long been a significant contributing factor to mortality of Coronary Heart Disease however this research says otherwise.  Results show that there was no association between saturated fat and heart disease.  There has been hundreds of various studies that say otherwise, and I’m most certainly inclined to stick with the best available scientific evidence.

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March 6th, 2014
It has been said for sometime now that sugar should comprise only 10% of your daily energy intake, according to WHO (World Health Organisation).  Now, with guidelines being reviewed, they’re suggesting it should only make up 5% of your daily intake.  When you think about it, that’s a massive 50% change to make in your diet!  Although this may be more beneficial to our health, is it realistic?

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March 5th, 2014
Is a protein diet as bad for us as smoking?  Studies have suggested that people on a high protein diet could be shortening their life span.  It is recommended that a high carbohydrate low protein diet is better, even though it results in greater weight gain but longer life span, versus higher protein diet that may decrease life span but keep you slimmer.  What do you think?

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February 27th, 2014
Are you often tempted by the ‘Freshly baked bread’ when you go to the supermarket?  Well it turns out that “freshly baked” may not be what it seems. Some breads sold in Coles supermarkets across Australia are actually imported from Ireland par-baked, then baking is finished off every morning then put on the shelves and marketed as “freshly baked”.  A very misleading claim in my eyes, I think all bread should be made from scratch every morning if it’s going to have that claim put on it.  And why is it that bread even needs to be imported to Australia? It can’t really be less expensive…

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February 17th, 2014
Australia’s leading site featuring reviews and advice about consumer products CHOICE, has advised on what bread is best to buy when you’re scouring the 60+ types and brands of breads available on the supermarket and bakery shelves.  And it is as simple as ‘the more grains you see, the better’.  In terms of nutrition, WHOLE grains (ie. grains you can physically see) tend to benefit health more, in terms of fibre content.  They have also advised to be on the look for breads marketed as using “Ancient grains”, as all grains are ancient, so it is certainly not something you should be handing over extra cash for!  Wholegrain breads have always been my favourite to eat, what about yours?

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February 7th, 2014

As a child, I can remember playing on the swings or riding my bike after school or on the weekends.  As I was watching the news this evening, I was very interested to hear about physical activity levels in young children, and the ever-increasing concern about this due to the influx of new technology – iPhones, iPads, Xbox etc. Kids these days tend to be spending more of their time on these than outdoors, being physically active.  The impact of this has led to increased obesity rates and a decrease in performance at school.  It is advised that children spend at least 1 hour outdoors everyday to help reduce this risk.  Many studies have been undertaken, and most have concluded that unstructured outdoor activity is beneficial both physically and mentally.  Why not go outside and kick the footy, go to your local park or ride your bike around the block?  It can only do you some good 🙂

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February 7th, 2014
There has been much controversy over the winner of ‘The Biggest Loser US’, about her
rapid weight loss on the show – a staggering 70kg in approximately 17 weeks.  To put that into perspective for you, that’s about 4 kg a week; very unsafe when the average healthy weight loss is 500g-1kg per week for sustainable weight loss and maintenance.  Not to mention she is also below the minimum healthy BMI range for her small 162cm stature, at a tiny 47.6kg!

There is much concern about her wellbeing, when such rapid weight lose would likely result in not only fat loss, but muscle and water loss as well as a decrease in bone density.  This could become very detrimental to her health and put her at greater risk of disease and illness.

Weight loss is not something that can, or should be achieved rapidly if you want to do so in a healthy and sustainable way.  As much as we would all love that, it is important to keep our bodies functioning at their optimal level whilst trying to lose weight.  “Dieting” is a phrase I really dislike, as it usually involves many misconceptions and very unrealistic ideas about weight loss, including cutting out essential food groups or eating and drinking some magical “potion” that will make the weight fall off.  It is essential to remember that we have 5 food groups for a reason – we need them in our bodies to keep them functioning at their best.  If we change this then our bodies have to work harder to accommodate for this, which puts them under additional and unnecessary stress.

It is extremely worrying that many young people are watching this, which is why it is important to increase awareness amongst us so that rapid and unsafe weight loss is not something to be looked at in admiration.  It is unsafe and unsustainable, and will only be causing damage to your body if you do it.  Look here for some great advice and tips on losing weight the healthy way.

What are your views on weight loss, and how best to do it?

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