Breakfast refers to the first meal of the day, an important one as it breaks our fasting period which starts since our last meal the previous day. Breakfast fuels our body by replenishing our glucose supply and providing us with energy and nutrients to start the day. Whilst most of us are aware of the importance of breakfast, it is a meal that many skip. If you are one of the many people who often give breakfast a miss, try to slowly introduce breakfast into your diet. Aim to include breakfast a couple of times a week, then work your way up to making it a daily routine. If time is an issue, go for quick choices that do not need much preparation. There are many great and easy options to choose from, such as high-fibre cereals and breads, reduced fat dairy, fruits and lean protein.
Bread products such as toasts, English muffins and crumpets make an excellent choice for breakfast, especially when you choose the wholegrain/wholemeal varieties. Not only are they rich in fibre and nutrients, they also help you feel satisfied for longer after eating. However care should be taken when adding toppings as they can add extra teaspoons of fat and sugar onto the otherwise healthy bread products. A good way to control the amount you use is to measure them with a teaspoon before you spread.
Try the following suggestions for a quick and easy breakfast:
If you prefer a warm breakfast or have a bit more time to prepare, try some the following suggestions:
MONDAY, MARCH 4, 2013
Vegetarianism, or vegetarian eating is choosing foods of plant origin as the exclusive or predominant source of sustenance. There are different types of vegetarianism, including:
concerns that vegetarian diets may lack several important vitamins and minerals
as nutrients such as protein, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and zinc are found
mainly in animal foods. However, with careful planning and by including
suitable alternatives, vegetarian diets can be nutritionally adequate.
MONDAY, MARCH 4, 2013
Beat the Bulge this Festive Season
While Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, it can also be a stressful time for people who are trying to maintain a healthy diet with the abundance of food and drinks. However, with some careful planning, you can enjoy the season and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Review Your Goals
If you are trying to lose weight, it may be wise to refocus your goals at this time of the year. Instead of trying to lose weight, try to maintain your weight during this time. Once the celebration is over, you can refocus and continue towards your weight loss goal.
Eating out is almost certain during the festive season. Avoid arriving at cocktail parties on an empty stomach. Feeling hungry can easily temp you to overeat food that is served and finger food at cocktail parties is often high in fat. If you know you will be having a large meal for dinner, for example, a three course meal, opt for a light salad lunch earlier in the day.
Plan a Healthy Menu
Whether you are hosting a dinner or taking a plate, make it a point to prepare healthy options. Try a tray of raw vegetable chunks and baked pita bread chips with hommous or tzatziki, or vegetable kebabs to throw on the BBQ. Layer fruit and yoghurt in cocktail glasses for dessert or search online for modified versions of traditional desserts. Try lean protein options such as turkey, salmon or prawns. If you are game, why not experiment with kangaroo?
Like many celebrations, alcohol is usually in abundance at Christmas. One of the best ways to control your alcohol intake is to alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones, such as cold soda water with a squeeze of lime or lemon. Before you attend a function, set a maximum number of drinks you will have and aim to stick to it.
Enjoy the Indulgences… in moderation of course!
What would Christmas be without indulgent foods? Choose those you enjoy most and eat small portions. If you are going to be taking in extra calories, be sure to pick the foods you really love, not just eating for the sake of it. This way, you can have a taste of the indulgences without packing in too many extra calories. Savour every mouthful and don’t feel guilty about eating them.
Being active can help you burn some extra calories you are taking in; so walk, jog, run, swim and dance when you can! Most of all enjoy the season and have a Merry Christmas!
MONDAY, DEEMBER 10, 2012
Beating the Top End Heat
With the temperature rising and the sun glaring, it’s tempting to reach for a cold beer, coke or an ice cream. We know water is the best drink, but we do look for variety every so often, don’t we? Whether you’re looking for something simple, refreshing or creamy, here are some great ideas for you to try. Enjoy!
For a quick and easy revitalization with an extra zing:
· Dilute 1 part of unsweetened fruit juice with 1 part soda water.
For a healthier version of iced teas with less sugar but full flavour, try making it yourself. There are many herbal tea varieties to choose from, including fruity ones like cranberry, raspberry and strawberry. These are great to make in large amounts and keep in a jug in the fridge.
· Make your own iced green tea by mixing green tea with lemon juice and a little honey or sugar (if you like). Add some mint leaves and chill.
Looking for something creamy? Try the following:
· Homemade fruit smoothie: blend fresh/canned/frozen fruit (e.g. mixed berries, banana, tinned peaches), low fat milk, low fat natural/vanilla yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.
· Homemade strawberry shake: blend diced strawberries, diet strawberry ice-cream topping, low fat vanilla/strawberry yoghurt, low fat milk and some ice cubes.
· Homemade iced coffee: blend low fat milk, a teaspoon of coffee, a few drops of vanilla essence, a scoop of low fat ice cream and some ice cubes.
For more tips on making simple and healthy swaps, head to www.spoonsforthought.com.au
With these healthy and yummy alternatives to cool your body from inside out during the hot and humid days, you are ready to tackle the wet season in the Top End!
Stay cool and stay healthy!
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2012
Support Your Bones, They Support You
Nutrients for Our Bones
When it comes to bone health, the first thing that comes to mind is often calcium, yet for various reasons, it is often neglected in the diet. The advice to have calcium-rich foods daily is all too familiar, but many are not truly aware of the significance of it.
Our bones act as a reservoir to store calcium in the body. Small amounts of calcium are transported around the body in our blood to be used for important functions like making sure our muscles and blood vessels work properly. When we don’t get enough calcium from our diet, the stores in our bones are used for these functions. Over time, without adequate replenishing, these stores become less and less. Our bones, losing the calcium and minerals that keep them strong, become fragile and can fracture easily. This condition is known as osteoporosis.
Peak bone mass is often achieved in our twenties, after which our bones start to lose strength. For women, the loss of bone strength occurs more rapidly after menopause. That makes calcium a nutrient not only for the old and growing, but also for the young and healthy. The higher your peak bone mass, the better it will be for your bones as they age.
Dairy products provide the most calcium in our diet. For those who don’t enjoy dairy foods, calcium-enriched soy milk is a good alternative. Calcium is also found in salmon/sardines (eaten with bones) and in much smaller amounts in green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds and nuts. To achieve the same amount of calcium you get from a glass of skim milk, you would need to eat about 15 large eggs, 150g of almonds, or over 1kg of broccoli, which is unrealistic. Hence the recommendation to include 2 to 3 serves of calcium-rich dairy products. Once serve is equal to:
§ 250ml milk
§ 200g of yoghurt
§ 2 slices of hard cheese
§ ½ cup ricotta cheese
The other nutrient that helps maintain bone health is Vitamin D, which helps our body to absorb the calcium we consume. Our diet supplies some vitamin D, but in amounts that are too small to meet what we need. Our body produces Vitamin D when the skin is exposed to UV rays. Osteoporosis Australia recommends 6-8 minutes of sun exposure a day (before 10am and after 2pm) around 4-6 times a week.
While calcium and vitamin D can help to promote bone health, other factors in our diet can have a negative effect. A diet high in salt can cause calcium to be lost from the body in urine, whereas excessive caffeine and alcohol intake can reduce the calcium available to our body.
Exercise Our Bones
Apart from our diet, exercise also plays an important role in promoting bone strength. Bones are like our muscles - the more we use them, the stronger they get. Exercise can help to improve balance, flexibility and co-ordination. For the elderly, these are all important for avoiding falls!
Start supporting your bones with a calcium-rich diet and adequate exercise, for they are the ones that support you.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 11, 2012
Fibre: More Than Just About Regularity
One of the things that I regularly find myself telling clients is to include more fruits and vegetables in their diet. Unfortunately most of us don’t get enough fibre in our diet. Our reliance on convenience foods that are often highly processed means fibre is often left out of our diet.
Fibre is one food component that we should all try to include more of. The indigestible part of plants that does not break down during the digestive process, fibre has many known health benefits:
· Fibre plays a very important role in keeping our digestive system healthy and our bowels regular.
· Fibre helps to protect against bowel conditions like bowel cancer, haemorrhoids and diverticulitis.
· Soluble fibres like oats, barley and lentils help to remove cholesterol from the body, preventing fatty streaks from clogging the arteries, thus protecting your heart.
· Fibre is bulky, hence foods rich in it can fill you up, useful for those watching their weight. It also slows stomach emptying, which can help to keep you feeling full for longer.
· Fibre-rich foods release glucose gradually, leading to a slower absorption of glucose into the blood and therefore a more steady blood glucose level which helps improve diabetes management.
It can be a challenge to always have 2 serves of fruits and 5 serves of vegetables in your diet. By planning ahead and with a few simple strategies, you can increase the fibre in your diet.
· Choose brown (wholemeal) bread over white bread. Wholemeal bread is less processed than the white varieties, hence retains some of the fibre than is removed during processing when preparing white bread. An even better choice is choose wholemeal breads with grains. Not only do the grains provide extra fibre, they are also packed with lots of vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy.
· Sprinkle psyllium husk, bran, wheatgerm or seeds onto your breakfast cereal in the morning.
· Bulk up stews and casseroles with vegetables and legumes for a cheap, fibre rich meal. Try different varieties of beans, chickpeas or lentils.
· The next time you prepare a mince dish, swap one third of the meat with mashed beans and peas. This is a great way to sneak extra fibre into children’s diets.
· Keep a supply of frozen and tinned products such as frozen vegetables, tinned fruit in natural juice and canned beans. These are cheap alternatives that would come in handy when you have limited access to fresh ones.
· Try the 1-2-3 strategy. The 1-2-3 strategy is
- 1 fruit for breakfast
- 2 serves of vegetables (1 serve is 1 cup salad or ½ cup cooked vegetables) for lunch
- 3 serves of vegetables for dinner.
· Place 2 pieces of fruit on your work desk so you are always reminded of them. Aim to finish the fruit before you go home at the end of work.
MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012
Omega-3- Are You Getting Enough?
Fat is often seen as the enemy due to its high energy content and role in increasing the risk of developing chronic diseases such as overweight/obesity and heart disease. However, there are different types of fat and some fats are beneficial for us and should be included in our diet. One such fat is Omega-3, a type of polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3 (sometimes written as n-3 or Ω-3) is an essential fatty acid that is not produced by our body; hence it needs to be obtained from the diet. Adequate consumption of omega-3 has been shown to play an important role in promoting good health and preventing illnesses like heart disease.
Omega-3 can be found in a variety of food, including marine, plant and animal sources. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are 2 types of omega-3 fatty acids that have been shown to have great health benefits. They are found mostly in oily fish, like Atlantic and Australian salmon, mackerel, herring, canned salmon, canned sardines and some canned tuna varieties. Barramundi, flathead, bream, and some seafood such as scallops, mussels and arrow squid are also good sources of Omega-3. Plant foods like walnuts, flaxseeds (linseeds), canola oil and soybean oil are good sources of the Omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), whereas animal products like free range eggs, chicken and beef contain docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and smaller amounts of EPA and DHA.
So how much should we be aiming for?
The Heart Foundation recommends that healthy adults consume about 500mg of omega-3 (DHA + EPA) every day. For people with heart disease, the Heart Foundation recommends about 1000mg of omega-3 (DHA + EPA) every day. We may not always achieve 500mg of omega-3 intake daily so aim to include 3500mg of omega-3 in our weekly diet. These may seem like huge numbers to target but they are achievable through some planning. For example, to achieve an intake of 500mg omega-3 per day, aim to include 2 to 3 150g serves of oily fish every week and supplement that with fish oil supplements and omega-3 enriched food and drinks. To put that into practice, you may like to include a lunch meal with a can of salmon and two evening meals with oily fish in your weekly diet. Fish is very versatile and can be grilled, steamed, baked and pan-fried. If you generally cook more moist dishes, you can add fish into casseroles, soups, pasta and even stir-fries.
Due to preference or religious or cultural reasons, some may find it difficult to meet their omega-3 needs from eating fish. Whilst fish and seafood are the best sources of omega-3, you can still obtain it from plant and animal sources. Choose cooking oils that are rich in omega-3 and try to include other sources of opmega-3 in the diet, like walnuts, linseed bread, eggs, lean meat/lamb, as well as milk that has been fortified with omega-3. Supplements are also useful to meet your omega-3 requirements and if you are a vegetarian, look for those that have been derived from algae.
MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2012
Making New Year’s Resolutions
First and foremost, Happy New Year to you all! Whether you welcomed the New Year with the blast of fireworks and parties, or chose to quietly usher it in with your loved ones, we hope you had a wonderful start to 2012.
The New Year brings new hopes and aspirations, and new resolutions and goals that we would like to achieve in the coming year. Cliché or not, this entry will focus on resolution-making for the New Year. Whilst something that only comes around once a year, it can have a significant impact on one’s life, so it is something worth talking about!
Most of us have something that we hope to attain or change at some point. Whether it is to do more travelling, get to a healthier weight, learn a new skill, or contribute to humanity, there are many things we can choose to work on this year. We could change ourselves, change our environment, or even change society if we think big enough.
While there is always an eventual goal that we would like to achieve, it is crucial that we do not look past the basics. The key is not the resolution or goal, but how to make the changes necessary to achieve your ultimate aim.
Take the goal of losing 10 kilograms. The key is not only to set that goal, but more importantly, to determine the smaller goals that would help you achieve this. Try breaking it down to goals that are more focused, for example:
1. Being more active
2. Maintaining a healthier diet
From there, you can set little goals that are specific, realistic and achievable for each of them.
1. To be more active
Set small but specific goals, such as to walk for 30 minutes daily. You could break it down into even more manageable sections such as to walk 10 minutes to and from work daily and 10 minutes at lunch. Alternatively, you might like to start a walking group or join a class at the gym. Look for locally run classes that may be convenient without the join up fees. Check local papers or billboards. If you are not too sure about what to do, or what may suit you best, perhaps investing in a consultation with an exercise physiologist or personal trainer may be helpful.
2. To maintain a healthier diet
Look at your overall food intake. Do you have a variety of fresh food in your diet? Do you often eat on the run? Do you rely on takeaway foods, several times per week? How many fruits and vegetables are you eating? Committing to eating the recommended 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit every day for the rest of the year may be easier said than done, so try making it more realistic. For example, focus on eating 1 piece of fruit at morning tea with your coffee instead of a biscuit and make sure you have at least 1 vegetable or salad food in your lunchbox each day. Start small goals and build up. And once these little goals are achieved, or as they become a routine, throw in another challenge - one that will bring you another step closer to your goal(s) and ultimately, your resolution.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2012
you a Merry and Healthy Christmas!
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2011
Low-fat, Fat-free, Diet, Light, and Lite… What does it all mean?
At a nutrition seminar, one of the questions raised was regarding the array of nutrition claims you find on food labels. With tight competition within the food industry, companies are using smart advertising (or rather fancy advertising) and gimmicks to lure the attention of shoppers who are hungry for a fresh taste and quite often, a healthier option.
It is undeniable that people are becoming more health conscious and products labelled fat free or light are popular. Although claims make it easier for consumers to identify what may be a healthier product, they often mislead consumers into thinking the products are healthier than they really are.
Before we can appropriately decide if a food product is a healthier option based on its claims, we first need to understand what they actually mean.
No Added Sugar: the product does not have sugar added, however it may contain naturally occurring sugar, such as fruit sugar (fructose) and milk sugar (lactose).
Fat free: the product has less than 0.15g of fat per 100g. However, a product claiming to be 95% fat-free is still 5% fat.
Reduced fat: the product contains 25% less fat than the original product, but is not necessarily low in fat. It can still have a high fat content!
Low fat: contains less than 3g of fat per 100g.
Light or Lite: check what the product is ‘light’ in, as it does not always refer to the fat content! For example, you will never find oil that has a lower fat content - a light oil is usually one that has a lighter colour or flavour. ‘Light’ may also refer to the taste and texture.
Diet: the product may be low in energy and may be sweetened with artificial sweetener.
Cholesterol free: a popular claim on plant food products, such as plant-based oils, spreads and nuts. However, cholesterol is only found in animal foods. Cholesterol free does not mean the product is low in fat. Do not be tricked into thinking that a cholesterol free margarine is superior to its counterparts.
No Added Salt: similar to the No Added Sugar claim, the product may not have salt added; however it may still contain naturally occurring sodium from its ingredients.
All Natural (or ‘Real’): foods claiming to be all natural are not necessarily better for you. Many products made with only ‘natural’ ingredients are high in sugar and fat. This claim alone is not reliable to identify a healthy food.
A common symbol that most of us would have seen is the Heart Foundation Tick. To get a tick approval, a product has to meet certain nutritional criteria, such as that for saturated fat, trans fat and salt. While products containing the tick are usually a good choice, they may not always be the best one. It is better to read the labels and compare products yourself.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2011
Artificial sweeteners... sweetening without the calories
Recently, I was out
for brunch with some friends and as we were waiting for our meals, I overheard
two patrons at the next table debating which variety of Coke is better for
health: regular Coke with sugar, or the artificially sweetened Diet Coke and
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2011
Top Tips on the Best Things to Eat, Drink and Do When Travelling for an Elite Athlete…. As seen in Intensity Sports Magazine's April-July 2011 issue.
In the sporting industry, travelling to compete is a part of the role of many athletes. While some may find it an inconvenience, others may enjoy the experience. Whatever the case, athletes need to be sure of their goals and make sure they maintain an optimal nutritional status, which is crucial for peak performance. Be it travelling interstate or overseas, athletes should consider any barriers or issues that may affect their safety and performance, including the possibility of any nutritional issues arising. These tips below can help athletes get ready for their travel and competition so they arrive prepared to perform their best.
1. Plan Ahead
The days approaching competition can be an arduous time for athletes. Besides training especially hard for the event, they have to juggle other commitments like family, work and study, as well as preparations for the trip. Planning ahead can minimise stress and ensure all these aspects are looked after.
Planning lets you anticipate what is to be expected and be ready to tackle any issues that may surface. Most importantly, planning can help you meet your nutritional goals while travelling - a significant part of the competition that all athletes need to look after. Things to consider when planning for an interstate or overseas competition:
· Catering – when, where, and what the athlete will eat
· Availability, suitability and quality of foods and drinks at the destination
· Travelling and training times.
2. Do Your Research
Before you travel to a place that you are not familiar with, be wise and do some food investigation on the destination. Find out about the availability, accessibility and safety of the foods and facilities available at your destination. You want to know if you would be able to get all the important foods you need or if you would have to take anything with you. Utilise the internet, travel agencies, embassies, organisers of the sporting event and other athletes who have previously travelled to the destination as sources of information.
3. Keep a checklist
A very simple yet effective tool that many do not fully utilise is a checklist. You will be amazed at how something so simple can make a big difference to an athlete’s travelling experience. When our focus is divided, it is easy for some things to slip our mind. Keeping a checklist helps you consider all aspects of the preparation, put them down in words and lets you check back to make sure that you have everything under control and have not left anything out.
4. Do not travel empty-handed
We all know to bring personal items and toiletries, but there may be foods and drinks that you may find useful to carry on your trip. That way, you would not have to worry about not being able to replenish your stores when you need to. Useful snacks and fluids to bring along:
· Fruit (fresh/tinned)
· Cereal/muesli bars (low fat versions)
· Dried fruit and nut mixes
· Fruit juices
· Breakfast cereal
· Sandwiches, bread rolls, buns
· Rice crackers, wholemeal crackers
· Instant noodles
· Canned baked beans, canned spaghetti
· Meal replacement drinks e.g. Sustagen Sport.
Carry an Esky on your trip so you can keep your food and drinks safe and cold. If you are travelling to a place where food safety is questionable or where utensils are scarce, a microwave rice cooker may be a good addition to your luggage as it is very versatile for food preparation. Take time to practice with it before the trip to work out the best method for you.
5. Drink Your Fluids
When you are travelling, your nutritional goals remain the same and one that stands firm is to ensure optimal hydration. It is recommended that you consume 1L of water per hour of flying for optimal results. A compromised hydration status could hinder peak performance as it leads to fatigue. When travelling on long flights, dehydration is exacerbated as there is more fluid loss from the skin, so aim to keep your fluids up by regularly drinking water and occasionally fruit juice or soft drinks. Coffee, tea and cola drinks may encourage urine production due to their caffeine content, however they have been shown to still contribute to a positive fluid balance. As for alcoholic drinks, it is best to avoid them as they can promote dehydration. It is also a good idea to bring your own drink bottle and remember, do not hesitate to ask for extra water.
6. Allow adequate time to adjust to the new time zone
Always have enough time to adjust your biological clock if you are travelling into a different time zone. Adopt the destination times for eating and sleeping as quickly as possible after you arrive. If you arrive during daytime, get some sunlight if possible and aim to sleep when it is nightfall at your destination. Having said that, if the travel is an interstate trip involving one or two days, it is ideal to keep to your regular home-state time so your biological clock does not have to adjust twice within a period of 48 hours.
7. Be Mindful of Your Mouthful
Always stick to your usual diet as closely as possible when you are travelling for competition. As the competition is nearing, trying out new foods around this time would not be a good idea as there may be a risk of stomach discomfort.
In-flight meals can be relatively small for athletes. Opt for a rice or pasta based meal if training or competition is soon after arrival. If you need more food to prepare for your competition, ask for extra juice or bread rolls. Most athletes are not the average passengers when it comes to food! Nonetheless, keep in mind that you may not need as much food as when you were training heavily.
If your travel involves long hours in the air or on the road where boredom eating is likely to occur, keep yourself busy with activities to beat the boredom. Carry books, magazines, laptops, electronic games, travel-size board games and playing cards on your trips.
8. Practise Safe Eating and Drinking
When you are travelling, the last thing you want is to catch a bug. Gastrointestinal upsets are common among travellers and practising good hygiene and food safety measures is the best way to prevent them. If you are travelling to a destination that has poor food safety, it may be wise to eat from reputable hotels or eateries and avoid street stalls and markets. Water is also a common source of infections and illnesses so if you are doubtful of its safety, drink only from properly sealed containers like bottled water. Avoiding ice in drinks is also a good precaution to take. When having uncooked foods like salads and fruits, make sure that they have been washed in bottled water or clean water that has been boiled. Also, be cautious not to share utensils, cups, bottles and food as it is a means for illnesses to spread.
9. Prepare Appropriate Foods for Your Competition
Foods are usually available at event venues; however, they tend to be poor in nutritional value. Most foods that are provided are high in fat, such as spring rolls, chocolate, hot chips and potato crisps. Carry your own supply of snacks and drinks to have before and after the game. It may be handy to make a trip to the local supermarket upon arrival to stock up on cereal bars, fruit, juice, sports drinks and liquid meal supplements. Also, always check that the competition venue has a supply of safe water. Otherwise, bring your own bottled water.
Most sporting events will involve some sort of celebration after an event which often involves alcohol. If celebrating with alcohol, athletes should be mindful of their rehydration goals, to which alcohol would not aid in any way. If it makes any difference, it brings your hydration status further off the balance.
The other thing to keep in mind, especially if you are a professional athlete, is your behaviour in public. There is always media attention surrounding athletes and the sporting scene, which can easily generate bad publicity for an athlete who does not look after his or her demeanour in public. So celebrate, but go easy on the alcohol!
Australian Institute of Sports
Sports Dietitian Australia
MONDAY, AUGUST 10, 2011
You’ve cut down on the amount of takeaway foods, you’ve switched to diet coke, you now make sure that you trim the fat off the steak and you’ve also developed a healthy habit of doing an hour of exercise every day; but why are you still not losing that last few kilograms? If you are someone who’s tried to lose weight, this may sound familiar. So what could be slowing down your weight loss?
One of the similarities seen among weight loss pursuers is the presence of extra energy (calories or kilojoules) in their daily diet, which may be added consciously or sub-consciously. Eaten occasionally, these extra calories would not derail your efforts; however many of a little of these foods can add up and cause a hump on your weight loss journey. If you think you have done the obvious but are still struggling to shake off more weight, perhaps try to identify what the little treats or habits that you are frequently indulging in. Common foods with hidden calories include:
A simple way to check if a product is packed with hidden (and not so hidden) calories is to read the ingredient list on the label of packaged foods as this gives you an idea of what the food product is made up of. The ingredients are listed in descending order from the largest amount of ingredient to the least; therefore if fat or sugar is at the beginning of the list, it is likely that the product is energy-dense. Some of these fats and sugars are well disguised as names that you are not familiar with, including:
Start paying attention to the amount of hidden calories you are indulging in and you can be sure you are one step closer to losing that last few kilograms!
MONDAY, JULY 10, 2011
New Year, New You: The Top 10 Healthy Eating Tips for 2011
Nope, you did not read it wrong and neither was it mistakenly posted. The title does say “New Year, New You: The Top 10 Healthy Eating Tips for 2011”. This article was initially written in conjunction with the New Year for the January-April 2011 issue of Intensity Sports Magazine (insert hyperlink). Indeed we are already halfway into the “New Year”, but hey, it’s never too late for some tips on healthy eating, wouldn’t you agree? Perhaps just let me amend the title for this entry to “The Top 10 Healthy Eating Tips for Life”. Hope you enjoy the article.
With healthy eating and weight loss always a buzz in today’s world, most of us have seen or heard something about it at some point. The question is, do you feel overwhelmed by the different advice, suggestions, and tips that are presented out there? Have you ever wondered if these are fact or fallacy?
Let’s do a simple quiz. True or false?
· The best way to stay healthy is to cut out foods that make you gain weight, like fat and carbohydrate
· A healthy diet does not contain any junk food
· It should not matter what I eat because I am not overweight and I exercise a lot
If you answered “true” to any of these questions, you may like to read on!
Nutrition experts have always agreed on one key to healthy eating; balance, variety, and moderation are the key to lifelong health and well-being.
1. Go for variety. No one single food can provide all the different nutrients that our body needs to function well and to stay healthy. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends that we all include foods from the five food groups in our diet – breads, cereals, rice, pasta; vegetables; fruits; milk and dairy products; and meat, fish, eggs and other protein foods.
2. Practice moderation. Don’t have too much or too little of one thing. Over-indulging on one food may stop you from including other foods that are good for you, causing an imbalance in your diet. Practising moderation enables you to follow a healthy diet while still being able to enjoy the foods that you like. Also practice moderation in portion sizes – eat as much as you need not as much as you want!
3. Eat regular meals. If you want to lose weight, do not skip meals as it will result in decreased metabolism, which over time may lead to weight gain! Eating small regular meals can help keep your metabolism up as well as giving you more control over what you eat. When you are very hungry, it is easy to forget about choosing a healthy option. Having healthy snacks in between meals can help prevent hunger pangs that often lead to overeating.
4. Choose filling, not fattening. Choose foods that will fill you up more and take longer to eat. Foods that are rich in fibre fill you up more easily. For example, a big bowl of mixed salad would be a better option than a small bowl of creamy coleslaw. It fills you up more, takes longer to eat, and is less energy-dense. It would be very easy to eat a large serve of coleslaw, eating a large amount of energy and fat at the same time. Opt for foods that are rich in fibre like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
5. Cut down, not cut out! Cutting foods from your diet is never easy, particularly if it is something you eat regularly or if it is something that you really enjoy eating. Instead of eliminating a food, try reducing or modifying type and portion. For example, if you have full cream milk, try replacing it with a low-fat or skim version. If you have alcohol daily, try reducing it to meet the recommended guideline of not more than 2 standard drinks per day with 1-2 alcohol-free days per week.
6. Be Mindful. Mindful eating involves avoiding distractions that lead to unconscious or thoughtless eating - which can lead to overeating, such as eating in front of the TV. Sit down at the table and enjoy the food that you are putting into your mouth. Eat slowly and savour the food you eat.
7. Listen to Your Body. When you feel the need to eat, ask yourself “Am I really hungry?”, “When did I last eat?”. Very often, it is emotion, stress, or boredom that is telling you to eat. This is non-hungry eating. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you feel satisfied, not stuffed full!
8. Eat slowly. The next time you have your meal, pay attention to how long you take to finish it. If you are gulping down your food in less than 15 minutes, make it a point to slow down. Don’t rush and chew each mouthful well. Allow time for our body to register that you are eating and for the stomach to signal the brain that you are satisfied.
9. Know your eating habits. Before you can make any changes to your diet, you need to know what needs to be changed. Understanding your eating habits can also help you identify what makes you go off track or what is holding you back. Keep a food diary and then compare it to the other tips here. Some people find that this can help them pinpoint the necessary changes.
10. Make steady changes. Don’t aim or expect to change overnight. It takes time, patience, and understanding to change the way you eat and to adapt to a healthier eating pattern. Aim to make one change at a time and set it as a goal. Once that it ticked off, you can set a new goal to challenge yourself. Remember not to overwhelm yourself with too many changes at a time.
Nutrition NT also wrote an article on healthy eating for travelling athletes for the magazine’s April-July 2011 issue. Stay tuned for that entry on our blog!
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8, 2011
A Healthy Diet and Exercise for Good Health
Diet and exercise for
Staying active would also
improve your health greatly. Aim to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity
daily. If you have not been doing any exercise, start with a lower intensity
exercise like walking. If you are not able to exercise for 30 minutes a day,
try doing it in segments, such as three 10-minute segments of exercise
throughout the day.
THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011
Welcome to the Nutrition NT Blog
Hello and welcome to the Nutrition NT blog. We will be sharing more content to accompany you on your journey towards better health so stay tuned!
THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011
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