• Mojo gut shots
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition,  Product reviews

    Product review: Mojo gut shots

    Mojo gut shots are a new non-dairy probiotic product by one of the most popular Australian kombucha makers. Like other fermented foods, these shots may help improve gut health. Mojo gut shots Think of these shots as a mini-version of kombucha (fermented tea) enriched with probiotics (beneficial bacteria). They are dairy-free and low in sugar. Mojo gut shots can be taken on their own or added to smoothies, etc. Ingredients Ginger Spice: Organic kombucha (walter, sugar, tea, kombucha culture), ginger juice (14%), probiotic (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086) Berrytown: Organic kombucha (walter, sugar, tea, kombucha culture), berry puree (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry) (7.4%), probiotic (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086) The packaging indicates the…

  • Nutrient reference values vs nutrient intake in Australia
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Nutrient reference values vs nutrient intake in Australia

    We all know we should be eating vitamins and minerals but not many know how much. Is there a gap between nutrient reference values vs nutrient intake in Australia? What are nutrient reference values? Nutrient reference values (NRV) are the recommended levels of intake of different nutrients, based on scientific evidence about food intake and health. The NRVs for Australia and New Zealand are expressed as a recommended daily intake (RDI) of each nutrient, which is the average amount of the nutrient that is required for the majority of healthy individuals. For some nutrients where the RDI could not be determined, the recommendation is based on the adequate intake (AI)…

  • Ultra-processed foods
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Ultra-processed foods

    Ultra-processed foods, a.k.a. energy-dense nutrient-poor foods, discretionary choices or junk foods dominate modern supermarkets. They represent a large proportion of the average dietary intake in developed countries and, not surprisingly, are linked with poor health outcomes. What are ultra-processed foods? The term “ultra-processed” foods refers to the NOVA classification and it’s based on the degree of processing of foods. This classification has 4 categories: unprocessed or minimally processed (such as grains, meat, fish, milk, eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds) processed culinary ingredients (such as sugar, oils and butter) processed foods ultra-processed foods (1, 2) Processed vs ultra-processed foods Have you ever met someone that tries to justify their junk…

  • Milk as a sports supplement
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition

    Milk as a sports supplement

    Milk as a sports supplement? Why not! Milk is a relatively inexpensive source of many nutrients, which include protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. Milks from different ruminants (e.g. cows, goats, water buffalo) have similar nutrient profiles. However, for the sake of this article we will be talking about cow’s milk as it’s the most available and commonly consumed. Nutrients in milk Milk and other dairy foods contain calcium, protein, B vitamins (including B2 and B12), vitamins A and D, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc and iodine. The table below shows average content for some nutrients of different types of plain cow’s milk (data from 1). A glass of milk has 8…

  • The Health Star Rating System
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    The Health Star Rating System

    The Health Star Rating System is a way of labelling food products in Australia to indicate their healthiness. Similar to energy ratings, health ratings are meant to guide consumers toward better choices. What is the Health Star Rating System? The Health Star Rating (HSR) labelling system was created by the Australian government in collaboration with industry, public health and consumer groups. It is being used voluntarily by manufacturers since June 2014 and reviewed every 5 years. Assigned ratings go from ½ star (least healthy) to 5 stars (most healthy), which are displayed on food product packaging. How is the Health Star Rating calculated? The HSR score is calculated as: baseline…

  • Sugar-containing ingredients
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Sugar-containing ingredients

    Now that you know that there is little difference between brown sugar vs white sugar, that added sugar consumption in Australia is higher than it should be and how to read food labels, it is time to put it all together by looking at sugar-containing ingredients. What is sugar? The term sugar “refers to all carbohydrates of the general formula Cn(H2O)n” (1). Single sugars such as glucose and fructose are known as monosaccharides. Two monosaccharides linked together (e.g. sucrose = glucose + fructose, lactose = glucose + galactose) are known as disaccharides. Many sugars linked together are known as polysaccharides. Added and free sugars As a reminder, added sugars are…

  • How to read food labels
    Blog,  Diet,  Food,  Health,  Nutrition

    How to read food labels

    The most common advice I give to people is to read labels before buying packaged foods. There is a lot on information printed on packages, so keep reading for some advice on how to read food labels. What is a food label? Food label is the term that encapsulates all the information printed on a food package. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) regulates what goes in the label of foods sold in this part of the world. Parts of a food label The information below can be found in FSANZ’s website (see references below). Food identification This includes the name of the food, the name and business address of…

  • Added sugar consumption in Australia
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Added sugar consumption in Australia

    Intake of added sugars has been associated with health issues such as weight gain and dental caries. As it happens with most developed countries, added sugar consumption in Australia exceeds recommended limits. Last week I explained the difference between added, free and total sugars. Briefly, added sugars are those that do not occur naturally in foods and are added before consumption. Free sugars include added sugars and the natural sugars in honey, syrups and fruit juices (1). Regarding recommended intake of added and free sugars, guidelines differ. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting the intake of added sugars but do not specify a quantity (2). The World Health Organisation (WHO)…

  • Brown sugar vs white sugar
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Brown sugar vs white sugar

    Have you ever found yourself in the supermarket staring at sugar packets and not knowing which one to buy? Which one is healthier: brown sugar vs white sugar? What about raw sugar? What is sugar? The sugar you buy at the supermarket to put in your coffee is sucrose, a disaccharide (= two sugars) composed of glucose and fructose. Types of sugar White sugar: this is your regular table sugar. Caster sugar: has a smaller crystal size than white sugar. It is used for coating bakery products and confectionery. Brown sugar: is a moist, golden brown, very fine crystal product, made using selected refinery syrups. Raw sugar: is a free…

  • Should you take BCAAs
    Blog,  Diet,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition,  Supplements

    Should you take BCAAs?

    Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) is the name given to three of the nine essential amino acids. BCAAs are sold as a sports supplement to increase muscle synthesis and recovery. Today we answer the question: Should you take BCAAs? What are BCAAs? BCAAs or branched-chain amino acids are leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are essential amino acids (EAAs), meaning they cannot be made by our bodies and must be taken from the diet. Unlike other amino acids, BCAAs are not metabolised in the liver (1, 2) but in skeletal muscle (2). They can be oxidised and used as energy (2, 3). BCAA supplements are commonly used in athletic populations. Most supplements…