• Low calorie flavour boosters
    Blog,  Diet,  Food,  Health,  Nutrition

    Low calorie flavour boosters

    If you are currently in lockdown, chances are you are not as physically active as usual. If you are concerned about gaining unnecessary weight but find healthy eating “bland”, the solution is to use low calorie flavour boosters. As discussed in a previous article, one way of lowering your energy intake is to cook your meals at home instead of buying takeaway. We have also seen that homemade salad dressings are likely healthier than store-bought ones, however they are not necessarily lower in energy. Balancing flavour and energy density is not difficult to achieve if you are familiar with certain ingredients and willing to experiment. Low calorie flavour boosters for…

  • Food and migraine
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Food and migraine

    The relationship between food and migraine does exist but it’s not crystal clear. Many foods can act as triggers and certain dietary interventions may decrease the frequency and severity of migraine attacks. What is migraine Migraine is a disabling headache disorder (1) which may present with symptoms such as extreme sensitivity to light, sound and smell, nausea, vomiting and movement sensitivity (1, 2). Both genetic and environmental factors influence migraine (2). Food triggers of migraine Some foods are commonly reported as migraine triggers, including: chocolate (1, 2, 3) citrus fruits (1, 2, 3) some vegetables such as tomatoes (2, 3) and onions (2) nuts (1, 2) dairy products such as…

  • Fibre in food
    Blog,  Diet,  Food,  Nutrition

    Fibre in food

    As seen previously, dietary fibre is generally good for health and can even be useful to athletes wanting to improve body composition. Fibre in food is present in different quantities so it’s good to know which foods have higher contents. Fibre in food As seen previously, fibre is present in many plant foods, including vegetables, legumes (e.g. lentils, beans, chickpeas), fruits, cereals, nuts and seeds. The exact amount of total fibre and the types of fibre contained in each food depend on the actual food. Most food databases and nutrition information panels contain the total amount of fibre rather than the amount per type (e.g. soluble, insoluble, resistant starch). In…

  • Energy density vs nutrient density
    Blog,  Diet,  Food,  Nutrition

    Energy density vs nutrient density

    When assessing whether a particular food is beneficial for you or not, energy density vs nutrient density is an important consideration to make. In general, you should seek out nutrient density for health. Energy density Density is a physical property of matter that describes the relationship between mass and volume (density = mass / volume). However, when talking about energy density, we refer to energy (kilocalories or kilojoules) / volume. Therefore, energy dense foods are those that pack a lot of energy in a small volume. Energy dense foods are often high in fat (because fat is the macronutrient with the most energy per gram: 9 kilocalories or 37 kilojoules)…

  • 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…

  • The Food Lab
    Blog,  Book review,  Food

    Book review: The Food Lab (J Kenji Lopez-Alt)

    The Food Lab is J Kenji Lopez-Alt’s fantastic book that documents the results of his culinary experiments. If you like to cook and are science-minded, this is a must-read. The author J Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Culinary Advisor for Serious Eats and the chef and co-owner of the restaurant Wursthall in San Mateo, California. He has science in his genes (both his father and maternal grandfather are scientists) and studied Architecture at no less than the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). I first ran across his work through Serious Eats several years ago and have been a follower ever since. Kenji makes frequent guest appearances in food podcasts such…

  • What to do with canned fish and seafood
    Blog,  Diet,  Food,  Nutrition

    What to do with canned fish and seafood

    Canned fish can be a great source of nutrition, especially when cost and shelf life are a concern. Find out what to do with canned fish and seafood to make it taste great. Types of canned fish and seafood Without a doubt, the most common fish in a can is tuna, but there is a decent variety of fish and seafood available in canned form: Fish: tuna, sardines, salmon (red, pink), anchovies, mackerel, herrings, kipper, trout Seafood: oysters, mussels, crabmeat Nutrient composition In general, canned fish and seafood are great source of protein and long chain omega-3 fatty acids. Some varieties also contain high amounts of zinc (e.g. oysters), calcium…

  • Dinnerly meal kits
    Blog,  Product reviews

    Product review: Dinnerly meal kits

    Dinnerly meal kits were launched by Marley Spoon in 2007. As the self-proclaimed “most affordable meal kit in Australia”, Dinnerly offers convenience and quality ingredients at a cheaper price. Dinnerly meal kits Plans Dinnerly offers two plans: 2-person and 4-person box. For each of them you can choose from 3, 4 or 5 meals per week. Price per meal The price per meal, including shipping, is in the graph below. Meal tags The following tags will help you identify which meals to choose: Dairy free Healthy Kid friendly Low carb Meat No added gluten One pot meal Poultry Spicy Under 30 minutes Vegetarian Preferences You can set up your taste…

  • Marley Spoon meal kits
    Blog,  Nutrition,  Product reviews

    Product review: Marley Spoon meal kits

    Marley Spoon is one of the biggest meal kit vendors in Australia. Their focus on sustainability includes the use of local ingredients and reusable/recyclable packaging. Marley Spoon Google tells us the company hails from Berlin, Germany and was founded in 2014. They are currently present in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden and the USA. Marley Spoon meal kits Plans Marley Spoon offers two plans: 2-person and 4-person box. For each of them you can choose from 2, 3 or 4 meals per week. Price per meal The price per meal, including shipping, is in the graph below. Meal tags The following tags will help you identify which meals…