• Coffee and health
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Coffee and health

    Uncover the intricate relationship between coffee and health in our in-depth exploration of the brew’s impact on well-being. What is coffee? Depending on the person, coffee can be a necessity, a ritual, a social lubricant, or a crutch. Coffee can be a source of income for some and a budget drain for others. But what does the dictionary say? coffee (noun) 1a: a beverage made by percolation, infusion, or decoction from the roasted and ground seeds of a coffee plant b: any of several Old World tropical plants (genus Coffea and especially C. arabica and C. canephora) of the madder family that are widely cultivated in warm regions for their seeds…

  • 5 ways to eat healthier
    Blog,  Diet,  Food,  Health,  Nutrition

    5 ways to eat healthier

    My top recommendation for people who want to improve their health is to cook most of their meals. However, this is just 1 of 5 ways to eat healthier. Keep in mind no one strategy works for everyone and there is no reason for you to marry to one strategy for the rest of your life. Circumstances change, and you should be able to change and adapt with them. As usual, my suggestion is to try different things and see what works for you at the present moment, and what may work for you under different circumstances. 5 ways to eat healthier 1. Cooking most of your meals This is…

  • Will coffee dehydrate you?
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Will coffee dehydrate you?

    Will coffee dehydrate you? If you are concerned about the detrimental effects of coffee on your hydration status, this article is for you. Definitions How much caffeine is in coffee? The amount of caffeine in coffee drinks is highly variable. For example, the following have been found to affect how much caffeine is in brewed coffee: species (i.e. Robusta vs Arabica), temperature of brewing water, coffee to water ratio, volume of coffee drink, origin of coffee beans and method of growing, among other factors (4). The table below shows some averages based on Australian data (5): However, actual values in your coffee can be all over the place. For example,…

  • 5 ways to eat more protein
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition,  Sports nutrition

    5 ways to eat more protein

    Many people struggle to eat enough protein, for example athletes and older adults. Below are 5 ways to eat more protein without necessarily adding volume or energy to your meals. 1. Choose higher protein versions of the same food These days you can find high protein yoghurt, milk, cereal, bread, wraps, pasta, etc. Hence, the easiest way of increasing your protein intake is to choose a higher protein version of the same foods you are already eating. On this topic, many people choose plant-based dairy food substitutes (e.g. milk, yoghurt) without realising that most contain less protein than the dairy-based option. 2. Increase the protein portion size This is the…

  • Pros and cons of meal plans
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Pros and cons of meal plans

    Meal plans can be really useful for some people – if they follow them. However, they can also have some limitations. What are some pros and cons of meal plans? Pros A well-designed meal plan can provide the following benefits: Eliminate decision fatigue Some people find it difficult or tedious to plan what to cook. Following a meal plan will save the time and mental power you would normally spend making those decisions. Meet your nutritional requirements without doing calculations A meal plan that is customised to your individual requirements will help you meet your targets of total energy, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, etc. Increase food variety Meal plans can…

  • How to create an energy deficit
    Blog,  Diet,  Food,  Health,  Nutrition

    How to create an energy deficit

    If you have a weight loss goal for health or athletic reasons, you might need to eat less. While eating smaller portions is an option, this post will show you how to create an energy deficit without sacrificing satiety and nutrition. How to create an energy deficit 1. Cook most of your food (or buy low energy pre-made meals) Foods from restaurants and takeaway shops are usually higher in energy than home-cooked meals because they rely on large amounts of energy-dense ingredients mainly for taste purposes. Many of these ingredients are cooking fats and oils, which are very energy dense. Cooking most of your food allows you to control how…

  • Optimising vitamin and mineral intake
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Optimising vitamin and mineral intake

    Optimising vitamin and mineral intake is a bit more complicated than just considering nutrient content in foods. Bioavailability, cooking, processing and seasonality are other important factors to keep in mind. Follow the 10 principles below to improve your vitamin and mineral status. 1. Know your requirements While the Nutrient Reference Values are estimated based on the best evidence that was available at the moment of their development, it is useful to know how much of each micronutrient you need for good health. Your requirements depend on your age, gender and pregnancy/lactation status when applicable. The easiest way of finding out is using the NRV calculator. In “Reference values”, select “Show…

  • Mineral overview
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Mineral overview

    If you know minerals are micronutrients that are good for you but struggle to name more than 2 or 3, this mineral overview is for you. In this guide you will find the following information (when applicable or available) for the main minerals: Calcium Sources: dairy foods (e.g. milk, yoghurt, cheese) and in smaller amounts in fish with bones, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables (e.g. kale, spinach), certain nuts, fortified soy beverages and breakfast cereals. Bioavailability: absorption from milk is between 20 and 40%, from vegetables is either in the same range or lower, depending on the vegetable (higher in cruciferous vegetables). Absorption from food can be enhanced by fortification…

  • Vitamin overview
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Vitamin overview

    If you know vitamins are micronutrients that are good for you but struggle to name more than 2 or 3, this vitamin overview is for you. In this guide you will find the following information (when applicable or available) for all vitamins: Vitamin A Forms: preformed and provitamin A carotenoids (e.g. β-carotene, α-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin), which can be converted to vitamin A. Solubility: fat-soluble. Sources: preformed vitamin A is found in animal foods and carotenoids are found in oils, green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach and kale), carrots, fruits (e.g. mango, papaya, orange). The conversion factor of β-carotene to vitamin A depends on the source. Making 1 ug of vitamin A…

  • What are micronutrients
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    What are micronutrients?

    As a dietitian, I always advocate for variety in the diet to increase exposure to micronutrients. But what are micronutrients? Below is a quick overview, more in-depth articles to follow. As seen previously, macronutrients are the “bigger” components of food, namely protein, fat and carbohydrates. Water can be also considered a macronutrient, however it does not contribute any energy. Conversely, alcohol cannot be considered nutritious but does contribute energy. The prefix “macro” comes from the ancient Greek makrós, which means “long”. It is normally used to mean “big” or “large”. Thus, macronutrients are needed in large amounts in the diet (tens or hundreds of grams). The prefix “micro” comes from…