• Latest recommendations on red meat, eggs and dairy
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Latest recommendations on red meat, eggs and dairy

    This year we had a couple of big news in the nutrition world. First, the Heart Association‘s relaxed its position on full-fat dairy products and eggs. Second, the Annals of Internal Medicine published a set of guidelines that told meat eaters: “keep doing what you’re doing”. This is a summary on the latest recommendations on red meat, eggs and dairy, to be taken with a grain of salt. Red meat Annals of Internal Medicine recommendations These recommendations are based on the review of several scientific papers by a panel consisting of 14 people from Canada, England, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, Spain and the US. The panel included experts in nutrition…

  • 5 easy low-carb swaps
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    5 easy low-carb swaps

    It is safe to assume you are either following a low-carb diet or you know someone who is. Either way, these 5 easy low-carb swaps can be useful when you are planning your meals for the week or a special occasion spread. 1. Rice Even though cauliflower rice does not absorb sauces or juices as well as regular rice, it makes a good low-carb substitute as a side dish for curries and stews. Bonus points: you will add to your daily vegetable intake. 2. Noodles or long pasta (e.g. spaghetti) Konjac noodles (e.g. Slendier) or spiralized zucchini make good substitutes for long pasta, but, once again, they won’t absorb sauces…

  • rancid fats
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Rancid fats

    We all know rancid fats are unpleasant. In fact, we use the word rancid to refer to other undesirable things. But what exactly is rancidity? What causes it? Is it bad for you? How can you prevent it? Rancidity Rancidity, in the chemical sense, is the “breakdown of fats by oxygen and light into small, odorous fragments” (1) “When a fatty substance is exposed to air, its unsaturated components are converted into hydroperoxides, which break down into volatile aldehydes, esters, alcohols, ketones, and hydrocarbons, some of which have disagreeable odours.” (2) Which foods can become rancid? As you recall from my article on macronutrients, many foods besides the obvious (e.g.…

  • Why and how to count macros
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    Why and how to count macros

    Now that you know what are macronutrients, one of the logical follow-up questions to ask is why and how to count macros? Why count macros The number one reason why to count macros is because your dietitian spent a lot of time calculating your requirements. The least you can do is make sure you are eating as many protein, fat and carbs they told you to. Just kidding! As I mentioned in my previous article on macros, recommended breakdowns at a population level are not incredibly useful. Instead, it is better to calculate estimated requirements individualised for your characteristics, preferences and circumstances. I think it is useful to know your…

  • What are macronutrients
    Blog,  Diet,  Health,  Nutrition

    What are macronutrients?

    Macronutrients or “macros” are the components of food that contribute to energy. Energy, in the nutritional sense, is measured in kilocalories (a.k.a. Calories) or kilojoules. The main macronutrients are protein, fat and carbohydrates (a.k.a. “carbs” or “CHO” for the chemistry-minded people out there). Most foods you can think of are made of a combination or these 3 components. Protein Proteins are structures composed of amino acids. There are 7 essential amino acids for humans, meaning our bodies cannot make them. Foods high in protein include: all animal foods (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, etc.), some legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, soy), and some nuts and seeds. Protein bioavailability (i.e. how much…

  • Sleep Smarter
    Blog,  Book review,  Health

    Book review: Sleep Smarter (Shawn Stevenson)

    Continuing with the sleep health theme of the month, here I review Shawn Stevenson’s bestselling book Sleep Smarter. The author Shawn Stevenson is the American podcaster behind The Model Health Show. He was diagnosed with degenerative bone and disc disease as a teenager, which led to weight inactivity, poor food choices and subsequent weight gain. One day he made the decision to reverse what doctors thought was irreversible. He fixed his exercise, diet and sleep and now helps other people to improve their lifestyle. The book This book has an interesting structure. It’s divided in 21 chapters, each one is a tip for better sleep. At the same time, every…

  • 5 easy gluten-free swaps
    Blog,  Diet,  Gluten-free,  Health,  Nutrition

    5 easy gluten-free swaps

    These days gluten-free products are widely available. Having said that, there are many people who have never had to worry about buying or cooking gluten-free food for yourself, a friend or family member. If this is your case, this article highlights 5 easy gluten-free swaps you can rely on. Keep in mind that gluten-free does not necessarily equal healthy and that many gluten-free products can be unhealthier than their gluten-full counterparts. Read more in my article 5 misconceptions about gluten. 1. Cous cous Both quinoa and cauliflower rice make good substitutes for cous cous in salads and side dishes. As a bonus, both options are lower in kilojoules and carbohydrates…

  • Gluten free expo 2019
    Blog,  Diet,  Gluten-free,  Health,  Nutrition

    Gluten Free Expo 2019

    Once again I had the good fortune of being invited to attend the Gluten Free Expo 2019, an annual event organised by Coeliac Australia in all major cities across the country. The expo This event aims to educate people, particularly those with Coeliac Disease and gluten intolerance, on how to navigate a gluten-free diet. This is achieved via talks, cooking demos and a wide variety of exhibitors who showcase their products. The expo normally takes place on a weekend. The first visitors get a show bag with several products and brochures. Exhibitors have plenty of samples for you to try before you buy, as well as attractive pricing on their…

  • peanut butter alternatives
    Blog,  Dairy-free,  Diet,  Gluten-free,  Health,  Nutrition

    Peanut butter alternatives

    Peanut butter is a very popular food worldwide. However, peanuts are one of the major food allergens, affecting approximately 1 in 50 children and 1 in 200 adults (1). Fortunately, those not affected with other nut allergies can enjoy peanut butter alternatives available in the market. Why choose peanut butter alternatives Below are a few reasons why you might avoid peanut butter and choose something else: As mentioned before, peanut allergy is the main reason why someone would choose alternative products. Keep in mind that someone with peanut allergy is 25% more likely to be allergic to other tree nuts (1). Disliking the taste or texture. Believe it or not,…

  • Can you get food allergies as an adult?
    Blog,  Diet,  Food,  Health,  Nutrition

    Can you get food allergies as an adult?

    Can you get food allergies as an adult? In short, yes. Up to 5% of adults suffer from food allergy, and approximately 15% of them developed the allergy in adulthood (1). What is food allergy? Food allergy is an abnormal reaction of the immune system to an ingested food. The most common types of allergens are cow’s milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, wheat, soy, sesame, fish, shellfish and lupin (2). You can read more about food allergy, intolerance and preference in this article. Common food allergies in adults The foods most likely to cause allergic reactions in adults are seafood, peanuts, tree nuts (1, 2) and sesame seeds (2). The…