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What you need to know about the alkaline diet

alkaline Jan 04, 2021

In recent times, the alkaline diet has stolen the limelight and risen in popularity. Namely, for being associated with weight loss, reflux reduction and chronic disease prevention.


But what does following an alkaline diet entail? And is it all that it’s cracked up to be?

Today, we will dig out the magnifying glass and investigate the science behind this trendy health craze.

 

pH

Let’s take a trip back to year ten science class and explain what ‘alkaline’ means and its significance.


All substances fall onto a pH scale, between one and twelve. Substances with a pH between one-six are ‘acidic’, seven are ‘neutral’, and eight-fourteen are ‘alkaline’ (also commonly referred to as ‘basic’). This diet’s premise is to consume foods that fall within the alkaline category to reduce inflammation throughout the body.



Interestingly, our body has in-built systems to manage the internal pH environment. For...

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Contrave - The Latest and Greatest Weight Management Drug.

contrave Dec 09, 2020

Contrave. The latest weight-loss tool to hit the Aussie market.  

 

But what is it exactly? And is it all that it’s talked up to be? Today, we will run through the cons, pros and effects of contrave.

 

Contrave was designed to control appetite and cravings within the brain. The drug is intended for obese adults, who have metabolic conditions caused by being overweight. This is an adjunct form of therapy and is recommended to run alongside diet and lifestyle changes. Adults are encouraged to follow a low-calorie diet and increase their physical activity, to optimise the benefits associated with this medication.

 


Cons of Contrave

  1. Expensive. Contrave costs $250 per month, which equates to $3000 per year. If you think about it, it’s more cost-effective to buy fresh produce!
  2. Adverse side effects. Contrave has been associated with nausea, vomiting, constipation and insomnia. In severe cases, it has led to mental health disturbances.
  3. Weight...
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It’s time to stop a-salt-ing our bodies

salt Dec 07, 2020

What’s the go with salt? Is it good? Is it bad? Is it ugly?

 

To be honest, it’s a bit mixed. Salt is an essential mineral which regulates muscle contractions, fluid balance and nerve transmission. The problem is we overeat it. On average, we’re consuming 3,600mg per day, with the recommendations being no more than 2000mg. Essentially, we’re giving our bodies double the sodium it requires, which can lead to adverse health outcomes.

 

 Namely:

  1. Increased blood pressure.
  2. Increased risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease.
  3. An increased risk of other chronic conditions, e.g. kidney disease and osteoporosis.
  4. Oedema (fluid build-up).
  5. Increased inflammation in the body.
  6. Poorer immune function.

 

What are the main foods a-salt-ing our body?

Well, the main culprits include table salt (no duh), packaged food (cakes, biscuits, chocolate, etc.) and deep-fried foods (hot chips & fried fish). What might surprise you is that it’s also found in...

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Fibre Fundamentals

Uncategorized Dec 03, 2020

 

Fibre. What is it? Where does it come from? And why is it so good for us?

Today we will answer those fundamental questions and provide you with practical strategies to increase your fibre intake. This will reduce your risk of chronic disease, whilst also improving your overall health outcomes.

Fibre is the roughage of plant-based products. In terms of health benefits, fibre feeds our healthy gut bacteria, supports weight loss, can improve blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

 

 Sources of fibre

  1. Plant-based foods. Think fruits and vegetables, with the skin on and not overly cooked.
  2. Whole-grain cereals.
  3. Pules. This includes foods like beans, chickpeas and lentils.
  4. Nuts.

 


Benefits of fibre

Research shows that fibre-rich foods have an abundance of health benefits.

  • Firstly, they are generally low in calories, which is why they are associated with weight loss.
  • Secondly, they lower the glycaemic index of foods, which means...
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What you need to know about diet and acne.

acne Dec 03, 2020

Acne is a skin condition characterised by inflammation of the skin, rashes, and lesions.

 

It typically occurs on parts of the body that produce oil, like the face, back and neck. Adolescents are the general sufferers, but this is now extending into adulthood. If acne is severe, it can lead to permanent scarring of the skin, as well as emotional distress.

 

So, what causes acne?

  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Hormonal fluctuations. This specifically relates to teenagers, pregnant woman, premenopausal women and those using birth control.
  • Diet. Evidence shows that dairy-containing or fatty foods may increase the risk of acne.

 

In terms of diet, acne is most associated with dairy-containing foods. This is because there is an amino acid called leucine, which is found in dairy-rich foods and can trigger acne. Leucine is also excellent for muscle building and is generally found in protein powders, specifically whey-based protein powders. Hence, why we see acne in a lot of...

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The Misrepresented Miracle Maker, Coconut Oil

Uncategorized Dec 02, 2020

Coconut oil is used in just about everything - curries, coffee, smoothies, skin creams…

That must mean it has many health benefits, right? Wrong. Coconut oil would have to be one of the most misrepresented “health foods” on the market. Sure, it’s got beneficial properties, but they don’t generally extend to food. Today we will separate fact from fiction when it comes to coconut oil.

 

Let’s jump right in and address the myth we’re all thinking about.

 
Coconut oil is healthy because it contains multiple chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are good for weight loss, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s.

 

In reality, only 10-13% of coconut oil is made up of MCTs, with the remainder being saturated fat. These two fats DO NOT have the same effects. Saturated fat is responsible for elevating the LDL-cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Now let’s put this into perspective. 1...

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Hunger Vs. Appetite. What's the difference?

hungervsappetite Dec 02, 2020

Hunger and appetite. Two very complex processes, fighting for our attention and driving what we eat and drink. But what is the difference, and why do we need them?

 

The feeling of ‘hunger’ drives us to eat. Our brains require energy, which is derived from the foods and fluids we consume. Without enough energy, our brains cannot run effectively, and our bodies begin to shut down.  

 

Appetite is based on pleasure, and is influenced by what we see, smell, taste and even think! You may be familiar with the concept ‘Pavlov’s dog’ which describes a process of conditioning dogs to salivate when exposed to the idea of food. This same concept applies to humans, as when we’re tempted with something tasty, our bodies react and prepare by increasing saliva and excitement levels.

 


Challenges relating to appetite

  1. Sugar accessibility. We have CONSTANT access to high-density, sugar-type foods. Whether it’s at the chemist,...
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A Christmas Day Food Guide (That Would Keep Santa Happy)

christmasdiet Dec 02, 2020

Most of us would agree that 2020 has been a bit of a crazy year. What’s even crazier is that Christmas is around the corner.  


And what does that mean? Well, It’s time to purchase an advent calendar and get ready for the Christmas pudding! Christmas is a time of celebration. Once a year, we get together with our families, sing a Christmas tune and indulge in some Aussie delights. This could include honey-glazed turkey, nana’s homemade rumballs and a bevvy (or two).  

 

So today we will explore some common questions us dietitians receive as we head into the silly season!

 

As a dietitian, are you worried about Chrissy weight gain?

Christmas weight gain is always a consideration of mine, due to the fact that it can be a month of over-indulgence (well, for me it is). Nutrition Australia has released new research stating that the average weight gain around the X'mas period is 0.8-1.5kg.  What's even scarier, is that the evidence...

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The Science Behind Stress and Eating

stresseating Oct 29, 2020

Life can be stressful. And how do we deal with stress? We eat….well, many of us do. Food can be a comforting tool, to momentarily slide that stress away and make us feel better. But why do we do this? And what impact does this have on our long-term health? Today, we’ll explore these questions by firstly explaining the stress response.

 

The stress response

When we feel stressed out, our body produces a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol interacts with the appetite-regulating hormone, leptin. Leptin is responsible for suppressing our appetite after we’ve had a feed.

 

Chronic stress can elevate cortisol and block the effects of leptin. This means that a person is more likely to overeat and feel hungry all the time. Other implications include an increased risk of chronic disease development, like cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes.

 

So why do we stress eat?

Eating food can dampen our stress response by eliciting positive psychological...

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Understanding the Set Point Theory

setpointheory Oct 23, 2020

What is the Set Point Theory?

In the world of weight loss, the set point theory is a common discussion point. The set point theory describes a specific weight that our body wants to be. Our body weight can fluctuate up or down slightly, but it generally returns to its regular set point. This set point weight is usually determined at the end of puberty, hence why it’s so important to pursue a healthy weight pre-adulthood.

 

Where did the set point theory come from? 

As humans, we have been designed to maintain our weight. In centuries gone by, our bodies were required to store fat to get us through the winter. Maintaining weight has been ingrained into our genetics as a protective mechanism. The problem is, we don’t need this mechanism anymore. We’ve got heaters and blankets now.

 

If we lose too much weight, our body starts to put up a fight. Our metabolism slows down, hunger hormones increase, and our appetite-suppressing hormones become less...

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