Nutrition for PCOS: A Dietitian’s Guide

Nutrition for PCOS: A Dietitian’s Guide

Health
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal condition that affects 1 in 10 women. For women of reproductive age, it affects 12-18% of individuals, although reportedly up to 70% of women with the condition remain undiagnosed. Polycystic literally means “many cysts.” Ovarian means it is in the ovaries. Therefore, PCOS stands for many cysts within the ovaries. Even though that is the translation, the diagnosis doesn’t rely on there being cysts. Some women may not even have cysts in their ovaries since the diagnosis involves having any two of these three factors: Lack of ovulation causing irregular menstrual cycles (either <21 days apart, >35 days apart or no cycle at all).Excess male hormone production (e.g. testosterone) detected through blood test.Cysts on the ovaries as detected via an ultrasound. Other…
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Pros and Cons of Protein Powder

Pros and Cons of Protein Powder

Body Composition
Protein powder is one of the most commonly utilised sports supplements. While it has a wide range of potential applications, it’s typically used by people aiming to improve their body composition through increasing muscle mass and/or decreasing body fat. It isn’t necessary, but it can have some utility if used well. Pros Convenience In some cases it can be difficult to obtain the optimal amount of protein through food. Protein powder can be a tool to help reach this target. It also can be useful for times when you want to consume protein, but it would be inconvenient due to schedule or appetite. For example, if you are on the go, a protein shake is going to be more convenient than a meal. Or if you have just finished a…
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Beta-Alanine: A Dietitian’s Guide

Beta-Alanine: A Dietitian’s Guide

Sports
Beta-Alanine has slowly become one of the few supplements that have developed a good reputation for consistently producing positive outcomes for performance, up there with the likes of creatine and caffeine. It is used as a performance aid mostly because of its ability to improve muscular endurance. What is Beta-Alanine? Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is not used in the production of protein. It is naturally produced by the liver. The benefits from beta-alanine supplementation mostly don’t come from the Beta-Alanine directly; they come from the increase in muscle carnosine that occurs. When beta-alanine is consumed it is converted into carnosine by joining histidine. How Does Carnosine Work? The main function of interest for carnosine is that it helps to maintain the acid base equilibrium. It helps prevent pH…
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Supplements for PCOS: A Dietitian’s Guide

Supplements for PCOS: A Dietitian’s Guide

Health
When it comes to PCOS, there are quite a few supplements that can help. Prioritising your overall nutrition will help far more than what any individual supplement can do, but supplements can certainly provide some value. When it comes to supplements, often they are only beneficial whenever there is a deficiency or inadequate intake. Adding the supplement in addition to an already optimal intake likely won’t provide any additional benefit. So, keep that in mind since a lot of these needs can be met through food as well. Supplements are just the icing on the cake. If you would like to learn more about nutrition in general for PCOS, I recommend reading this post. PCOS can't be cured but these might help reduce symptoms related to menstruation, ovulation, fertility, testosterone,…
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What Is Metabolic Adaptation and Why Does It Occur?

What Is Metabolic Adaptation and Why Does It Occur?

Body Composition
For a long time, people have been aware that total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) changes during phases of dieting. Personally, my first insight into this phenomenon was when I saw the phrase “metabolic damage” a bit over 5 years ago at some stage in my nutrition degree at university. My understanding of the concept was that if somebody was in a calorie deficit for an extended period, their “metabolism” (which I didn’t fully understand at the time) would slow down. My take on the main difference between metabolic damage and metabolic adaptation, is that ”damage” indicates that there is an issue, whereas adaptation indicates that the body is making an adjustment. Damage could indicate that the metabolism is broken and needs to be fixed. It could also insinuate that people…
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Weight Cuts for Powerlifting – A Dietitians Guide

Weight Cuts for Powerlifting – A Dietitians Guide

Sports
Weight cutting is an area of powerlifting that I see not being done well on a frequent basis. Honestly, I see it as a bit of a gap in the sport where people are missing out on a massive potential advantage. In a lot of combat sports where making weight is a requirement as well, it is at the point where almost everybody undertakes a significant weight cut. If an athlete chooses not to do one, it puts them at a noticeable disadvantage due to the difference in size and muscle mass. Interestingly enough, even though weight cuts can provide an advantage, they haven’t become a part of the culture of powerlifting, which is why I see it as a bit of a gap.   At one end of the…
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The Vertical Diet: A Dietitians Review

The Vertical Diet: A Dietitians Review

Body Composition, Sports
Outside of the niche community of serious strength athletes, The Vertical Diet is pretty unknown. But due to there being quite a few elite level athletes who follow the diet (including Hafthor "The Mountain" Bjornsson) who follow it, there is a large reputation behind it. Another massive influence on this is that the founder Stan Efferding is very charismatic (and jacked) and creates compelling arguments as to why a lot of the aspects of this diet are beneficial for health and performance. As a dietitian who specialises in working with strength athletes (with a focus on powerlifting specifically), I get quite a few questions about The Vertical Diet, so I thought I would go through some of the pros and cons. What is The Vertical Diet? The Vertical Diet is…
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Savina Rego Interview

Savina Rego Interview

Other
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I graduated from Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia in 2013. I have been working full time as a Dietitian since graduation, working across multiple areas – hospitals, community and aged care. I now work for a not-for-profit organisation, that focuses predominately around chronic disease management. My clinical areas of expertise include Diabetes Management (type 1 and 2), Pre-diabetes, fatty liver disease and aged care; which includes a range of dietetic specific areas e.g. pressure injury management, nasogastric feeds, malnutrition, chronic kidney disease, stoma management and texture modified diets. I am also interested in the area of bariatric surgery and IBS management – specifically the low FODMAP diet, having IBS myself. I am now working towards becoming a Credentialed Diabetes Educator.…
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Why I’m Not a Non-Diet Dietitian: Part 2

Why I’m Not a Non-Diet Dietitian: Part 2

Health
A year and a half ago I wrote an article called “Why I’m not a Non-Diet Dietitian.” It’s not the most read post on the blog, but it is something that I’m proud of since I consider myself to be a poor writer and I believe that it is the only long-form piece of writing I have done that has had a major impact on a number of people. I had planned on writing more about the topic, but honestly, I haven’t had much more to say and the original article still sums up the majority of my thoughts even though I have been in the field for almost twice as long now. The title is 99% for clickbait. The whole point of discussing this is not to downplay HAES…
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Rachel Hawkins Q&A

Rachel Hawkins Q&A

Other
Can you tell us a little about yourself? I am a Brisbane-based Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) and Nutritionist and founder of The Naked Truth Australia (www.thenakedtruthaustralia.com) - a nutrition consulting and communications business devoted to ‘baring’ the truth on all thing’s food and nutrition. I founded my business after recognising the need for a trustworthy source of food and nutrition information in the health and wellness industry. My business is quite diverse, so I find myself working in a number of different roles. I see clients privately for one-on-one dietetic consultations online via Skype, I am involved in a number of projects where I act as a nutrition consultant, and I also engage in various opportunities through my Instagram account @thenakedtruth.au such as recipe development, writing educational blog posts and…
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