Just Add Water

Just Add Water

Health
Bland, boring old water. Taste like nothing, doesn’t look anything special, and doesn’t really do anything sitting in your cup. Once it’s in your body, however, there is nothing boring about it! The body is made up of about 55% water by weight and you better make sure you get enough of it. Here’s why… What does water do? Water has a myriad of functions in the body, one of the most important ones, is in the blood. A large fraction of blood is made up of water and without it, blood wouldn’t be able to do all the important things you want it to do. Such as, transport oxygen and nutrients around your body, so that you can run, jump, play, and breathe! Water is also heavily involved in…
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The Facts about Fibre

The Facts about Fibre

Health
For a lot of us, fibre is thought of as that cardboard-tasting powder your nanna sprinkles on her cereal, or wholemeal bread your dad tried to make you eat as a kid. It is well known that fibre is good for you, but it is poorly understood why. Yes, it has something to do with the bowels, and yes, it comes from whole grains, fruit and veg. Let’s try to deepen our understanding of fibre, past the basics. What is Fibre? Fibre is a carbohydrate. It consists of long strands of glucose, arranged in a way that the body’s digestive enzymes are unable to break down. Fibres’ resistance to digestion is due to how to it is organised in the grain, or, the way glucose is chemically bonded to itself.…
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The Obesity Crisis: A Blame Game

The Obesity Crisis: A Blame Game

Health
Obesity and overweight prevalence is higher than ever. With this, an alarming increase in chronic diseases has been observed. While the obesity crisis is common knowledge, what is less obvious are the underlying factors. A popular belief about obesity is that the individual is solely responsible for their disease. It’s their own fault they’re fat. This belief stems from what public health professionals are calling weight stigma/bias; the social phenomenon where overweight and obese individuals are perceived as disgusting, gluttonous and with a dire lack of self control. No one forced them to eat that McValue meal, or to choose white bread over wholemeal at the supermarket. They’ve got no one to blame but themselves, right? Well, no. Not exactly. The obesogenic environment is emerging as a new model that…
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Train Hard, Smart or Specific

Train Hard, Smart or Specific

Sports
Calling all marathon runners, long distance swimmers and other endurance athletes! For a long time, high carbohydrate consumption and blanket recommendations have been part of endurance sports nutrition practice. However, recent research has shown we need to think more carefully about the way we prescribe carbohydrates to endurance athletes. Train Hard We’ve all heard of carb loading- filling up on pasta and bread before a big race or competition. Carb loading and other standard carbohydrate recommendations are centred around providing adequate fuel for training. The purpose of carbohydrate loading, before training or competition, is to increase muscle glycogen stores, which, fuel exercise. Glycogen, however, is a fleeting source and once it runs out, we ‘hit the wall’. This is when the body is forced to switch from primarily carbohydrate fuel…
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DASH-ing Towards Better Health

DASH-ing Towards Better Health

Health
It’s not uncommon to arrive at your late forties and have the doc tell you you’re hypertensive. For many, the pressure of kids and a mortgage, accompanied by a lack of time for exercise, and the convenience of maccas drive through, is enough to make blood pressure soar. When this lifestyle eventually culminates in hypertension, it’s time to have a long hard think about how to improve your health and bring that blood pressure back down. This is where the DASH diet comes in. It’s not easy and it’s not as fast as the name suggests, but hypertension is a huge risk factor for heart attack and stroke. So, if you want to live a long and happy life, read on! DASH stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. The…
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The Holy Grail of Grains

The Holy Grail of Grains

Health
Pulses are a diverse, colourful and lesser known grain. They offer a variety of health benefits, so many, that The World Health Organization has included them in the population nutrient intake goals for preventing diet-related chronic diseases. The current popularity of pulses in Australia is rather dismal. So, let’s try and improve the profile of pulses by incorporating them to our diets. This is likely to improve our health too! Pulses include lentils, chickpeas, navy beans, field peas, azuki beans and so much more. Some traditional uses include lentil dhal, baked beans and the increasingly popular, hummus. Compared to conventional grains such as wheat and rice, pulses are superior on many measures of health. To start, protein content. Not only do pulses contain more protein than other grains, they also…
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Carbohydrates Uncovered

Carbohydrates Uncovered

Health
Carbohydrates are a large group in the food pyramid. For this reason, it is important we understand them. Amongst body conscious populations, carbohydrates are seen as a guilty indulgence. I believe carbohydrates are largely misunderstood and we need to educate ourselves on enjoying pasta, rice and bread in the healthiest ways possible. Carbohydrates have a pretty bad reputation. They are too often blamed for the current obesity crisis, as well as the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes. This is only a half truth. Highly processed carbohydrate products such as white bread and cakes, confer high blood glucose (sugar) spikes that contribute to obesity and diabetes. These products are responsible for the negative connotation surrounding carbohydrates, and should be limited. On the other hand, whole grain products such as brown…
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Eat A Rainbow

Eat A Rainbow

Health
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you will know all about the ‘Go for 2 & 5’ campaign. The Australian Government created a funny, friendly looking fruit and veg man who informed Australian kids (and adults) about the importance of consuming 2 fruits and 5 vegetables each day. The government pushed this campaign hard, with flyers, television advertisements and even educational programs in school. The campaign was an effort to promote healthful behaviours in our increasingly unhealthy population. However, is ‘2 & 5’ enough? While it’s a good place to start, good health isn’t so simple. Nutrition Australia, has pushed for a movement away from ‘2 & 5’ and toward ‘Eat the Rainbow’. Sounds like a Skittle advertisement, doesn’t it? Nutrition Australia’s…
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Creatine and How It Will Help You Smash Your Fitness Goals

Creatine and How It Will Help You Smash Your Fitness Goals

Sports
The world of sport is a very competitive place. Athletes are forever searching for that little something extra to give them an edge. A common supplement used for this very purpose is Creatine. Creatine is a compound synthesised from the two amino acids (protein constituents) guanidine and arginine. It is thought to improve early stages of physical performance, power capacity, muscle growth and endurance capacity. Since significant research and promising evidence surrounds creatine, it is classified as an ergogenic (performance enhancing) aid. Its’ sporting applications are why companies get away with selling the supplemental powder form at $30 a tub. However, it also occurs naturally in the flesh of animals, and can therefore be obtained in the diet. This begs the question; why would anyone fork out for the supplement…
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The Facts About Fat

The Facts About Fat

Health
Try talking to any painfully body conscious teenage girl, or bodybuilding male about fat, and you might find they run away screaming. This is because fat is typically associated with big bellies and clogged arteries. But what if I told you the right types of fat can have entirely healthful purposes? In fact, a diet high in the right types of fat could improve longevity and significantly decrease risk of heart attack and stroke. A higher fat diet might be the solution to your health problems. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am by no means advising you to stock up on potato chips and streaky bacon because a blog on Ideal Nutrition informed you that fat will make you live longer. What I am suggesting, is to educate yourself…
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