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Maree Ferguson Q & A

Maree Ferguson Q & A

Other
  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Sure. Where to begin? I graduated as a dietitian just over 20 years ago, which is hard to believe, and I guess I always wanted to be a dietitian when I was at high school. I did home-ec and had a great teacher and loved the science of nutrition. At that time, Rosemary Stanton was the only dietitian in the media, and she was on Burke’s Backyard. So everyone of that generation wanted to be like Rosemary. I did a science degree first and then did dietetics. It was an 18-month diploma at that point in time, and there was only QUT in Brisbane where you could do dietetics, not like the four courses that we’ve got now. Then I…
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Coconut Oil: Healthy or Hype?

Coconut Oil: Healthy or Hype?

Health
I recently walked into one of my favourite little boutiques on the Gold Coast, a destination notorious for it’s health-conscious, Lorna Jane-clad specimens, and came across a new product that, as a dietitian, made me roll my eyes… Coconut oil capsules. I must admit I picked the item up out of interest, as it was packaged in a trendy white shampoo container, with stylish typography slathered across the front (marketing that I’m sure a lot of people succumb to). “We all know the health benefits of coconut oil for healthy hair, skin and nails. Its good for the outside of your body as well as inside…” stated the label. Is it? Lets have a look at these claims and see if there’s any truth behind them… What is coconut oil…
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Matt O’Neill Q & A

Matt O’Neill Q & A

Other
  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into the industry? I got into the nutrition industry triggered by a passion for metabolism and how the human body responds to both exercise and nutrition. Dual qualifications in exercise and nutrition gave me a unique perspective on weight management, and that’s been my passion for the last 25 years. I’ve also been training health professionals in weight management and more recently with my Metabolic Jumpstart program helping over 24,000 regular Australians lose weight, get into shape and manage their diet.   Is most of your work focused on regular Australians or is more of your time spent focusing on health professionals? On balance, it’s more health professionals and empowering them with the knowledge and know-how…
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Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics and Prebiotics

GI Disorders, Health
  Did you know that we have 100 trillion bacteria living in our gut?! While that may leave you feeling a little squeamish, don’t fear! These little guys are on our side, they play important roles in many metabolic, nutritional, physiological and immunological processes which keep us healthy. This includes acting as a barrier to prevent “bad” bacteria from invading and causing illness, and producing nutrients that we can’t make ourselves (vitamin K, B12, folic acid, short chain fatty acids). There is continual evidence which suggests incorporating prebiotics and probiotics into our diet is beneficial for keeping a healthy balance of “good” gut bacteria. So what are probiotics and prebiotics?   Probiotics Probiotics are live microorganisms (bacteria or yeast) found in certain foods, which when consumed in adequate amounts are…
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Considerations for the Management and Treatment of IBS

Considerations for the Management and Treatment of IBS

GI Disorders
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the nerves and muscles of the bowel. It’s the least understood, but most common gastrointestinal disorder - affecting one in five Australians. IBS isn’t a disease itself, but a label given to symptoms that are not related to other conditions like coeliac disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease etc. Therefore it’s very important to speak with your GP about your symptoms as soon as possible to rule out more serious gut conditions. Symptoms can vary in severity and come and go, lasting for hours, days, weeks or months. For most people, it’s a chronic condition, while for others it can improve and even disappear completely. Some of the most common IBS symptoms include: • Abdominal pain or cramping – often relieved by passing…
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Dietary changes for optimising fertility

Dietary changes for optimising fertility

Health
We all know preconception nutrition is vital for a healthy baby and your nutrition, right? Melanie McGrice, Accredited Practising Dietitian and author of ‘The Pregnancy Weight Plan’ outlines 3 key nutrients needed in your diet before you get the good news. So you’ve made the momentous decision to try for a baby! Be it your first, or fifth, it’s a good idea to get yourself prepared as early on as possible. Optimal nutrition is vital to ensuring that you and your partner have the best chance of getting pregnant and also setting up a foundation for a strong and healthy new addition. Food, nutrition and lifestyle choices are crucial for optimising your fertility. Let’s look at 3 key changes you may need to consider before you grow your family.  …
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5 Easy Ways to Include More Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Your Diet

5 Easy Ways to Include More Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Your Diet

Food
Move over coconut oil, the real superfood is in the house! Extra virgin olive oil is the new and emerging health trend that we should be encouraging everyone to try! With an array of health benefits associated with its consumption, along with its delicious taste, there is no wonder we are going crazy over drizzling olive oil all over everything! Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean dietary pattern and is considered the healthiest choice of olive oil. Multiple intervention trials have used extra virgin olive oil as their primary dietary fat and have seen a reduction in cardiovascular disease in both a primary and secondary setting [1-3]. So on that note, here are 5 easy ways you can incorporate more extra virgin olive oil into…
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Should You Listen to a Celebrity’s Nutritional Advice?

Should You Listen to a Celebrity’s Nutritional Advice?

Other
  This is a point that strikes a note with me personally. Dietitians and nutritionists dedicate their lives to becoming experts in nutrition; often in one specific field of nutrition. Yet for some reason, celebrities are the go-to source for diets involving weight-loss, muscle gain or any other result. Every time you walk past a magazine aisle you see a title like “How I lost 10kg” with a picture of a famous celebrity. For some strange reason, people seem to intensely study the miraculous secret that these individuals appear to have discovered. Then they go and tell their friends about this celebrity’s diet and it spreads like wildfire. The reason this issue gets to me, is because it is completely based on anecdotal evidence with a sample size of n=1.…
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Should You Take Vitamin D Supplements to Reduce Your Risk of Fractures?

Should You Take Vitamin D Supplements to Reduce Your Risk of Fractures?

Health
  To follow up on my previous post on calcium supplementation, this post will be on the effect that vitamin D supplementation has on fractures risk. The majority of our vitamin D comes from the sun and a small amount comes from our diet. Surprisingly, even though Australia is known for its sunny weather, approximately one third of Australians are deficient in vitamin D [1].   With the knowledge that vitamin D increases the effect of calcium, it is common sense to assume that it would reduce the risk of fractures. To make the assumption even stronger, vitamin D supplementation also leads to an increase in bone mineral density [2-3].   Although in theory vitamin D supplementation should reduce fractures risk, after going through every study in the past 20…
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2 Tips to Banish Acne with Your Diet

2 Tips to Banish Acne with Your Diet

Other
  Anyone who has acne can appreciate how difficult it can be to get rid of. Many people, like myself have tried a variety of ointments and skin cleansers with minimal improvements. One largely overlooked strategy to help clear up acne is to focus on diet.   To understand the effect of diet on acne, it is important to understand what acne is. Acne is a skin condition, characterised by the inflammation of the sebaceous glands (the small glands in the skin which secrete oil into the hair follicles) which causes the glands to become clogged with dead skin and excess oil. The severity of Acne differs between each individual, most commonly appearing as pimples, black heads and white heads on the face, neck and back. Follow the following three…
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