How to Debunk Food Labels

How to Debunk Food Labels

Health
You have probably seen people scouting food labels down the supermarket aisle from time to time, but have you ever wondered what they are looking at specifically? Understanding how to read and interpret food labels can be a difficult task and this article is going to help breakdown the key parts that are found on food labels to hopefully make grocery shopping that little bit easier. So, let’s break it down starting with the most important piece of information: The Nutrition Information Panel The nutrition information panel (NIP) is a requirement as part of FSANZ (Food Standards Australia and New Zealand) legislation. By law, all products are required to include a nutrition information panel excluding products such as fresh produce, herbs and spices, water and alcoholic beverages. People might read…
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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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#nuts30days30ways

#nuts30days30ways

Body Composition, Food, Health
March is #nuts30days30ways when the Australian Tree Nut Industry encourages everyone to develop a healthy nut habit by eating a 30g handful of nuts every day in March. Australians are eating on average just 6g of nuts a day well short of the recommended 30g serve. Tree nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts, are often the forgotten cousins in the heart healthy diet family tree. Fruits, vegetables and wholegrains are routinely recommended but nuts are so often overlooked. Why is that? These highly nutritious foods are so worthy of the health halo that surrounds fruits and vegetables. Let’s take a look at how nuts help protect the heart and yes, surprisingly, help with managing weight. Heart Health Large population studies…
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An Inconvenient Truth Hard to Swallow

An Inconvenient Truth Hard to Swallow

Health
There is no doubt our food environment has a huge influence on our health and wellbeing. While the issue of overconsuming our favourite junk or discretionary foods and beverages (like sugary drinks, deep-fried fatty foods and pastries) has literally become a taxing debate in the public health world, fixing the food environment around us is not something we as everyday consumers often give much food for thought. In an ideal world, we would all be frequently enjoying an abundance of fresh, seasonal and sustainable produce, and less highly-processed foods which we know has lost most of its nutritional integrity – in a nutshell we’d be following what is sensibly suggested in The Australian Dietary Guidelines [1]. However, we as a nation are unfortunately not even close to making this a…
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Thinking of going organic?

Thinking of going organic?

Health
  When we enter any shopping isle, we are confronted with many many different choices. One important decision to weigh up is whether to spend your hard earned cash on the organic range. The price difference between organic and conventional produce can be huge. For example, at Woolworths, Macro Organic Chicken Breast is $29.99 per kilo whereas the conventional range is less than half that at only $9 per kilo. Likewise, a dozen Elderbrook Farms Caged Eggs are $2.80 whereas Southern Highland Organic Eggs are almost triple that at $7.99 per dozen.   The organic options don’t stop there. Today you can purchase a range of organic produce from organic fruits, vegetables, bread, cereals…even makeup and body wash! How do you decide whether going organic is really worth the extra…
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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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High Healthy Fats Diet Effect on Weight

High Healthy Fats Diet Effect on Weight

Body Composition, Health
    In the past, high fat diets have been slammed for their ability to increase weight and effect our overall health. Although, diets which are high in fat are often high in saturated fats and trans fats, which have been continually linked to obesity and cardiovascular disease. But what about a diet which is high in healthy fats such polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and monounsaturated fats (MUFAs)? More recent systematic reviews have highlighted the ability of high healthy fat dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet, to support modest weight loss in centrally obese individuals [1]. In addition to this, the Mediterranean diet has also been shown to reduce waist circumference among a Mediterranean population group [2,3,4], as well as also reporting significant declines in body weight after a 5-year…
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Introducing the Ideal Nutrition Blog

Introducing the Ideal Nutrition Blog

News
  Ideal Nutrition is a dietetics private practice currently offering dietetic and nutritional services at Xceler8 24hr Fitness in Wagga Wagga. With only one dietitian initially (myself), the practice caters for all goals that can be achieved through nutrition. While Ideal Nutrition is set up so that it can cater for all goals and conditions, its specialties are weight-loss, diabetes and sports nutrition. The goal of the business is to help as many people as possible through improving their nutrition. Clearly this goal will be impossible to undertake with only one dietitian, which is why there are intentions to hire additional dietitians and expand to as many locations as possible. What will happen in the future isn’t clear, but the goal of helping people improve their lives is definitely going…
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What Is a Mediterranean Diet and What Are the Benefits?

What Is a Mediterranean Diet and What Are the Benefits?

Health
  What is a Mediteranen Diet? The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating based on traditional foods and drinks of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. The archetypal traditional ‘Cretan’ Mediterranean diet was first established three decades ago as a cardio-protective diet in the Seven Countries Study [1]. Keys and co-workers found that residents in Crete in Greece had the lowest mortality from heart disease and this was positively associated with their dietary pattern. This traditional dietary pattern is characterized by an abundance of plant-based foods such as leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, whole grain cereals, nuts and seeds, olive oil used as the main added dietary fat, moderate amounts of low-fat dairy products, fish and seafood, smaller quantities of red meat and red wine to be…
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Can You Have Too Much Protein?

Can You Have Too Much Protein?

Health
  A healthy diet should be simple right? Just fill your tummy with plenty of vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, lean meat, and low fat dairy. However, a recent health trend has emerged which cuts out carbohydrates from our diet, instead replacing it with more protein. This trend stems from the media’s portrayal of protein as the golden nutrient which helps us to increase our energy and stay lean. This is in stark contrast to carbohydrates, which are associated with addiction and weight gain. Food companies have jumped onto this trend, now selling product alternatives which are low in fat and carbohydrates and high in protein. This leads to the question, can you have too much protein?     There are a wide variety of perks from eating adequate amounts of protein.…
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