The HPE Diet

The HPE Diet

Health
If you’re a clinical dietitian working within the hospital setting, you probably know the high protein/energy (HPE) diet inside and out. For those of you with little exposure to the HPE, read on. What is Malnutrition Before we try to understand the HPE diet, we need to look at the condition a HPE diet is designed to prevent, malnutrition. Malnutrition is a silent killer that goes largely unrecognised, undiagnosed, untreated in our hospitals. Often, it is not taken seriously enough. It occurs when an individual does not consume enough protein and/or energy to meet their requirements. Some common causes of malnutrition: - Increased energy and protein requirements (for example, cancer patients, post-surgery). - Decreased appetite (due to medication, age, being unwell etc.). - Early satiety: feeling full quickly. - Changes…
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Functional Foods

Functional Foods

Health
Functional foods are a new trend emerging in response to the public’s increasing health consciousness. The food industry continues to create products with ‘added health benefits’ and it seems as if there is a new product on the shelf every week. It can be difficult to keep up. Let’s explore functional foods and if you should consider adding them to your diet. What is a Functional Food? What is a functional food? Now that is a good question. There is no singular, universal definition for functional foods. However, the general idea is a food with an added health function, that is superior to a ‘general’ food. This definition is vague; hence it is easier to understand functional foods in the context of examples. Functional foods can be naturally high in…
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The Lowdown on Ketogenic Diets

The Lowdown on Ketogenic Diets

Health
Ketogenic diets are becoming increasingly popular. As a weight-loss tool, as a performance enhancer and for other health benefits. No matter the reason behind your consideration of the ketogenic diet, it is useful to understand the relevant evidence behind it. What is the Ketogenic Diet? The ketogenic diet is a high fat, very low carbohydrate diet.  It involves decreasing your carbohydrate intake to the point that it puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, you body becomes more efficient at burning fat for energy. Ketones are also produced, which can be used an energy source. The standard ketogenic diet traditionally looks something like 80% of calories coming from fat, 15% coming from protein and 5% coming from carbs. A more common take on the diet…
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Nutrition for Bone Health

Nutrition for Bone Health

Health
Without bones, we would be piles of mush on the floor. Sounds dramatics, and the image it conjures is a little graphic, but it’s the truth. Bones offer support and rigidity to our bodies. Our ribs protect our lungs and heart, our spines keep us upright, our skull protects our brain and our arm and leg bones make us functional. You’re probably getting the idea by now- bones are extremely important. By the same logic, it is important to keep them healthy. If you’re interested in keeping all 206 of your bones in good shape, well into old age, read on. Making Your Youth Count It’s a fact that most bone mass is laid down in the first 25-30 years of your life. This mass is carried into old age…
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Measuring up Your Genes

Measuring up Your Genes

Health
The term ‘genetics’ conjures images of double-helix DNA, lab coats and the study of inheritance. Nutrition and genetics are two things we generally don’t associate. However, the field of nutritional genomics has boomed over the past half-decade. Here’s what you need to know! Nutritional genomics is a broad term that describes the relationship between many bioactive food constituents (those having an effect in the body through genes) and many physiological and biological processes. The study of nutritional genomics is so overwhelmingly complex, that to fully understand it, we must break it down into 3 smaller, easier to digest, subcategories. These are; nutritional epigenetics, nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics. Nutritional Epigenetics The most iconic example of nutritional epigenetics is the Dutch famine. The Dutch famine describes a cohort born in 1945-46 to pregnant…
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Eat Food: It’s Really That Simple

Eat Food: It’s Really That Simple

Health
Nutritionism is a term used to describe the reductionist approach to nutrition. Nutritionism is when we forget we are eating food. How on earth could we be forgetting we are eating food?! As bizarre as it seems, nutritionism is very much so prevalent in western culture and could be the root of a lot of public health issues. Nutritionism defines food as the sum of its nutrients. When you eat an apple, you aren’t eating an apple. You are eating fibre, vitamin A, phytonutrients and fructose. This obsession with defining food solely by their nutrient content is the essence of nutritionism. It is the removal of the context in which nutrients are consumed and can lead to a rather unhealthy and entirely distorted relationship with food. Where Did It All…
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Nutraceuticals

Nutraceuticals

Health
The field of nutrition is forever evolving and new findings are surfacing all the time. One interesting development of late is nutraceuticals. If you haven’t heard the term before, do not fear. This article will take you through everything you need to know. What are Nutraceuticals? We all know that fruit and vegetables are healthy, and most people can understand that this is due to their high vitamin and mineral content. What is less known, is that these foods are high in a third group of nutrients called phytochemicals. Phytochemicals, or bioactive substances, are a diverse group of chemical compounds that have a role in maintaining our health. Each of the thousands of phytochemicals that exist, are unique and have an individual role in the body. They can participate 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 technically a form of 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…
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The DASH Diet

The DASH Diet

Health
It’s not uncommon to arrive at your late forties and have the doc tell you that you have hypertension (high blood pressure). 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 only way to meet DASH requirements is to eat fruit, vegetables and whole grains in abundance and avoid processed sugary and fried foods. You will have to ditch foods like pizza for meals that take a little bit more effort. It can be worth it though! Dietary Fat Intake When following the DASH diet,…
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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 schools. 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’. Nutrition Australia’s ‘Eat A Rainbow’ campaign refers to the importance…
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