What Impact Does Caffeine Have on Calcium Absorption?

What Impact Does Caffeine Have on Calcium Absorption?

Health
Nutrition is all about context. It is often not as simple as “caffeine completely blocks calcium absorption while it is in your system.” Typically, there is more nuance. How much of an impact does it have? What dosages of caffeine are required for this impact to be relevant? Does having more calcium offset this? This is a bit of a niche nutrition topic. I still think it is relevant though. I have been a dietitian for about 5 years now. And for my first couple of years, whenever I would be talking about calcium with a client, and they mentioned that they would use milk in their coffees I had a standard response. My typical response was something along the lines of “unfortunately caffeine inhibits calcium absorption, so we probably…
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Is Mock Meat Healthier Than Real Meat?

Is Mock Meat Healthier Than Real Meat?

Health
With the rise in veganism and people turning to plant-based eating, the market for mock meat has been booming. When I first went vegan, almost a decade ago now, you would be hard up finding a decent block of tofu in major supermarkets in Australia. Now in 2021, there is a whole section dedicated to plant based meat alternatives. Plant based beef-style burgers, “chicken” nuggets, sausages, pepperoni, bacon and ham are all readily accessible in Coles & Woolworths.  Going out to eat as a vegan is also a lot easier these days. With everyone from major food chains like Dominos, Nandos, and Hungry Jacks to fine dining restaurants offering mock meat options.  But are these faux meat products any better for your health than the real thing? Reducing Meat Consumption…
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Nutrition for Overcoming Binge Eating

Nutrition for Overcoming Binge Eating

Health
For the first few years of my career as a dietitian, I tried to avoid anything to do with disordered eating. This was due to a combination of not really having the training, experience or desire to effectively help somebody in that position. Early on though, I still was getting some level of exposure. I was working in a business, for somebody else, where I would receive referrals for people who either had anorexia nervosa or binge eating disorder. And as much as I wanted to avoid it, I kind of had to see them because 1) It is not encouraged to turn away $$ when it is not your own business (as uncomfortable as that idea makes me) and 2) I was in rural locations and it was not…
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Getting Omega-3 On A Plant-Based Diet

Getting Omega-3 On A Plant-Based Diet

Health
Omega-3 has been a nutrient of interest for general health and well-being for a long time.  A diet rich in omega-3 is important for maintaining cell membranes, regulating metabolism, and reducing inflammation.  Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids likely protect against heart disease due to their impact on cholesterol and blood pressure.  Omega-3 fatty acids are also particularly important during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Furthermore, there is evidence from studies in athletic populations to support high omega-3 intake and supplementation for performance and recovery. Whilst evidence is mixed, omega-3 in the form of EPA and DHA may: Facilitate muscle growth during resistance training Help preserve muscle mass when calories are restricted or during immobilizationContribute to increased muscle mass and strengthImprove endurance capacity by reducing the oxygen cost of exerciseReduce oxygen consumption, heart…
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Are Food Sensitivity Tests Accurate?

Are Food Sensitivity Tests Accurate?

Health
Food intolerance or food sensitivity tests have been around for a little while now, with many companies charging hundreds of dollars to tell you what foods are giving you grief. But how accurate are these tests? And are they really worth the money? Unfortunately, they are about as accurate and helpful as an online “Which character from Friends are you?” quiz. So whilst they may be a bit of fun, the result doesn't really mean anything. And they definitely should not inform any dietary or lifestyle changes. If anything, having these results tell you that you are intolerant to lots of different foods may even have a negative impact on your health. You may unnecessarily cut out food groups from your diet resulting in nutrient deficiencies or it may cause anxiety…
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Coeliac Disease: A Dietitian’s Guide

Coeliac Disease: A Dietitian’s Guide

Health
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to react abnormally to gluten consumption. Even very minuet amounts can cause a reaction. Gluten is found predominantly in wheat, rye, triticale, and barely. Although there are small amounts in oats (which is a complicated topic) and ingredients made from the above grains such as malted barley, wheat starch and maltodextrin. Unlike IBS where foods that cause a reaction can be consumed with no long-term damage occurring. Gluten consumption with coeliac disease does cause damage to the small intestine even when no symptoms are present. The small intestine is where most nutrients are absorbed when passing through the digestive tract. So significant damage to the small intestine can reduce the absorption of nutrients and result in deficiencies. The lining of…
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Nutrition for Endometriosis: A Dietitian’s Guide

Nutrition for Endometriosis: A Dietitian’s Guide

Health
Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus (the endometrium) grows outside your uterus. The condition affects roughly 1 in 10 women of childbearing age. It is often painful and comes with a host of symptoms that can impact quality of life. Instead of viewing nutrition as a solution for endometriosis, it makes sense to view it as something that can help to manage some of the symptoms. Symptoms that are typically of relevance for endometriosis are: Painful periodsPain during sexual intercourse.Pain with bowel movements or urination, particularly around the time of menstruation.Heavy bleeding during a period, or sometimes even between periods.Infertility.Fatigue.Intense cramping.IBS – diarrhea, constipation, bloating and nausea. Often worse during periods. There are far more impactful ways of…
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6 Tests You Should Get if You Are Vegan

6 Tests You Should Get if You Are Vegan

Health
Blood and urine tests can tell you a lot about your general health, including if you are getting adequate micronutrients through your diet. This is particularly useful as a vegan since many vitamins and minerals are more difficult to consume in sufficient amounts. However, these types of test can be done for every single nutrient. For example, testing calcium concentration in your blood does not tell you anything about how much calcium is provided through your diet. This is because calcium in the blood is tightly controlled. If your dietary intake is inadequate, additional calcium is simply taken from your bones. Zinc is another good example. Dietary intake for zinc is an issue for some vegans, particularly men who have very high requirements. But zinc levels from blood tests do…
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Mindful Eating: A Dietitian’s Guide

Mindful Eating: A Dietitian’s Guide

Health
In a world that is always going 100 miles an hour, it can be easy to get caught up in it all and forget to stop and smell the roses. Or in this case, stop to enjoy that delicious homemade stir-fry or the ice-cream sandwich for dessert. Research shows that those who take up mindful eating practices are less likely to binge eat or eat for emotional satisfaction. They are also more in tune with their body's internal hunger and satiety signals. Mindless eating on the other hand has been linked to over eating and increased stress and anxiety. The Difference Between Mindful Eating & Intuitive Eating Mindful eating and intuitive eating get confused all of the time. This is likely because the essence of these two ideologies is very…
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10 Facts People Don’t Know About Nutrition

10 Facts People Don’t Know About Nutrition

Health
Nutrition as well as the health and fitness industry in general, can be a very confusing space. This confusion relates to the sheer volume of information available to us at any one time. No matter the social media platform, there is a sea of voices all chiming in on different topics of food and nutrition. Doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, personal trainers, fitness influencers, health coaches and naturopaths all have something to say about nutrition and often there are many conflicting points of view. It’s hard to know who to trust. Anyone can publish information about nutrition and many people do without adequate knowledge. To help to clear up some misinformation, here are the top 10 facts that most people don’t know about nutrition: 1. Nutrition is a science. You’ve eaten all…
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