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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The Smiles Trial: Nutrition for Depression

The Smiles Trial: Nutrition for Depression

Health
For a long time, it has been known that there is some form of dietary link with depression. It doesn’t take a genius to look around and notice that people with depression often don’t have the best diets (although there are exceptions), but that brings up a chicken or the egg situation. Do they have poor diets because of the depression leading them to care less about their diets? Or is their poor diet one of the key factors in their depression? I believe it is likely a combination of both. Having worked with quite a lot of people with severe depression, I can clearly see that there are a lot of times where they throw any care in the world about good nutrition out the window, no matter how…
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The New Nordic Diet – Could Scandinavian be the New Mediterranean?

The New Nordic Diet – Could Scandinavian be the New Mediterranean?

Health
Scandinavia – the land of incredible healthcare systems, more paid holiday days than anywhere else in the world and subsidised tertiary education, amongst many other qualities. With all these amazing assets, who wouldn’t be inspired by the Scandinavian lifestyle? They must be doing something right, considering recent studies have shown that the Nordic countries are home to some of the happiest people in the world. With recent hype around diets such as the Mediterranean diet and veganism, the Nordic countries have had one of their greatest and most beautiful secrets practically pushed to the side and concealed from the global media spotlight: the Nordic diet. What Is the Nordic Diet? As the name suggests, the Nordic diet features foods that are native, traditional and easily sourced in Denmark, Sweden, Norway,…
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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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The Lowdown on the Low Fodmaps Diet to Improve Gut Symptoms

The Lowdown on the Low Fodmaps Diet to Improve Gut Symptoms

GI Disorders
Most people experiencing excessive gas, bloating, abdominal pain and altered bowel movements (diarrhoea and/or constipation) would have heard of the Low FODMAPs diet by now. Many GP's and health practitioners are regarding it to be one of the best investigative diets for identifying problematic foods. Research shows that people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can significantly improve symptoms by managing the amount of FODMAPs in their diet. What are FODMAPS? FODMAPs is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. Essentially, FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars, starches and fibres), which can be poorly digested and absorbed in the small intestine, resulting in movement through to the large intestine. Here, they can be fermented / digested by the millions of bacteria that reside there, producing…
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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 that it is completely based on anecdotal evidence with a sample size of n=1. Unusual…
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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 affect 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 as 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. In addition to this, the Mediterranean diet has also been shown to reduce waist circumference among a Mediterranean population group, as well as also reporting significant declines in body weight after a 5-year follow up period. What…
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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 the Mediterranean 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. 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 consumed in…
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