My Oh-Megas!

0 October 24, 2017

Fat is an essential part of our diet and supports many metabolic processes. To achieve optimal health and reduce risk for chronic disease it is important to include fat in your diet. The principle is to focus on the best types and the correct quantity of fats to get the benefit from them. Let’s take a look at three types of omega fatty acids namely omega 3, 6 and 9. What are omega-3 fats? Omega-3 is a family of fats that are important for health and come in different forms:

  • ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) cannot be made in the body so must be eaten in our diet. ALA is found mainly in vegetable oils, rapeseed and linseed (flaxseed), nuts (walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts) and green leafy vegetables.
  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are long-chain fats that can be made from ALA in our bodies. They have the most direct health benefits. Making EPA and DHA from ALA happens slowly and only small amounts are formed. The best way of ensuring we are taking in an adequate amount of EPA and DHA is to eat foods rich in these fats.

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0 October 19, 2017

The term ‘superfood’ has become a common concept in our everyday conversations. What makes a super food so super, and do we have to eat these magical foods to stay healthy? Can we eat a variety of ‘normal’ foods and get similar health benefits? Let s take a closer look to see what superfoods are all about.  All types of food provide our bodies with a variety of nutrients. We classify the nutrients in two groups namely macro and micro nutrients. Macronutrients are nutrients that contribute to the energy value or content of the food and appear in large quantities in foods. There are 3 macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Micronutrients do not contribute to the energy content of the food and appear in small quantities in foods and are known as vitamins and minerals. Sufficient quantities of macro and micro nutrients are vital for good health. Superfoods become super when the food contains  an abundance of micro nutrients in large quantities that are deemed good for our health. Let’s compare the popular health claims made for some superfoods and then check how each of these superfoods compares to

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0 October 13, 2017

This week is National Nutrition Week where the theme for the week is “Rethink your drink!” A particularly applicable theme after the latest Demographics and Health Survey indicated that two-thirds of women and a third of men in the country are overweight or obese. There are increasing worldwide consumption of ‘free’ sugars in the diet. These free sugars are found in foods or beverages that contain no vitamins or minerals or other nutrients, only sugar. Consumption of these, particularly in the form of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs), is associated with weight gain in both children and adults. There are a number of beverages available to the public as an alternative to drinking water and as part of this week’s national nutrition week, we encourage South African’s to re-think the drinks theya re choosing to ensure that they are consuming less free sugars. Adequate daily water intake is so important to remain well hydrated and to assist the kidneys with waste excretion. However, Dietitians are often asked the question “what else can I drink, apart from water, to keep hydrated?” Variety is the spice of life after all, so it is important to find different ways to hydrate that are still healthy. We often associate the words “organic” “natural”, “aloe”, “coconut” etc. with health. We assume that these drinks should be healthier compared to the average

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0 October 11, 2017

The term ‘superfood’ has become a common concept in our everyday conversations. What makes a super food so super, and do we have to eat these magical foods to stay healthy? Can we eat a variety of ‘normal’ foods and get similar health benefits? Let s take a closer look to see what superfoods are all about.  All types of food provide our bodies with a variety of nutrients. We classify the nutrients in two groups namely macro and micro nutrients. Macronutrients are nutrients that contribute to the energy value or content of the food and appear in large quantities in foods. There are 3 macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Micronutrients do not contribute to the energy content of the food and appear in small quantities in foods and are known as vitamins and minerals. Sufficient quantities of macro and micro nutrients are vital for good health. Superfoods become super when the food contains  an abundance of micro nutrients in large quantities that are deemed good for our health. Let’s compare the popular health claims made for some superfoods and then check how each of these

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0 October 6, 2017

The term ‘superfood’ has become a common concept in our everyday conversations. What makes a super food so super, and do we have to eat these magical foods to stay healthy? Can we eat a variety of ‘normal’ foods and get similar health benefits? Let s take a closer look to see what superfoods are all about.  All types of food provide our bodies with a variety of nutrients. We classify the nutrients in two groups namely macro and micro nutrients. Macronutrients are nutrients that contribute to the energy value or content of the food and appear in large quantities in foods. There are 3 macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Micronutrients do not contribute to the energy content of the food and appear in small quantities in foods and are known as vitamins and minerals. Sufficient quantities of macro and micronutrients are vital for good health. Superfoods become super when the food contains  an abundance of micronutrients in large quantities that are deemed good for our health. Let’s compare the popular health claims made for some superfoods and then check how each of these superfoods

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0 October 2, 2017

James shares his amazing change with dietitian, Jessica Pieterse, from Nutritional Solutions Bryanston. James was first seen by Jessica in October 2016 after his doctor advised him to lose weight as his health was compromised. He was on medication for his blood pressure and cholesterol, he was overweight and had a family history of stroke, heart attack and high cholesterol. James shares that “With Jessica’s guidance I reached my goal weight in 12 weeks and got to Jessica’s recommended goal weight for me in 14 weeks. I lost 13kgs during this period.”  “The health aspect of my diet is just as important as my weight control and I have so far, with my doctor’s blessing, been able to reduce my cholesterol and blood pressure medication by half. I am aiming to ultimately come off the medication completely.”  “I have been able to keep to my target weight of between 64kgs and 66kgs up until now which has been 7 months.”  “I had to work at it diligently but it was worth it. It was manageable as there are plenty of satisfactory food options to

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0 September 25, 2017

Following on from the blog published last week, here are some more key nutrients that must be noted when following a vegetarian diet: Iron This is an essential mineral for all body cells, even though it is needed only in small quantities. Iron is a component of hemoglobin (the oxygen carrying protein in red blood cells) and plays a major role in transporting oxygen in the body. Iron from animal products known as haem-iron is more easily absorbed than the iron found in plants such as spinach. Plant foods that contain iron, often contain compounds that reduce the absorption of Iron. It is important to get your iron levels tested and discuss supplementation with your dietician or doctor.  Tips to increase iron absorption:

  • Consume food high in Vitamin C (oranges, grapefruits, guavas, red, yellow and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, papaws) with meals
  • Iron supplements may be taken with 500mg Vitamin C to help increase absorption
  • You can enhance the absorption of iron by soaking, sprouting, fermenting and co

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0 September 21, 2017

Are you meeting your nutrient requirements? A vegetarian diet can be truly healthy as many plant foods are low in saturated fat and high in phyto-nutrients vitamins, minerals and fiber. However this way of eating does require careful planning to ensure your diet is well balanced including the necessary nutrients your body needs. There are categories of vegetarians that you may fall into:

  • Lacto–ovo vegetarian: Lacto–ovo vegetarians don’t eat meat, fish or poultry, but do eat eggs and dairy products.
  • Lacto vegetarian: Lacto vegetarians don’t eat meat, fish, poultry or eggs, but do eat dairy products.
  • Ovo vegetarian: Ovo vegetarians don’t eat meat, fish, poultry or dairy, but do eat eggs
  • Pesci–vegetarian: Pesci–vegetarians eat fish, dairy, and eggs but don’t eat meat or poultry.
  • Vegan: Vegans avoid eating any animal products. They don’t eat any meat products, dairy, eggs, honey, or gelatin. Some vegans choose not to wear clothes

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0 September 20, 2017

During times of celebration the social, symbolic and pleasure values of food become more important. It is therefore key that you try to make the best choices available despite the changing circumstances, routines and environment. During Rosh Hashanah, you will be offered a wide variety of delicious foods and snacks, spend a large amount of time around the table and be encouraged to eat more food than usual. These three factors can contribute to overeating.  Be aware that why and when you are eating is just as important as what you choose to eat.     Moderation is key

  • Enjoy a small portion of the type of food you choose to eat.
  • Be selective, as you do not have to eat everything on offer.
  • Eat slowly to ensure maximum satisfaction from the food eaten.
  • Avoid going back for second helpings.
  • Limit alcohol consumption as far as possible.

At Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to eat sweet foods that symbolize the good things hoped for in the year to come.  Once again be selective in your food choices. Enjoy the apple and honey, however limit challah to ½ slice. Avoid the potato/rice/potato/butternut and potato

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0 September 12, 2017

Some of us often experience times of food cravings and over-indulging. These feelings or actual behaviors may be associated with a real physiological desire for something sweet or salty, or it can be driven by an emotion such as a feeling of sadness, anxiety, boredom, aggravation, frustration or tiredness. Skipping meals throughout the day and then seeking a “pick me up” during the mid -afternoon also leads to inappropriate snacking. Often the types of foods typically chosen are “convenient”, with a high fat and sugar content and these foods lack sufficient amounts of nutrients to sustain good health. A fruit however is convenient but yet hardly chosen to over-indulge on. Within a short space of time one may consume large amounts of food in an almost “out of control” manner. Food is often used as a “reward” as some believe that at the end of a stressful day we deserve something “nice”. My question to you is though: Is the over-indulging actually changing your feelings or circumstance? After your indulgence, do you feel any less bored, frustrated, stressed, aggravated, or sad? Do you feel any less lonely? During the

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