From super-berries to super-powders, there always seems to be a new food with extra 'special' nutrition super powers that we all should be eating; and these foods often come with a hefty price tag. But are these superfoods all they are cracked up to be or are they a super fad?Read More
Today Angela was interviewed on TVNZ Breakfast about whether trim or full fat milk is best for health.Read More
There was some 'questionable' advice recently in a local paper recommending that people stock up on "junk food" ahead of Cyclone Gita. To help prepare you for an emergency a team of NZ Registered Dietitians and Registered Nutritionists have compiled the following tips to help ensure your nutrition readiness for natural disasters....
● Plan! Good planning is essential to eating well at any time, therefore you should also put forethought into planning the foods in your survival kit.
● Prepare! Keep your kit stocked and readily accessible at ALL times – don’t rely on being able to make a last minute dash for supplies.
● Prioritise your needs: have a three (3)-day water and non-perishable food supply.
- Clean water (3L/day per person)
- Canned or dried foods such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish, meat, breakfast cereals, pasta, rice or oats. NB: these may require cooking and you may not have power (see below).
- Dried meals or soups (will likely require additional water for reconstitution)
- Snack foods (dried fruit, nuts, seeds, muesli bars etc)
- UHT or powdered milk or substitute
● In a power outage: use refrigerator items first - consume within four hours. Use freezer items next and within two days when door opening is minimised
● Remember related non-food essentials:
- Can opener
- Cutlery, dishware & cooking pots
- Paper towels
- Camping stove or bbq (if possible) with a full gas canister or bottle
● Rotate regularly: despite their long shelf-lives, food items should be rotated – we suggest annually
● Make the most of routines that could be maintained in an emergency: These can provide comfort in stressful situations. What family favourites could you make with the foods in your kit?
● Cater for special diets: Does anyone in your household have special dietary requirements? (food allergies etc.) Remember to include food or formula for infants and pets, if applicable
● Consider including some high energy foods and comfort foods: Some individuals may be required for tasks that are physically demanding, requiring higher energy foods. Others may like familiar or comfort foods to help them through a time of crisis – in these instances, you could include some items such as scroggin, nut butters, energy bars/gels, chocolate, tea, coffee or similar in your kit, alongside the non-perishable staples mentioned above.
● Keep cash on hand: Shops may be open but EFTPOS may be out.
Emergencies are not everyday situations and while the food suggested may not reflect an everyday nutritious diet, it is more than adequate to meet short-term nutrition needs. We suggest contacting a registered dietitian or registered nutritionist if you would like personalised advice.
Find a registered dietitian: dietitians.org.nz/find-a-dietitian/
Find a registered nutritionist: http://www.nutritionsociety.ac.nz/find-a-nutritionist
Civil Defence information:http://getthru.govt.nz/how-to-get-ready/emergency-survival-items/
In an emergency, Civil Defence often use Twitter to disseminate information: @NZcivildefence
Find the authors on Instagram!
Ange Berrill: NZRD @angela_berrill_dietitian
Caroline Worth: NZRD @bite_wize
Louise Fangupo: NZRD @thrive.dietitian
Sara Lake: NZ RNutr @nznutritionist
Don't knock using legumes in baking until you try this delicious lentil brownie.Read More
With the internet being highly unregulated, you may well be turning to an average Joe Blog for nutrition advice rather than a qualified nutrition professional. These days it seems as if anyone and everyone has their own view on nutrition - whether it be going Paleo or sugar-free or cutting out gluten or carbs. Nutrition is the hottest topic on the block. But with so much information out there, who can you trust? Nutrition advice is now coming from all types of people - celebrities, TV chefs, personal trainers, health coaches and even Joe (or Joanna) Blog. So how do you spot the real experts amongst all the pseudo-science touting nutrition gurus?
- Don't be swayed by a bloggers perceived 'success' on social media, such as their number of followers, celebrity status or physical appearance. Just because someone is 'successful' online doesn't necessarily make someone qualified!
- It really pays to do your homework and to make sure you check all the credentials and qualifications behind those you are turning to, before you go signing up to the next diet fad.
- It's not only the qualifications that are important but also the quality of those 'qualifications' - a 3 day online nutrition course from a unheard of university is completely different to having completed a Master or Post-Graduate degree from a reputable university.
- Advice should be based on robust scientific evidence, rather than emotional testimonials or one-off biased studies. "What works for me" can be a powerful tool to sway individuals into pursuing a certain dietary lifestyle.
- Remember it's not always truth you're reading or seeing depicted on your favourite bloggers page or on Instagram. It's often a very photoshopped and edited version of someone's life or in some cases, even a complete fraud.
What do all the nutrition terms mean?
In New Zealand, the term dietitian is a protected term. A dietitian is a registered health professional who meets standards required by the NZ Dietitians Board under the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act (HPCA) 2003. A dietitian not only has an undergraduate science degree in human nutrition but also a post-graduate diploma or masters in dietetics. To practise in New Zealand, by law a dietitian must be registered with the Dietitians Board and hold a current practising certificate, work within a specified scope of practice, participate in a continuing competency programme and adhere to a Code of Ethics.
Registered Nutritionists must meet certain criteria set out by the Nutrition Society of New Zealand to ensure they have appropriate academic qualifications in nutrition and that they undertake continuing education.
The term nutritionist is not a protected term. It can be used freely by anyone, as there is no specific qualification or legal registration process required. A 'nutritionist' may have a PHD in a specialty area of nutrition or equally be someone providing services with no formal training.
If you would like more information, you can view my interview about 'Nutrition Blogging' on the Paul Henry Show here.
Off the back of the recently released iBook, Bubba Yum Yum; The Paelo Way, I thought is was timely that I wrote a piece about the Paleo Diet and potential implications when applying this to babies and toddlers. When it comes to feeding young children, Dietitians support the Ministry of Health's Food and Nutrition Guidelines, which are based on robust scientific evidence. Very few studies have been published to examine the effects of the Paleo diet and none have examined the effects on children, let alone toddlers and babies.
While the Paleo diet does promote increased fruit and vegetable consumption, a focus on whole foods and a reduction in refined sugars, processed foods and sugar sweetened beverages, there are some key shortcomings - with the exclusion of legumes, dairy and whole grains, children are at potential risk of not meeting their daily fibre and calcium needs, unless they are able to ensure they get enough of these valuable nutrients from other dietary sources. Lack of calcium during childhood, when children are growing and building their bones, puts them at greater risk of osteoporosis in later life.
Recent research also now reports that banning certain foods in an effort to promote 'health', results in children having an increased intake of high fat, high sugar and/or high salt foods. It's important that our children have a healthy relationship with food - where foods are not banned or shamed!
Let's bring back the concepts of balance and moderation. It's time we started re-focusing on diets which promote fruit and vegetables, lean meats and protein alternatives (including legumes), wholegrains and dairy (and its alternatives) and less refined sugar. Its not rocket science, it's what's written in the Food and Nutrition Guidelines.
Dietitians NZ supports the stance of our colleagues at the Dietitians Association of Australia. Parents need to trust qualified medical professionals and turn to Registered Dietitians for nutrition advice.
For those who would like more information, my interview on the Paul Henry Show can be found here: Paleo diet for babies and toddlers
When it comes to what you eat, yes, size really does matter and yes, you can have too much of a good thing! But what is too much, what does 'moderation' mean and how much should you be eating? Fact: When we serve up more food, we tend to eat more.
With so many products now becoming 'super-sized' we can very easily end up with portion distortion. What makes matters worse, are the varying views on what a serve looks like. Food Industry has unfortunately had a large part to play in this. They are often guilty of serving foods in what appear to be a single serve but are in fact >1 serve. For example, some beverages come in a 750ml bottle, which appears to be enough to drink in one sitting. On closer inspection of the food label, it becomes apparent that the bottle in fact contains 3 e serves! Pretty confusing, huh? However, putting the confusion aside, to avoid overeating pay careful attention to your hands......
Vegetables – You should aim to have 2 cupped-hands of vegetables on your dinner plate.
Carbohydrate – a clenched fist is the amount of carbohydrate you should have on your dinner plate. Carbohydrates include starchy vegetables (potato, sweetcorn, kumara, taro and yams), pasta, rice or bread.
Meat - The palm of your hand (excluding your fingers) and the thickness of your index finger should equal the portion of red meat, chicken and pork on your dinner plate. The portion for fish is the size of your whole hand.
Beverages - typically a single-serve is 250ml however, to keep calories in check, I think 200ml is much better guide! Remember, water (and plain milk) is the best choices to keep you hydrated.
Tips to help avoid portion distortion:
- Use a smaller dinner plate. The bigger the dinner plate, the more likely we are to fill it up and then eat everything on it!
- Fill your plate with vegetables first. Vegetables should make up 1/2 of your meal.
- Where you can, try buying foods in pre-determined portions/serves. For example a 150g pottle of yoghurt, a small bag of popcorn or a piece of fruit, which fits into the palm of your hand, is one serve.
- Separate/portion bulk foods into smaller bags or containers when you get home.
- Read food labels and stick to the recommended serve sizes. For example, if your box of cereal says it contains 20 serves, it should in theory last you about 3 weeks. If you run out of cereal before this either you are eating too much or someone else is raiding your cereal!
- Try to avoid eating food straight from the bag or box. It can be very difficult to gauge how much we have eaten and you may be surprised by how much you eat in one sitting. Instead portion what you are going to eat into a bowl or plate and stick to it - no going back for seconds!
- If eating with others, try to follow the lead of those who eat-less, rather than trying to keep up with the bigger eaters.
Is sugar really the new bad-boy on the block or is it still sweet-as?Read More