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Is meat good or bad for you?

meat good or bad?

There are so many conflicting reports about if meat is good or bad for you. Some say it can be part of a healthy diet. Others declare it is the root cause of disease – including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. I have friends who completely avoid it and other friends who embrace meat as an everyday staple.

Whether meat is good or bad depends on with whom you are talking. Paleo enthusiasts say meat is essential to longevity. Vegans will tell you to avoid it at all costs. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently stated processed meat and bacon are carcinogenic and red meat is most likely, as well.

There are very real concerns involving meat, including the ethical treatment of animals and their impact on the environment, as well as medical and health issues. For some, there are very real ethical concerns about eating meat. For example, if you are a Buddhist and believe that any creature could be your mother from your past life or in your next life, then we can fully support being a vegetarian.

It’s not hard to see why the average person, or even doctor or nutritionist is confused. However, at the end of the day, the whole carnivore-vegan debate misses the real point – the root of chronic disease and obesity is actually sugar and refined carbs.

Studies that take a pro- or anti-meat stance often miss the bigger picture. They overlook the fact that most meat eaters who participate in the studies that show harm from eating meat are also eating a lot of sugar and refined carbs alongside a highly processed, inflammatory diet. They certainly aren’t eating small to moderate amounts of grass-fed or organic meat along with a pile of colourful fruits and veggies.

Admittedly, it would be almost impossible to perform an accurate study about meat. You would have to randomize people into a whole foods, low-glycemic, plant-rich diet with grass-fed or organic animal protein and compare them to those on a high-quality vegan diet. That study has never been done.

Many of the studies demonizing meat use subjects who are smokers, drink too much, eat way too much sugar and processed foods, eat very little fruits and veggies, and do not exercise. It’s no wonder that these meat eaters with bad habits and horrible diets are sicker and fatter…

What if Meat Eaters Only Ate Health Food and Grass-Fed Meat?

Some groups rally against the saturated fat and cholesterol found in meat, or say that meat is inflammatory, or that it contributes to cancer or type 2 diabetes.

The story is not as simple as meat is bad, veggies are good, however. The real question to ask is: do grass-fed meat eaters, who also eat lots of healthy food, don’t smoke, exercise, and take vitamins have heart disease?

Thankfully, some researchers have asked this question. In one cohort study, scientists studied 11,000 people, 57% of whom were omnivores (meat eaters) and the other 43% were vegetarians. Both groups were health conscious.

Interestingly enough, researchers found the overall death rates were cut in half for both health-conscious meat eaters and for vegetarians, as compared to the average person eating a western-style, processed food diet. The study concluded that for the vegetarians, there was no benefit found; and for the meat eaters, there was no increased risk for heart disease, cancer or death.

Does the Type of Meat You Eat Matter?

Another problem with most meat eater vs. non meat eater studies is that the type of meat consumed is industrially raised, factory farmed meat. This industrial grain-fed meat is often full of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, with more inflammatory omega–6 fats from corn and fewer anti-inflammatory omega–3 fats. These population studies don’t include people who eat only grass-fed meat without hormones, pesticides or antibiotics.

What About Saturated Fat?

Another concern that is raised is that saturated fat in meat causes heart disease. Yet interestingly, the types of saturated fats that cause heart disease – stearic and palmitic acid – don’t come from meat. Your liver produces these two fatty acids when you eat sugar and carbs. In other words, your liver produces saturated fat from sugar and carbs and that causes heart disease.

In one interventional trial, researchers showed even on a low-carb diet that is higher in saturated fats, blood levels of saturated fats remained lower because of the carb effect.

Simply put: In the absence of sugar and refined carbs and adequate amounts of omega–3 fats in your diet, saturated fat is really not a problem. Again, quality matters: The saturated fat in a fast food cheeseburger is completely different than what you get in coconut butter or a grass-fed steak.

These same limitations apply for studies that show meat causes diabetes and cancer: Most focused on generally unhealthy people eating a highly processed diet.

4 Rules If You Eat Meat

I hope you can see how eating meat can become healthy or unhealthy when you consider the many factors. If you opt to eat meat, follow these 5 rules to help you make the best choices.

  1. Choose grass-fed, pasture-raised organic meats. They’re more expensive but ideally you will eat less of the meat and more plant-based foods. Think of meat as a condiment, not a main dish. 50–75% of your plate should be vegetables!
  2. Avoid all processed meats. Stay away from processed meats such as deli meats. These are the meats that the World Health Organization points to that have been proven to cause disease, illness and cancer.
  3. Prepare your meat the right way. The way we prepare meats is the key. High-temperature cooking like grilling, frying, smoking or charring causes toxic by-products. This also happens when you cook fish or chicken at high temperatures. All of this leads to the production of compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs), which studies have shown, cause cancer in animals. Change your cooking methods to reduce your exposure of these toxic compounds. The same rule applies to grains and veggies. Cooking these foods at a too-high temperature can cause the same problems. Focus on lower-temperature, slow cooking for meat and veggies – such as baking, roasting, poaching, and stewing.
  4. Pile on the vegetables. Fill your plate with phytonutrient-rich, colourful, non-starchy veggies and use meat as a “condi-meat.”

At the end of the day, the message on meat is pretty simple. About half the studies show it’s a problem; half of them don’t. For those studies that show meat eaters, as a whole, aren’t a healthy bunch, the reason is most likely not the meat, but rather the smoking, sugar-filled, and sedentary lifestyle that creates heart disease and other problems.

A diet filled with lots of high-fiber fruits and veggies that rejects sugar and refined carbs, welcomes grass-fed meat as a health food, lowering inflammation and improving all of the cardiovascular risk factors like cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

Still unsure of how to eat well for optimal health? Let us feed you! Daily Dietitian uses on the highest quality ingredients when freshly preparing your daily meals which are tailored to your unique needs.

For more info go to our website.

xx DD

8 of the “healthiest” cocktails to drink this Summer

"healthiest" cocktails recipes

We’ve got the grocery store nailed, with a pretty good handle on what to load up on (hello, organic produce) and avoid (bye-bye, processed snacks). Local markets are a total no-brainer. Even going out for dinner or having a meal at a friend’s house, where it’s usually easy to load up on salad and skimp on sugar-filled desserts, is comfortable ground. The exception? Ordering a drink at a bar.

Now, we realize nutrition experts would probably say something along the lines of “mixed drinks are some of the most inherently un-clean foods you can put in your body, with their sky-high sugar and calorie counts, not to mention the toxic load they put on the liver”. However, if it’s unrealistic to think you’re going to make it through the weekend a teetotaler, here’s your new guide to the cleanest drinks you can order or DIY.

1. Bitters and soda

In terms of being both low-calorie and clean, this might be your best option. Bitters are herbal mixtures of alcohol and other interesting ingredients, with about 30 to 45% alcohol. Combining that with a no-calorie soda water makes this a tasty treat that won’t wreck your diet.

2. Champagne

Don’t save the bubbly for New Year’s Eve: A 100ml glass of champagne is only 90 calories, which is about 10 calories less than a 330ml bottle of light beer or a 100ml glass of wine (and, let’s be honest, who pours a 100ml glass of wine?!). Between the antioxidant polyphenolic content, the typically small serving size, and low calorie count, champagne would be our second choice for ‘clean’ drink options

3. Coconut water + berry-flavored vodka

Coconut water is super-hydrating, which helps counteract some of the dehydrating properties of the vodka. So if it’s dehydration you’re worried about, this is your drink!

4. Mojito, minus the simple syrup

Mint, lime, and soda water are all naturally low-cal, and adding a shot of rum is only going to be about 100 calories. Just be careful of the added sugar. If you keep it to no more than a tablespoon or better yet, go without the sweet stuff, you’ll have an even healthier option.

5. Tequila and soda

While margaritas are typically loaded with sugar and super sweet liqueurs, like Grand Marnier, ordering tequila on the rocks with soda water and a squeeze of lime is a 100-calorie drink. Plus, adding lime or any other citrus fruit will give you a boost of vitamin C and antioxidants.

Hosting a party or simply like to play mixologist at home?

Here are some tips for drinking clean:

  • Add bubbles and fruits for flavour: Adding sparkling water or infusing drinks with fruits and herbs can add layers of flavours without extra calories
  • Ditch the dairy: Skip the heavy cream and use coconut milk or almond milk instead. While you’re at it, replace sugar and simple syrup with stevia or xylitol, which is lower on the glycemic index.
  • Avoid sugary liqueurs: While they may taste good, they can be loaded with calories. If you must, use them sparingly. Or, go for liqueurs with spices like chillis and ginger, which will have a positive impact on your metabolism.

Daily Dietitian’s favourite “healthiest” cocktails recipes:

6. Cucumber Green Tea Cooler (Serves 4)

  • 1 1/2 cups brewed green tea
  • 3 tbsp peeled, seeded, pureed cucumber
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 packet stevia powder
  • 150ml vodka
  • Cucumber slices, thinly sliced
  • Rosemary sprigs, for garnish

Combine all ingredients except vodka and sliced cucumber to jug and stir. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours. When well chilled, double strain mint and cucumber. Add vodka and stir. Add ice to each glass, and float thinly sliced cucumbers. Garnish with rosemary sprig.

Calories: 92 per serving

7. Sparkling Hibiscus Martini (Serves 1)

  • 30ml vodka
  • 15ml hibiscus tea, brewed and cooled
  • 30ml white grape juice
  • 30ml sparkling wine
  • Lemon peel
  • Mint

Add vodka, tea, and juice to shaker. Shake with ice and strain into martini glass. Top with sparkling wine. Squeeze lemon peel over glass to release oils, garnish with mint.

Calories: 100 calories

8. Sparkling Ginger Appletini (Serves 2)

  • 4 slices apple
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp stevia ginger syrup*
  • 45ml vodka
  • 30ml hard cider

Muddle apple, lemon juice, and ginger syrup. Add vodka. Shake over ice, and double strain into ice-filled highball glass. Top with hard cider.

Calories: 120

*To make stevia ginger syrup, heat 3 packets of stevia stirred into 1/2 cup of water, along with 2 slices of fresh ginger. Simmer over medium to low heat 10 minutes, then cool. Will keep for about a week in the refrigerator.

Now that you’ve got the drinks down, let us take away the hassle of making your own healthy food. Contact us or go to our website for more information.

x DD

Healthy “No-tella” spread

No-tella

After seeing this picture, I am sure you are as shocked as we were when seeing exactly what makes up our beloved chocolate spread.

Although we dislike all of these ingredients (except for hazelnuts), the ingredient we dislike most and which makes up almost half of the jar is sugar!

Nevertheless, our love of this chocolatey, hazelnutty blend of deliciousness meant that we had to explore a new healthier version. Try this healthy “No-tella” on hot rye toast, drizzled across a bowl of sliced banana or as a treat eaten straight out of the jar with a spoon!

Hazelnuts, which are the main ingredient, are filled with numerous vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre and heart-healthy fats, all of which are vital for supporting your body and digestion. Even better, they’re particularly rich in vitamin E which is the most important vitamin for maintaining beautifully clean and shiny skin, hair and nails. Cacao, the bean which all chocolate is made from, also has numerous beneficial nutrients in this raw, unprocessed state as it is packed with iron, fibre, calcium, zinc, potassium and antioxidants, unfortunately these benefits disappear when it is processed and refined to make conventional chocolate though, which is why this “No-tella” trumps the original version any day.

No-tella Recipe (Makes 1 jar)

  • 2 cups of hazelnuts
  • 1/2 a cup of water
  • 1/2 a cup of xylitol syrup
  • 3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Bake the hazelnuts at 180C for about ten minutes, then take them out of the oven and allow them to cool.

Once cool place them in a food processor and blend for about ten minutes, until they totally break down. Then add the xylitol syrup, vanilla essence and cacao and blend again, before gradually pouring in the water – it’s important that the first four are properly mixed before you add the water though as you may not need it all.

Enjoy x DD

10 Disturbing Reasons Why Sugar is Bad For You

 

why sugar is bad for you

Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. It can have harmful effects on metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases. Here are 10 disturbing reasons why sugar is bad for you and you should avoid it like the plague.

1. Added Sugar Contains No Essential Nutrients and is Bad For Your Teeth

You’ve probably heard this a million times before… but it’s worth repeating. Added sugars (like sucrose and high fructose corn syrup) contain a whole bunch of calories with NO essential nutrients. For this reason, they are called “empty” calories. There are no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals in sugar… just pure energy.

When people eat up to 10-20% of calories as sugar (or more), this can become a major problem and contribute to nutrient deficiencies.

Sugar is also very bad for the teeth, because it provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in the mouth (1).

Bottom Line: Sugar contains a lot of calories, with no essential nutrients. It also causes tooth decay by feeding the harmful bacteria in the mouth.

2. Added Sugar is High in Fructose, Which Can Overload Your Liver

In order to understand what is so bad about sugar, then you need to understand what it is made of. Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars… glucose and fructose.

Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we don’t get it from the diet, our bodies produce it.

Fructose is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it.

The thing with fructose is that it can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amounts. This is not a problem if we eat a little bit (such as from fruit) or we just finished an exercise session. In this case, the fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until we need it (3).

However, if the liver is full of glycogen (much more common), eating a lot of fructose overloads the liver, forcing it to turn the fructose into fat (4). When repeatedly eating large amounts of sugar, this process can lead to fatty liver and all sorts of serious problems (5). Keep in mind that all of this does NOT apply to fruit. It is almost impossible to overeat fructose by eating fruit.

There is also massive individual variability here. People who are healthy and active can tolerate more sugar than people who are inactive and eat a Western, high-carb, high-calorie diet.

Bottom Line: For people who are inactive and eat a Western diet, large amounts of fructose from added sugars get turned into fat in the liver. Another reason why sugar is bad for you.

3. Overloading The Liver With Fructose Can Cause Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

When fructose get turned into fat in the liver, it is shipped out as VLDL cholesterol particles. However, not all of the fat gets out, some of it can lodge in the liver.

This can lead to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), a growing problem in Western countries that is strongly associated with metabolic diseases (6).

Studies show that individuals with fatty liver consume up to 2-3 times as much fructose as the average person (7, 8).

Bottom Line: Excess fructose gets turned into fat, which can lodge in the liver and cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Another reason why sugar is bad for you.

4. Sugar Can Cause Insulin Resistance, a Stepping Stone Towards Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes

Insulin is a very important hormone in the body. It allows glucose (blood sugar) to enter cells from the bloodstream and tells the cells to start burning glucose instead of fat. Having too much glucose in the blood is highly toxic and one of the reasons for complications of diabetes, like blindness.

One feature of the metabolic dysfunction that is caused by the Western diet, is that insulin stops working as it should. The cells become “resistant” to it. This is also known as insulin resistance, which is believed to be a leading driver of many diseases… including metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease and especially type II diabetes (9).

Many studies show that sugar consumption is associated with insulin resistance, especially when it is consumed in large amounts (10, 11).

Bottom Line: When people eat a lot of sugar, it can cause resistance to the hormone insulin, which can contribute to many diseases.

5. The Insulin Resistance Can Progress to Type II Diabetes

When our cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, the beta cells in our pancreas make more of it.

This is crucial, because chronically elevated blood sugars can cause severe harm.
Eventually, as insulin resistance becomes progressively worse, the pancreas can’t keep up with the demand of producing enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels down. At this point, blood sugar levels skyrocket and a diagnosis of type II diabetes is made.

Given that sugar can cause insulin resistance, it is not surprising to see that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages have up to an 83% higher risk of Type II diabetes (12, 13).

Bottom Line: Because of the harmful effects of sugar on the function of insulin, it is a leading driver of type II diabetes.

6. Sugar Can Give You Cancer

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and is characterised by uncontrolled growth and multiplication of cells.

Insulin is one of the key hormones in regulating this sort of growth. For this reason, many scientists believe that having constantly elevated insulin levels (a consequence of sugar consumption) can contribute to cancer (14).

In addition, the metabolic problems associated with sugar consumption are a known driver of inflammation, another potential cause of cancer (15).

Multiple studies show that people who eat a lot of sugar are at a much higher risk of getting cancer (16, 17, 18).

Bottom Line: There is considerable evidence that sugar, due to its harmful effects on metabolism, can contribute to cancer.

7. Due to its Effects on Hormones and the Brain, Sugar has Unique Fat-Promoting Effects

Not all calories are created equal. Different foods can have different effects on our brains and the hormones that control food intake (19). Studies show that fructose doesn’t have the same kind of effect on satiety as glucose.

In one study, people drank either a fructose-sweetened drink or a glucose-sweetened drink. Afterwards, the fructose drinkers had much less activity in the satiety centres of the brain and felt hungrier (20). There is also a study where fructose didn’t lower the hunger hormone gherkin nearly as much as glucose did (21). Over time, because the calories from sugar aren’t as fulfilling, this can translate into an increased calorie intake.

Bottom Line: Fructose doesn’t cause satiety in the brain or lower the hunger hormone gherkin nearly as much as glucose.

8. Because it Causes Massive Dopamine Release in The Brain, Sugar is Highly Addictive

Sugar can be addictive for a lot of people. Like abusive drugs, sugar causes a release of dopamine in the reward centre of the brain (22). The problem with sugar and many junk foods is that they can cause massive dopamine release… much more than we were ever exposed to from foods found in nature (23).

For this reason, people who have a susceptibility to addiction can become strongly addicted to sugar and other junk foods (24). The “everything in moderation” message may be a bad idea for people who are addicted to junk food… because the only thing that works for true addiction is abstinence.

Bottom Line: Because sugar causes a large release of dopamine in the brain, it can cause addiction in a lot of people.

9. Sugar is a Leading Contributor to Obesity in Both Children and Adults

The way sugar affects hormones and the brain is a recipe for fat gain disaster. It leads to decreased satiety… and can get people addicted so that they lose control over their consumption. Not surprisingly, people who consume the most sugar are by far the most likely to become overweight or obese. This applies to all age groups.

Many studies have examined the link between sugar consumption and obesity and found a strong statistical association (25). The link is especially strong in children, where each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a whopping 60% increased risk of obesity (26). One of the most important things you can do if you need to lose weight is to significantly cut back on sugar consumption.

Bottom Line: Because of the effects of sugar on hormones and the brain, sugar dramatically increases the risk of becoming overweight or obese.

10. It Ain’t The Fat… It’s SUGAR That Raises Your Cholesterol and Gives You Heart Disease

The last reason on why sugar is bad for you, is that for for many decades, people have blamed saturated fat for heart disease… which is the #1 killer in the world. However… new studies are showing that saturated fat is harmless (27, 28).

The evidence is mounting that sugar, NOT fat, may be one of the leading drivers of heart disease via the harmful effects of fructose on metabolism (29). Studies show that large amounts of fructose can raise triglycerides, small, dense LDL and oxidised LDL (very, very bad), raise blood glucose and insulin levels and increase abdominal obesity… in as little as 10 weeks (30).

These are all major risk factors for heart disease. Not surprisingly, many observational studies find a strong statistical association between sugar consumption and the risk of heart disease (31, 32, 33).

Take Home Message on Why Sugar is Bad for You

For people who can’t tolerate it, added sugar is incredibly harmful. Empty calories are just the tip of the iceberg.

For help in staying sugar free, contact us or go to the Daily Dietitian website and sign up to get your own personalised healthy meal plan and meal delivery.

x DD

11 Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Healthy Holiday Eating

Can someone enjoy healthy holiday eating? There are healthy, balanced ways to maintain your weight during the holidays, and none of the ones below include crash dieting. Daily Dietitian gives you 11 different ways you can maintain a balanced regimen during a time of year when eating and drinking is paramount…

Tips For Staying Balanced During with Healthy Holiday Eating this Season:

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar: Everyday! When? In the morning or after your first meal. Why? It helps alkalinize your body especially after nights out drinking. It’s rich in acetic acid, which can help to lower the rise in glucose that occurs after eating which helps moderate our blood sugar and energy levels. Apple cider vinegar has also been shown to suppress fat storage in the body and aids in digestion by promoting the production of digestive enzymes!
  2. Eat a handful of greens before each meal. Committing to a small plate of greens before each meal helps to add fiber and more raw enzymes into your diet – and will control how much you eat next because you begin to feel full more quickly! Eating fiber also helps to control blood glucose levels, so it does not yoyo if you are eating lots of simple carbohydrates and sugars. Top the greens with a squeeze of lemon, a little olive oil and sea salt.
  3. Eat cultured vegetables with meals. They help with digestion, especially when eating rich foods and heavy proteins. Add some chopped raw sauerkraut or kimchi to small green salads through out the day. These fermented foods help keep the flora of the gut healthy.
  4. Pack your smoothies with lots of nutrients! If you opt for a smoothie make one that is loaded with greens and has no added sugars. When picking fruit, go for dark berries like blueberries. Adding avocado or coconut oil slows the release of energy and helps to moderate blood sugar levels, along with the added fiber from the flax or chia. Try different green leaves such as kale, dandelion, and collard greens. Add fruits that are high in antioxidants and add peeled and whole lemons, grapefruits, and limes for liver detox.
  5. Lemon juice aids in digestions, helps create enzymes, and helps control blood sugar levels. When eaten on greens, it helps our bodies absorb iron from these green vegetables, and ensures that we avoid processed salad dressings full of chemicals and sugars.
  6. Snack on nuts, seeds, and healthy fats instead of sugary treats throughout the day to offset some of the indulgence in sweet desserts later. You can also snack on sugar-free vegetable based snacks high in fiber, protein, and rich with antioxidants.
  7. Drink water all day. Drinking water is especially important with all the holiday coffees and social drinking. It is easy to get dehydrated. Sipping on warm non-caffeinated tea all day or water with lemon is always good. Once you are out in the evening try to make a 1:1 rule by drinking a big glass of water in between drinks. Your waiter may not like you but your body will.
  8. Schedule festive lunches or plan for earlier dinners if you can. Eating late at night is hard on the body. If you have to go out for late big dinners choose to eat a meal that is more veggie dense and salad based rather than the giant meat option. Try to be a vegetarian if you are eating after 7pm.
  9. Chew well. This will help everything! If you slow down to eat the food you will eat less and digest better.
  10. Exercise. Wake up and spend ten minutes stretching, followed by five minutes of deep breathing. Complete 30 minutes of exercise, either in the morning or whenever this fits into your schedule.
  11. Eat the majority of the calories in the beginning and middle of the day. Focus on high protein and fat for the morning. Avoiding cereals and instant oatmeal will help the body control blood sugar more efficiently for the rest of the day. When we start off with a blood sugar blast, we crash and get hungry again.

If you fall off the wagon of healthy holiday eating, don’t be too hard on yourself. We will be open from the 4th January 2016 to feed you and help you get you health back on track! Place your orders now to ensure you kick your year off to a good start!

x DD

TIPS FOR A HEALTHY HALLOWEEN

Healthy Halloween

By Leigh-Ann Silber RD (SA), Daily Dietitian Registered dietitian

Over the past few years, the original American celebration seems to have enticed our South African kids. Personally, I don’t ever remember celebrating it. But, I now look forward to dressing up the kids and even started stocking up on sweets to give “trick-or-treaters” that came to visit us (I tried handing out carrot sticks one year, these of course where hidden by my much embarrassed husband!).

As a mom and a dietitian with a special interest in children’s nutrition, I too am faced with the annual drama of sugar rushes and excess sweet intake that this holiday brings. But it really doesn’t have to be so bad, especially if you turn your focus on the fun of the day and not the sweets! Is indulging in the sweets the reason kids love Halloween? Or is it more about dressing up in funny or scary costumes, decorating, parties and socializing that make the day? My view is that kids love having fun and the treats and sweets are simply a bonus.

I have an American colleague that tried to prove this point:

She once used her neighborhood trick-or-treaters as a science project. In addition to offering a bowl of the smaller “fun-sized” sweets, she also offered a bowl filled with items such as stickers, pencils, colourful shoelaces, sugar free gum, bubbles, small packs of nuts, trail mix and lower sugar cereal bars. She asked the trick-or-treaters to choose one item from each bowl and kept a record of how the kids responded and how many actually took something from the non-sweet bowl. Her first trick-or-treater of the evening was so excited about the bubbles, he almost forgot to take sweets. He actually ran from my house screaming “I got bubbles!” By the end of the evening, 43 total kids had visited her house. All of them made a selection from both bowls. The young children were especially thrilled by the non-sweet “treats!

Below are a few more tricks you can try to make Halloween an opportunity to encourage healthy habits, one that incorporates the eating of sweets.

  • Make sure kids eat a balanced dinner/early meal prior to trick-or-treating. Eating sweets instead of a meal often results in upset tummies and crabby moods. Your child may be more interested in eating if you cook one if their best dishes in your “cauldron” and call it Witch’s Brew.
  • Don’t send kids out trick-or-treating with a big bag! Instead, use a smaller bag or bucket. If kids can’t lift their bag at the end of the night, that’s a sign they have too many sweets.
  • “Halloween sweets” presents a learning opportunity. Work toward having your child be able to manage his own stash. When he comes home from trick or treating, let him lay out his stash, gloat over it, sort it and choose from 2–3 sweets for that evening. Let him do the same the next day. Then have him put it away and relegate it to meal and snack-time: a couple of small pieces at meals for dessert and as well as for snack time.
  • It has also been my experience that the kids get bored and actually forget about the sweets after a few days. However, if you make a big issue over the sweets and hide them and take away the fun, it just drives them to over indulge in them!

Some Healthy Halloween Snacks

There are some fantastic healthy Halloween cookie cutters available at many retail stores. Cut out healthy sandwiches, pieces of fruit or even make low GI biscuits, with these cookie cutters. Let your kids help you make the meals/snacks. Also let the kids help make up scary names for vegetables and meals. That way they can fill up on healthy meals and snacks and it shows them that Halloween is about the fun and not about the sweets.

For more nutritional help or to get healthy, fresh personalised kids and adult meals delivered to your door, contact us on hello@dailydietitian.co.za or go to our website.

Need to Know More About Omega-3? This Cheat Sheet is For You.

omega 3 cheat sheet

 

Different types of fat have different consequences to your body and total health. While fat and its many different forms have been getting more attention and conversation, today we’re focusing on Omega–3 fatty acids.

According to the American Heart Association, Omega–3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of or who have cardiovascular disease.

Symptoms of omega–3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

What Are Omega–3 Fatty Acids?

Omega–3s are a polyunsaturated fat found in food and play a crucial role in brain function. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, fats like the kind found in Omega–3 fatty acids, are “highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function.”

Optimal levels of omega fatty acids have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, and many other inflammatory diseases.

Higher levels of omega–3 — especially EPA and DHA, which we’ll talk about next — are reported to correlate with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and depression.

Where Can Omega–3s Be Found?

You can increase Omega–3s by increasing the amount in your diet, as the body can’t make these on their own, it must come from food–hence why are they called “essential” fatty acids.

There are three types of Omega–3s, all found in food sources. They are divided into two categories, as detailed by the Harvard School of Public Health:

Animal-based Omega–3s

EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the two animal-based fatty acids. They come mainly from fish, so they are sometimes called marine omega–3s. You can primarily find EPA and DHA in:

  • Cold Water, fatty fish: Salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring and tuna
  • Fish oil: Salmon, Menhaden, Sardine, Cod Liver Oil, and Herring
  • Seafood: Pacific oysters, mussels, squid, clams

Plant-based Omega–3s

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the plant-based essential fatty acid, and the most common omega–3 fatty acid in most Western diets. You can primarily find ALA in:

  • Seeds: Flax seeds and flaxseed oil, chia, sesame, pumpkin
  • Nuts: Walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and macadamia nuts
  • Vegetables: Spinach, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale and broccoli

The animal-based omega–3s, DHA and EPA, are the ones believed to be the most beneficial when it comes to impacting overall health. As detailed by the University of Maryland Medical Center, “The health effects of omega–3 fatty acids come mostly from EPA and DHA. ALA from flax and other vegetarian sources needs to be converted in the body to EPA and DHA. However, many people’s bodies do not make these conversions very effectively. This remains an ongoing debate in the nutrition community; fish and sea vegetable sources of EPA and DHA versus vegetarian sources of ALA.”

While the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have no specific recommended amount of daily Omega–3 fatty acids, they have recommended eating foods rich in these healthy fats while staying within your total fat allowance.

What Should My Omega–3 Levels Be?

Optimal health ranges for Omega–3 Fatty Acids (DHA and EPA) are:

Index 3.2: Low

Not getting enough Omega 3 in your diet? Let us help you. Go to www.dailydietitian.co.za for more info or email us on hello@dailydietitian.co.za

x DD

Quinoa Egg Bake with Thyme and Garlic

Quinoa Egg Bake

Quinoa Egg Bake Ingredients

      • 1 teaspoon butter or coconut oil
      • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
      • 8 eggs
      • 1 1/4 cup nonfat milk / milk alternative
      • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
      • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
      • 2 cups packed baby spinach, roughly chopped
      • 1 cup finely shredded romano or parmesan cheese

Quinoa Egg Bake Directions

      • Preheat oven to 180°C.
      • Grease a 20-by–20-cm glass or metal baking dish with butter/coconut oil; set aside.
      • Put quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear; drain well.
      • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and quinoa. Stir in spinach, then pour mixture into prepared dish.
      • Cover tightly with foil then jiggle dish gently from side to side so that quinoa settles on the bottom in an even layer. Bake until just set, about 45 minutes.
      • Remove foil and sprinkle top evenly with cheese. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more.
      • Set aside to let cool briefly, then slice and serve.

Yields 6 servings

 

YUM!
x DD

Daily Dietitian Gift Vouchers

We all know that shopping during the festive season is a nightmare, so to make things easier for you we are offering the perfect solution… Daily Dietitian gift vouchers.

daily dietitian gift vouchers

The Daily Dietitian gift vouchers allows you to prepay a specified amount for your friend or family’s meal plan so that they can put it towards their personalised deliciously health meal plans.

Who doesn’t want to get their health on track before the holidays or kick off 2016 with deliciously healthy meals delivered to their door? It will certainly make sticking to a healthy New Year’s resolution easier!

Should you wish to purchase a gift voucher for your loved one, pop us an email on hello@dailydietitian.co.za

x DD

Dietitian Leigh-Ann joins the Joburg Daily Dietitian team

Hey Joburg,

We’ve got some great news…Leigh-Ann Silber has joined the Daily Dietitian team!

Yes she’s experienced, yes she’s smart and yes she’s gorgeous. Wow, what a combo!

To give you a little more background, Leigh-Ann is a registered dietitian and nutritional consultant, with over 16 years’ experience. She is passionate about nutrition and wellness (obviously), AND, for all those moms out there, has a special focus on children’s health and functional nutrition.

Leigh-Ann received her Bachelor of Dietetics from the University of Pretoria in 1999, while also completing her undergraduate degree in psychology. She has a diploma in Training and Skills Development and has completed courses in Food Science & Technology and courses in Functional Nutrition, Translational Genetics and Culinary Nutrition. She is one of the first dietitians in South Africa to attend the Field to Plate culinary Nutrition workshop! Yup, she’s a keeper :)

An active figure within South Africa’s nutrition industry, Leigh-Ann has worked in a variety of roles ranging from private practice, nutritional education and training, sales, research and development, as well as nutritional communications and marketing.

Leigh-Ann is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa and is also a member of the Association for Dietetics of Southern Africa (ADSA), having served as an executive board member from 2006 to 2009. She represents ADSA at the Health Products Association and Infant Feeding Association.

In addition to consulting to and representing Daily Dietitian, Leigh-Ann runs a children’s practice from Talk Sense, Bryanston and an adults practice at the Integrated Medical Centre in Bryanston.

Welcome Leigh-Ann, we are so excited to have you on board!

Leigh-Ann Silber Daily Dietitian

x DD