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Why are we getting fat and sick?

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10 reasons we are getting fat and sick

1. Sugar consumption has skyrocketed.
Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet. Numerous studies show that eating excess amounts of added sugar can have harmful effects on metabolism, leading to insulin resistance, belly fat gain and high triglycerides…to name a few.
There are also a load of studies showing that the people who eat the most sugar are at a much greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
Sugar is also fattening, partly because it doesn’t get registered in the same way as other calories by the brain, making us eat more; and it has adverse effects on hormones related to obesity.

2. People gain lots of weight during the holidays which they never get rid of.
Most people don’t gain weight overnight… it happens slowly, over years and decades.
But the rate is uneven throughout the year and spikes dramatically during the holidays, a time when people tend to binge on all sorts of delicious holiday foods and eat much more than their bodies need.
The problem is that sometimes people don’t lose all the weight after the holidays are over. They might gain 3 kilos, but only lose 2kgs, leading to slow and steady weight gain over time.
In fact, a large percentage of people’s lifetime weight gain can be explained just by the 6 week holiday period.

3. The obesity epidemic started when the low-fat guidelines were published.
There was an epidemic of heart disease running rampant in the U.S. in the 20th century.
A lot of scientists believed fat, especially saturated fat, to be the main dietary cause of heart disease (although this has since been disproven).
This led to the birth of the low-fat diet, which aims to restrict saturated fat.
Interestingly, the obesity epidemic started at almost the exact same time the low-fat guidelines first came out.
Of course, this doesn’t prove anything, because correlation doesn’t equal causation.
But it does seem likely that putting the emphasis on saturated fat, while giving processed low-fat foods high in sugar a free pass, may have contributed to negative changes in the population’s diet.
There are also massive long-term studies showing that the low-fat diet does NOT cause weight loss, and does not prevent heart disease or cancer.
Have you seen “that sugar movie”? In it the actor eats only s0-called “healthy foods” for 60 days like fruit juice, fruit yoghurt, and low fat meals. He eats the same amount of calories as he did before, does the same amount of exercise, yet by the end of the study he is fat, has full blown metabolic syndrome and feels terrible. Isn’t that scary?

4. Food is cheaper than ever before and we’re eating more fast food than before.
This seems like a good thing, but it’s important to keep in mind that real food isn’t cheap… it’s processed food.
In fact, real foods are so expensive that a lot of people can’t even afford them. In many poor neighborhoods, they don’t even offer anything but junk food.
How are poor people supposed to stand a chance if the only food they can afford (and access) is highly processed junk high in sugar, refined grains and added oils?
The consumption of simple home cooked meals has also decreased drastically over the last few decades with people going out to feed themselves and their families cheap, processed fast foods. The result is disastrous to our health and our waistlines.

5. People are drinking more sugary drinks and fruit juices
The brain is the main organ in charge of regulating our energy balance… making sure that we don’t starve and don’t accumulate excess fat.
Well, it turns out that the brain doesn’t “register” liquid sugar calories in the same way as it does solid calories.
So if you consume a certain number of calories from a sugary drink, then your brain doesn’t automatically make you eat fewer calories of something else instead.
Unfortunately, most fruit juices are no better and have similar amounts of sugar as soft drinks.
Studies have shown that a single daily serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage is linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children.
Sugar is bad… but sugar in liquid form is even worse.

6. Increased food variety contibutes to overeating and weight gain.
Many tests have been done on rats and there is some evidence that this is true in humans as well. When we have more types of foods available, we eat more… and sometimes more than our bodies need. Think of a buffet- our eyes are almost always bigger than our stomachs.

7. People don’t burn as many calories when working
A lot of people blame obesity on decreases in physical activity, that we’re just burning fewer calories than we used to.
Although exercise has increased, it is also true that people now have jobs that are less physically demanding.
In fact people are now burning around 100 fewer calories per day in their jobs, which may contribute to weight gain over time.

8. People are eating more vegetable oils mostly from processed foods.
The fats we are eating have changed dramatically in the past 100 years or so.
At the beginning of the 20th century, we were eating mostly natural fats like butter and lard… but then they were replaced with margarine and vegetable oils.
Most people aren’t frying real food in vegetable oil, they are getting it from processed food. Adding these oils to the foods increases the reward and caloric value, contributing to overconsumption and obesity.

9. The social environment can strongly affect calorie intake
The social environment is another factor that determines calorie intake. For example, eating in a group can dramatically increase the number of calories consumed.
According to one paper, eating a meal with several people can increase calorie intake by up to 72%, or 310 calories in a single meal. At home we don’t likely eat starters, mains and desserts but when out for dinner with friends we do. This is a simple example.
There are also studies showing that people tend to eat more during weekends.

10. People are sleeping less
Sleep is often overlooked when it comes to weight gain and obesity.
It is known that poor sleep has negative effects on various hormones that are related to weight gain, and can contribute to increased hunger and cravings.
In recent decades, average sleep duration has decreased by 1-2 hours per night. The reasons for this are numerous, but increased artificial lighting and electronics are likely contributors.
As it turns out, short sleep duration is one of the strongest individual risk factors for obesity. It is linked to an 89% increased risk in children, and a 55% increased risk in adults

All of this said, the path society is on is a scary one . Many countries are taking note by placing taxes on sugary foods and changing their dietary guidelines.

Health gurus, professors, bloggers and fitness fundies are jumping on the band wagon and creating their own food trends like paleo, raw till 4, banting and intermittent fasting. It all becomes very confusing though, especiaslly when you read one day that fruit is good for you and the next that it is high in sugar and should be avoided.

At the end of the day we are all different. Our genes and hormones dictate the way we metabolise and respond to different foods and thus there is no one-size fits all diet.

There are some general guidelines that I feel everyone can benefit from though. Here they are:

Firstly, avoid sugar like the plague. It ages you, makes you fat, makes you sick and is addictive. Yes it’s delicious, but the funny thing is that the tastebuds become used to sweetness so try cutting it out for a month and then having some carrots and you’ll be amazed by how naturally sweet they taste! Also that teaspoon of sugar you used to take in your tea will now make it undrinkable for your new palate. It’s all about weaning yourself off of it. Give it a go!
Eat whole, real foods. Not too much, mostly plants. I like to look at my food and be able to see exactly where it came from. If I can’t I won’t eat it. Think apples from a tree, fish from the ocean, sweet potatoes from the earth. If it’s in a package with an expiry date longer than a week. Be warned, it’s likely highly processed and ladden with sugar and preservatives.
Eat mindfully. Chew your food, taste it and enjoy all the flavours and textures. Don’t shovel it down your throat in front of the fridge. Not only will you consume more than you intended but you wont get the same satisfaction as you would if you sat down with a plate and took some time out to eat.
Watch your portions: In a resturant you generally get way too much food. A portion of protein is the size of your palm, fat the size of your thumb. Be mindful of this and take a doggie bag home with leftovers. The Japanese believe in eating until you are 80% full. It’s a great mantra, albeit difficult to adhere to.
Make time for fun, exercise and sleep: all of these contribute to a healthy mind which means a healthy body. They help to balance your hormones, and in turn regulate your mood and weight.
Seek professional advice: Please don’t listen to fad diets, they arent sustainable and often do more harm than good. Start by making small changes to your diet and lifestyle and take note of how your body reacts. If you have tried and tested everything, seek professional advice, they are called professionals for a reason.

x DD

Low Carb Lamington Recipe

Lamington Recipe

These delicious looking and enticing coconut dusted cakes are an Australian tradition but have steadily gained popularity in South Africa. Unfortunately, whether bought or made, they are high in processed sugar and flour without beneficial nutrients.

Daily Dietitian’s Lamington recipe uses xylitol for sweeteness and almond flour instead of refined white flour. The xylitol-sugar swop ensure stable blood sugar levels and the almonds add healthy fats and decrease carbohydrate content.

DD SUGAR-FREE, LOW-CARB LAMINGTONS

Serves: 24 squares

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter (or coconut oil), at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp xylitol
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 ½ cups almond flour Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut

Method for the Lamington Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Cream the butter and xylitol together in a bowl. Whisk the eggs into the mix. Add milk and vanilla slowly and whisk until you have a creamy texture.
  3. Next, place almond flour, baking powder and salt into a separate mixing bowl, and add the coconut. Add the wet ingredients gradually, mixing well.
  4. Pour this into a brownie pan. Bake for 18–20 mins. They are cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  5. Place on a wire rack and let cool, then cut into squares.

TYPICAL NUTRITION INFORMATION (per 1 serving)

Each serving is 1 square

Per serving

  • Energy (kJ): 594kJ
  • Protein (g): 4g
  • Total Carbohydrates (g): 5g

    — of which are sugars (g): 0g

  • Total fat (g): 12g

    — of which is trans fat: 0g

  • Total Sodium (mg): 54g

TYPICAL NUTRITION INFORMATION (per store-bought Lamington cake slice)

Each serving is 1 square

Per serving

  • Energy (kJ): 782kJ
  • Protein (g): 2.3g
  • Total Carbohydrates (g): 23.0g

    — of which are sugars (g): 17.6g

  • Total fat (g): 9.1g

    — of which is trans fat: 0g

  • Total Sodium (mg): 127g

(Information taken from www.woolworths.co.za (Lamington Cake Slices 5pk))

Enjoy baking (or let us do it for you)

x DD

The girls at Wellness in the City review Daily Dietitian

Source: Wellness in the City for Body Fuel – February 29th

wellness in the city review daily dietitian

Your Personal Dietitian

The easiest way to have fresh, nutrient dense, delicious meals, delivered to your door. Daily Dietician takes away the stress of planning, shopping and cooking, making it easy for you to stick to eating well and achieving your personal goals – hassle free!

Our Experience:

When I found myself in my third week of skipping lunch and filling up on bowls of seeds, nuts, date bars and coffees due to workload and time constraints, I was eager for help. A personal chef would have been ideal, but unfortunately that wasn’t possible (damn), so when I came across Daily Dietitian, I was sold! Affordable meals containing fresh seasonal ingredients that are prepped to your personal requirements and literally dropped on your desk without lifting a finger… ok, some meals require a walk to the microwave.

As a result of going through a stressful time at work whilst increasing my running training, I had no energy to focus on my daily food intake and lake of nutrients causing me to be very lethargic, slow and demotivated. After my first week receiving Daily Dietitian lunches and snacks, I instantly felt a shift in energy and was a much nicer person to be around!

Overall I was very impressed with the service and the meals. I have a hefty apetite and on days that I was raviness I was worried that some of the meals wouldn’t touch sides, but the tasty dishes definetly satisfied the hunger and the snacks came in handy when the daily 4pm cravings kicked in. Not only did it save me time, improve my productivity and mood, it motivated me to get back to meal prepping and get creative in the kitchen again!

Examples of snacks, lunches and dinners:

  • Meal: Frittata topped with chicken, feta and beetroot
  • Meal: Roasted lamb on creamy carrot mash with gravy and side salad
  • Meal: Cauliflower pizza topped with smoked chicken, rocket, mushrooms, mozzarella and avocado and waldorf side salad
  • Meal: Thai fishcakes with ginger chilli sauce, sweet potato mash and vegetables
  • Meal: Zucchini noodles with smoked salmon, ricotta and basil pesto
  • Snack: Butterbean and spinach smash with crudités
  • Snack: Toasted coconut, pecan, seed and cranberry paleo granola
  • Snack: Shaved ham rolls filled with sundried tomato and cucumber

BONUS:

Great value for money and all meals include ethically sourced organic, free-range and hormone-free ingredients. All packages include the following options: weight maintenance, weight loss, vegetarian, allergy specific and halaal.

Quinoa Sushi Recipe

Quinoa Sushi Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cooked, cooled quinoa
  • 3 tbsp hummus
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/4 cup carrot slices
  • 1 Nori sheet

Instructions for Quinoa Sushi Recipe:

  • Spread 3 tbsp hummus over the nori sheet and cover evenly with quinoa. Leave outer edges of nori sheet free of topping.
  • Cut carrots and avo into slices and lay a line of both near edge of nori sheet (about 5cm from one end)
  • Roll nori sheet over carrots and avo and secure side of nori sheet with no topping with water if needed.
  • Cut roll into sushi size pieces.

Benefits of nori:

  • Made from dried seaweed.
  • High protein content: from 20% in green algae to 70% in spirulina.
  • High mineral content, especially: iodine, calcium, iron,magnesium.
  • More vitamin C than oranges.
  • Natural iodine for healthy thyroid function.
  • Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties.
  • One of the richest plant sources of calcium.
  • Polysaccharides: important in the prevention of degenerative diseases including cardiovascular and diabetes 2, increase the amount of feel-good chemicals in the brain, improves liver function, stabilizes blood sugar.

Benefits of quinoa:

  • Popular “superfood”, grain loaded with protein, fiber and minerals.
  • Gluten free.
  • Stems back to the ancient Inca empire they referred to it as the “mother of all grains” … even though it is actually a seed.
  • 100g cooked has 120 calories, 4gr protein, 21g carbs and 2 gr fat.
  • High in flavonoids which are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.
  • Higher in fiber than most grains.
  • High protein.
  • Low GI for blood sugar control.
  • High in magnesium which many people don’t get enough of and is important for a multitude of bodily functions.

Benefits of hummus:

  • Arabic and Mediterranean dish typically made from chickpeas, olive oil and tahini (sesame paste).
  • 100g has 166 calories, 10g fat, 14 gr carbs, 8g protein
  • Rich in essential minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron.
  • Also rich in vitamins A, B’s and folate.
  • Low GI so helps regulate blood sugar.
  • Rich in amino acids for healthy muscles and tissues.
  • High fiber for healthy digestive system.
  • Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for inflammation.

Benefits of avocado:

  • Prized for high nutrient value.
  • 100 grams 160 calories, 2 grams protein, 9 grams carbs and 15 grams healthy fats.
  • Great source of Vitamin K, C, B, E, folate and potassium.
  • More potassium than bananas – beneficial for reduced blood pressure.
  • Loaded with heart healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids can lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • Fats help you absorb fat soluble nutrients like Vit A, D, E, K.
  • High in anti ageing antioxidants
  • Have lots of soluble and insoluble fiber for gut health.
  • Fat and fiber make you feel full; increased saiety means you eat less.

Benefits of carrots:

  • Second most popular after potatoes.
  • 100g has 41 calories, 0.2g fat, 10g carbs, 0,9g protein.
  • Good source of beta carotene which converts into Vit A. Important for eye health.
  • Antioxidants for anti-aging
  • Carotenoids important for heart health
  • High fiber for digestion and gut health.

x DD

Za’atar roasted cauliflower, red onion, and lentil salad with harissa tahini dressing (gluten free)

salad recipe

This ridiculously delicious salad can be served without lentils to make it low carb, without chicken to make it vegetarian or as is if you are following a balanced diet.

It’s one of the favourites on our menu so if you have some free time, give it a try. If not, sign up to Daily Dietitian healthy meal delivery and we will be sure to feed you this delicious creation!

SERVES 4

Salad Ingredients:

For the Salad:

  • ¾ cup dry brown, green, or Le Puy lentils, picked over (substitute 2 cups cooked lentils, or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, washed and chopped into bite-sized florets (about 800g after prepping)
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons za’atar spice mix
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 heaping cups arugula

For the harissa tahini dressing:

  • ⅓ cup tahini paste
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed or very finely minced
  • 2½ tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon harissa powder or paste (more or less, depending on your tolerance for heat)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  • If you’re cooking lentils from scratch, mix the dry lentils in a saucepan with enough water to cover them by 5cm. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes, or until the lentils are still tender but retain their shape and firmness.
  • You can start testing them at the 20 minute mark for doneness.
  • Drain the lentils and set them aside.
  • While the lentils cook, toss the cauliflower florets and sliced onion with the oil, za’atar, lemon, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Spread the veggies onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Roast the vegetables for 20–25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and lightly browning, and the onions are getting crispy. Check on the veggies and stir them on the sheet halfway through roasting. Allow the roasted vegetables to cool to room temperature.
  • While the veggies roast, whisk together the tahini, water, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and harissa to make the dressing. If it’s too thick, add a few extra tablespoons of water.
  • When the vegetables are cool, toss them together with the lentils and arugula. You can either pour the dressing over the whole salad and toss to coat, or you can plate the salad and serve it separately. If you want to keep salad leftovers.
  • We recommend dressing each plate individually.
  • Salad leftovers will keep for two days in an airtight container in the fridge, and the dressing will keep for up to five days.

YUM!

x DD

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

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.

6 Important Truths About Carbs & Which Ones You Should Eat

truths about carbs

It’s a common scenario: You’re out to lunch with co-workers, and you say no to the bread basket that’s passed around. Then an annoying co-worker across the table from you pipes up with, “Are you not eating carbs anymore? Are you on a diet?”

Au contraire, mon frère. You’re actually still eating carbs (carbohydrates, that is).

While you have an inquisitive co-worker, it’s easy to understand if their comments are guided under a common misunderstanding: “All carbs are bad!”

With so much information flying around from many emphatic sources, carbs are often relegated to doomed, definitive statements like:

  • “Carbs are bread and pasta!”
  • “Carbs make you fat!!!”
  • “Carbs aren’t healthy!!!”

First of all, there’s no need to use so many exclamation points. Second of all, this is only half the story… and a good opportunity to help you keep making healthy choices .

6 Important Truths About Carbs

  1. They are a nutrient: They’re one of three major nutrients your body needs to function, with the other two being fat and protein.
  2. They are found in food: Not just bread and pasta, like our restaurateur thinks. They’re also found in unprocessed whole foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, fruits and vegetables (more on that coming up).
  3. They are an energy source: There are several forms of carbohydrates, with the primary form your body uses called glucose. There are other less common types such as dextrose and fructose, with fructose becoming an increasing part of our diet over the last few decades, with a strong correlation to the worldwide increase in obesity.
  4. They increase insulin: Insulin is the body’s primary regulator of fat metabolism, so perhaps this is the piece of the puzzle as to why most associate carbs with gaining weight. When insulin levels go up, we store fat. When it falls, we use fat for fuels. It’s important to know that over time, due to many different factors – eating an excess of carbohydrates is one of them – the body can become more resistant to insulin, causing an increase in insulin production.
  5. They impact blood sugar: Insulin, as mentioned above, primarily works to lower blood sugar to healthier levels. When it comes to Insulin resistance, it leads to higher blood sugar. Persistently high blood sugar, otherwise known as diabetes, affects your metabolic health and can result in such diseases as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, blindness, or ulcers.
  6. Different carbs do different things: Not all carbs are created equal. When it comes to optimal and total health – metabolic, cardiovascular, liver, kidney, bone, and blood – there are health benefits from some, and little from others.

Slow digesting carbs = Causes blood sugar/insulin to rise

Fast to digest carbs = Causes blood sugar/insulin to spike

In general, slower blood sugar/insulin rises are healthier than frequent blood sugar/insulin spikes.

Fast Digesting vs. Slow Digesting

Fast digesting carbs are typically processed carbs, such as starches, liquid carbohydrates, and foods made of refined flours. Think breads, pastas, muffins, cereals, cake, chips, cookies, beer, wine, fruit juice, soda, corn, potatoes, and rice.

These refined, processed foods are not as nutrient dense and are known to increase inflammation, diabetes, and insulin resistance because of the insulin and blood sugar impact we talked about above. Less fiber in your food means you might not feel as full or satiated when you eat, causing you to overeat which can lead to weight gain.

When your body has fiber to digest, you benefit in multiple ways, such as gut protection, through your body’s creation of its own butyric acid. Fiber lowers blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels and improves glycemia and insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic and diabetic individuals. Increased fiber intake also benefits a number of gastrointestinal disorders including the following: gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal ulcer, diverticulitis, constipation, and hemorrhoids.

Slower digesting carbs are called complex carbs and, when consumed in healthy moderation, have the fiber to keep your gut healthy and you satiated. Think sweet potatoes, veggies (such as kale, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli), fruits in their whole form (berries and citrus fruits) and beans.

The micronutrients found in these foods also give you necessary vitamins and minerals that play an important role in keeping your body healthy and functioning.

Tying it all together:

If we revisit our lunch salad from earlier: A salad of mixed greens, some bell peppers, cucumber slices, kidney beans, and avocado, would contain carbs that give the necessary glucose and energy you need, but won’t make your blood sugar fly off the charts as it would if you ate the influx of carbs that processed foods bring.

Being mindful to have a daily diet comprised mainly of the beneficial kinds of carbs will help move you toward optimal health, maintain a healthy weight, and control your blood sugar.

For those of you who don’t want to think about carbs, which ones you should be eating and how much of them, let us help you.

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x DD