Tuesday, 22 July 2014

What Does It Mean To Be Vegetarian?

People become vegetarian for many reasons whether it be ethical, health or for circumstantial reasons. But what does it mean to be vegetarian?

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of any meat (red meat, seafood, poultry and the flesh of any other animal. You can get all of the nutrients you need from a vegetarian diet - it is a matter of sourcing the right food and nutrients in the right portion.

Different Types of Vegetarians
  • Lactovovegetarian: Consume eggs, dairy and plant foods
  • Lactovegetarian: Consume dairy and plant foods
  • Vegan: Foods from plant sources only (although considered along with the vegetarian lifestyle – veganism has a range of nutrient requirements of it’s own)
  • Macrobiotic: Predominately wholefood diet – unprocessed
*You are not a vegetarian if you consume fish or chicken

Benefits of Being Vegetarian
  • Reduce risk for CVD: lower cholesterol, lower BP
  • Reduce risk of development of T2D (Type 2 Diabetes)
  • Lower BMI
  • Reduce risk of cancers

Risks of Being Vegetarian
  • May increase homocysteine levels due to B12 deficiency (up 27% in most vegetarians
  • May contribute to development of anaemia
  • At risk for nutrient deficiencies if diet is not properly planned – including protein, iron, B12, calcium and zinc. These can be found in food and supplement form

Typical Vegetarian Daily Food Plan

Breakfast: 3 x egg omelette with spinach, mushroom, tomato and pine nuts

Morning Tea: An apple and a handful of walnuts

Lunch: Moroccan chickpea salad

Afternoon Tea: Hummus and celery sticks

Dinner: Tofu and mixed vegetable stir fry

If you need more guidance on how to get the nutritional balance with being vegetarian simply email naednutrition@gmail.com

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Fruit - Fact or Fictions

Fruit seems to be an all or nothing principal lately so it’s high time we cleared some myths and got down to the facts.

What foods are considered common fruits?

Acai berries, Apple, Apricots, Avocado, Banana, Blackberry, Blueberries , Cherries, Coconut, Cranberry, Cucumber, Dates, Fig, Goji berries, Grapefruit, Grapes, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Lychee , Mango, Melon, Nectarine, Orange, Papaya, Passion Fruit, Peach, Pear, Pineapple, Plum, Pomegranate, Prunes, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tangerine, Tomato, Watermelon.

What are the health benefits of having fruit?

Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, water and fibre. They are naturally low in fat and in calories. Fruit can reduce of the risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, weight gain, bone loss, kidney disease. It can help fuel your body for exercise and to maintain a healthy weight and body shape.

What are the best fruits to have?

Each fruit has their own health benefits and a wide variety is important for optimum health. There is no one fruit that is better than another however some of the more ‘superior’ fruits because of their concentration of nutrients and antioxidants are:

·         Blueberries = antioxidants and vitamin C
·         Banana = starchy carbs and potassium
·         Grapes = resveratrol
·         Avocado = fibre, vitamin E and folate
·         Goji Berri = antioxidants and vitamin A
·         Kiwi fruit = vitamin A, E, magnesium and potassium
·         Pineapple = bromleain

When should I eat fruit?

Ideally at the beginning of the day to fuel your body and brain for the day as well as around your exercise. Fruit is fantastic source of carbohydrate for fuel for example if you are planning to go for a run in the evening ensure you have some fruit with protein at your afternoon tea.

Avoid eating fruit on its own to prevent spikes in your blood sugar levels, as well as late at night after dinner as that is when you are least active and will shortly retire to bed.  

Can you have too much fruit?
Yes. You can have too much of anything. Too much of any food whether it’s deemed ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for you can cause health concerns. For example too many carrots in your diet will cause your skin to have an orange pigment, just as too much tuna in your diet can lead to mercury poisoning and too much potato chips in your diet will increase your salt intake thus water retention, your blood pressure and puts you at greater risk for stroke and heart disease. 

Too much fruit in your diet can lead to lack of intake of other essential foods leading to displaced nutrients. What this means is you are consuming a more carbohydrate rich food which is low in essential fatty acids, heme-iron, calcium and protein. Too much carbohydrate intake and too little activity can lead to weight gain. It can also cause a disruption in your digestive system leading to an increased instance of diarrhoea, bloating, cramp and gas. It can also lead to elevated blood glucose levels and for those with insulin resistance concerns (diabetes, PCOS) can cause damage the blood vessels that supply vital organs increasing risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, vision problems as well as nerve problems. 

If I am insulin resistant can I have fruit?

Absolutely. But limit yourself to about 2 pieces per day and be sure to team it with a slow release nutrient such a protein to avoid the glucose spike. An example would be a piece of fruit with some nuts and seeds

How much fruit should I have?

For the average person 2-3 pieces of fruit per day will suffice. 
·         Fruit with your morning oats and LSA
·         A piece of fruit and with some nuts as a snack
·         Some avocado in your chicken and salad for lunch

What if you don’t have fruit in your diet – are they health implications? 

Here is a list of possible health outcomes by removing fruit from your diet
·         Nutrient deficiency
·         Poor immunity
·         Poor wound healing
·         Poor eye health
·         More free radical damage (aging, cancer etc.)
·         Poor blood clotting
·         Poor digestion
·         High cholesterol
·         Fluid retention
·         Poor weight management
·         Increased risk of cardiovascular concerns
·         And so on.

Can I have fruit juice instead of the whole fruit?

Not all fruit juices are created equal.  Fresh with pulp is always best. Without the skin & pulp you are missing fibre and a lot of the vitamins. What you also need to consider is to make the 250ml glass of orange juice it takes roughly oranges. Whilst it is the nutrients of oranges it is also the sugar of 5 oranges. Try to have a mix of fruit and vegetable juice and always team it with some protein (i.e. protein powder, nuts etc.)

For more information on getting a balance of fruit in your diet simply contact Sinead at naednutrition@gmail.com

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Clean Banana Bread Recipe

My Clean Banana Bread recipe was created because I couldn't find a recipe that was high enough protein, no added sugar (only sugar from bananas), gluten free and the possibility of being dairy free should you want that option (and not taste like cardboard!!). A perfect afternoon tea snack

Cook time: 60 minutes

Serves: 8

Nutrition Information Panel

Fat, total
- saturated
- sugars

  • 4 bananas, (2 1/2 cups mashed or 575 grams)(they can be yellow bananas)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • ½ cup of nut butter (almond, Brazil and cashew nut)
  • 4 tbl coconut oil
  • ½ cup of walnuts
  • 75 almond flour
  • 75g boomers whey protein (replace with pea protein to be dairy free)
  • 1 tbl cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C on a fan forced oven
  2. Combine your bananas, eggs, and nut butter, coconut oil and walnut and blend in a mixer until well combined
  3. Once all of your ingredients are blended, add in your almond meal, protein powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder andvanilla and mix well
  4. Pop into a non stick loaf pan
  5. Pour in your batter and spread it evenly throughout
  6. Place in your preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean
  7. Remove from oven and flip your bread out onto a cooling rack
  8. Slice and serve