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Eating for busy people - by Cadence Health and Nutrition Courses

Posted by Cadence Health on October 22, 2010

Eating for busy people - by Cadence Health and Nutrition Courses
Nutrition1

Can food be convenient but healthy?
Well, some would say emphatically ‘no’, but let’s be real about this. It’s all very well to say, “eat organic, eat slowly, use whole foods and fresh produce”, but in reality many of us just simply don’t have the time, are too exhausted after a day with the kids or don’t have the inclination at nine o’clock at night after 12 hours’ work to slave over the stove. But does this mean we are left fearing for our nutrition and health?
 
Not at all. The vast array of quick cookbooks is testimony to the variety of healthy but quick meals; even one of Australia’s top chefs has produced a fabulous 10-minute meals recipe book. Moreover, many of the foods once touted as nutritionally inferior to fresh food options, such as tinned and frozen foods now, in some cases, offer better nutritional quality.
 
Why bother at all?
I won’t harp on about the importance of each nutrient, but suffice to say that your body will function better physically, mentally and emotionally if it’s well nourished. Avoiding nutrient deficiencies can help you to ward off nasty bugs, as well as give you more energy and mean you live a longer, healthier life. Here are just a couple of basic points to work from when shopping and cooking, in order to cover a few important nutritional bases:
§  Complex carbohydrates offer you sustained energy over simple sugars and, even more so, added sugars that are linked to obesity, tooth decay and some cancers.
§  Protein is important for your mood. It’s essential for making hormones, including some that the brain uses for your emotional state. Protein also makes you feel full.
§  Eating regularly means your brain is less likely to run low in glucose, preventing those foggy, brain-lag times.
§  And of course it’s important to eat the right balance of fats and watch out for excessive salt that is so detrimental to our heart and blood vessels.
 
Top tips for reducing time but not nutrition
So, with this in mind, here are a few tips for your next dash to the supermarket:
§  Keep frozen fruit and vegetables in stock; they can be nutritious and very convenient. Many brands are snap frozen and can have better nutrient retention than some ‘fresh’ fruit and vegetables, which may have been transported and processed in less than an ideal fashion.
§  Have a good pasta sauce (if you look hard you can find ones with no nasties or sugar and that are low in salt but packed with vegies and herbs), that will make a quick and easy base for many meals, such as pasta, gourmet pizza, stews, etc. Plus it seems that cooked tomatoes give up more of their antioxidant lycopenes.
§  Consider keeping some ground nuts and seeds in the fridge (you can buy them pre-prepared or grind them up yourself for an even...

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Chocolate - by Cadence Health and Nutrition Courses

Posted by Cadence Health on October 22, 2010

Chocolate; the next superfood?
 
Did you give a gleeful jump the day researchers announced that chocolate has health benefits? Even with this good news, did a nibble of your favourite chocolate still leave you feeling a little guilty? And if chocolate is good for you, then how much is enough? And what about the kids? How much can they have? Let’s take a closer look at that wonderful feel-good food, chocolate.
 
 
Do you want the good news or bad news first?
 Yes, like most things in nutrition there is an upside and a downside. You guessed it; moderation is the key. So lets take a look at both sides of the story so you can make up your own mind, regardless of what the marketing hype might say.
  
What is chocolate?
 The main compound comes from cocoa beans (you may also see it as cacao). The beans are dried, roasted, hulled and then ground. Raw cocoa can be made into cocoa solids, which is your cocoa powder you buy in the supermarket; or cocoa butter (an edible vegetable fat used not only in food production but also in moisturisers and more). Cocoa solids contain very little fat.
 
Pure chocolate generally has a mixture of solids and butter. The ratio of the two will influence the level of fat in the final product (along with any other added ingredients). Milk chocolate also contains sugar and milk, giving rise to a lighter coloured, less bitter-tasting chocolate.
 
Dark chocolate is a mixture of cocoa solids (ideally around 70%), with added sugar and other fats. The exact mix is often a well-guarded secret, and aims to achieve that subtle balance between bitter and sweet. Notably, there is an absence of dairy products in dark chocolate.
 
 
 What’s white chocolate?
Simple, it’s a set of ingredients similar to brown chocolate, only instead of cocoa solids it contains cocoa butter, or other vegetable fat to give it that ‘melt in the mouth’ texture.
 
What goes into chocolate?
The exact contents of any chocolate product will depend on the recipe, but generally most will contain nutrients such as carbohydrates (particularly simple ones); generous helpings of fat; minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc; and some will contain vitamins such as vitamin E.
 
Of particular interest are the naturally occurring compounds in cocoa, such as theobromine and flavanoids.
 
 
Nutritional view of chocolate
 100g of milk chocolate has:
·       43% carbs,...

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