How to keeps the lungs healthy – MiNDFOOD magazine

I was recently featured in the September issue of MiNDFOOD Magazine in an article written by Naomi Mead on how to keep the lungs healthy.

We touch on dietary strategies to ensure optimal lung health and discuss some of the scientific evidence out there.

If you didn’t grab a copy of the magazine in stores, you can read the article online here.

Happy Spring!

– Jenna

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Time flies when you’re in your mid-twenties

Last week I had my 26th birthday – which means it has been a whole year since I moved back to Melbourne. I just can’t believe how time flies.

These days I have been busy but still very much enjoying life (with the exception of a cold that just hung around way too long).

A year on in my current job and I am loving it. There are so many areas of dietetics to dabble in and learn about – I just can’t see myself getting sick of clinical dietetics.

My weekends since an adventurous April with James have been less about adventuring outside of the city and more about staying in. A lot of that has to do with the weather which has cooled down dramatically in Melbourne. But we have been busy in the inner suburbs checking out some new brunch scenes around Melbourne amongst other things.

Little Henri cafe – Thornbury

Reading about cronuts while looking across the room at said cronuts at Rustica – Fitzroy

At home I have been making quite a few cream-based sauces to accompany my dishes. It must be the winter blues kicking in and I must admit, I have indulged on the creamy sauces a little too often (weekly) at home. I think it’s time to hold back now.

The sauce I make is the good old butter, flour and (skim) milk trick. Creamy pesto pasta with green beans and peas has been a favourite. And I have finally found a packaged pesto paste that I like from Terra Madre, Northcote. I previously disliked all packaged pesto and would only get my fix by slaving over the food processor to make my own. I am a little relieved to know that now I can have a jar in the pantry if needed.

I’m also enjoying warm roasted vegetable salads as I do every winter.

A recipe that I have made this chilly season, much like last year, is the Moroccan fish with orange salad by Healthy Food Guide. It would have to be one of my favourite autumn/winter recipes. I enjoy changing it up with the green veggie options, as well as the grain (works well with couscous, quinoa, brown rice etc).

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See my article in the Medibank Be magazine from last year on fresh produce that I love during the winter months.

Fitness-wise I have finally returned to cheerleading after a long 14 month break and a dragged out injury. The comeback is proving harder than I thought at the ripe old age of 26. I now know why the elite gymnasts are in their peak at 16 years – a pulled hamstring every two weeks at 26 doesn’t make for a productive training schedule.

I can also say I am a regular swimmer now. I love the low impact sport (especially when battling with niggling muscle pains) and the feel of the water as I swim at a fast past on a keen day or a slow and steady pace on those days I just don’t feel like doing all that much. It is such an easy way to stay fit and a good excuse to wash my hair.

The colder weather has seen less of the hiking but I look forward to doing some small hikes on my upcoming trip to Washington state in the USA next month. I’ll blog about it the first chance I get.

Catch you all a little later in the season.

– Jenna

Celebrating the broad scope of dietetic practice this Dietitians Day

This Friday is Dietitians Day in Australia. On Friday I will be busy hiking to the southernmost point of mainland Australia with no internet or technology in sight (except my overworked FitBit). So I plan to celebrate Dietitians Day a little earlier than the rest of the country.

And what better way to celebrate our profession than to look at a snapshot of successful dietitians! I spoke with a small collection of dietitians and asked them exactly what they do in their day to day jobs.

Some science-focused readers could say I conducted a cross-sectional study on the diversity of dietitian’s roles within the Australian workforce. Note that I may have some bias in my selection process as I only chose to interview inspirational dietitians who I have learned from or had the pleasure of working with throughout my career.

Take a look at the varied roles us dietitians currently work in…

 

Claire Saundry, Sports dietitian

IMG_2519I work as a Sports Dietitian at the Western Bulldogs Football Club. I help elite athletes achieve their sports nutrition goals using the latest scientific evidence and turning this into practical sports nutrition recommendations. My favourite part of my job is conducting cooking classes and supermarket tours with the boys and developing menus for interstate travel. I love my job because I am able to see how strongly nutrition correlates with optimal performance.

I also have a passion for culinary nutrition. I couple my work at the Bulldogs with some part time consultancy work with Scoop Nutrition for restaurants, food service and food industries.

 

 

Teri Lichtenstein, Tech dietitianthumb_IMG_6626_1024

I juggle two jobs – one as director of my own nutrition and digital marketing agency called FoodBytes and my other job as a mother! No two days are the same as my work is unbelievably varied, from presenting nutrition presentations to a wide variety of audiences, to helping dietitians conduct an audit of their social media channels, providing digital and social media training to dietitians and food brand teams, writing nutrition content for websites and so much more. My “office” is my laptop and a good wifi connection (with good coffee of course). I love the flexibility and the variety of my work, which helps to keep me motivated and it reminds me how much opportunity exists for dietitians to help companies and individuals raise their nutritional profiles.


Alice Downing, Community health and private practice dietitian

I work in community health anIMG_9050d private practice in 7 clinics across Melbourne and Victoria. I work under the Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) program, which provides patients with access to allied health services through Medicare. I receive referrals for patients with a variety of conditions and chronic diseases including type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, weight management, paediatric nutrition and food allergies. I provide nutrition assessments, education and assist patients in achieving long-term diet and lifestyle modification to support health. I see many patients throughout the day and spend time talking to doctors and allied health staff to promote dietetic services for patients.

 

Ash Jones, Industry dietitianheadshot

I work as a dietitian for Lite n’ Easy which is an Australian company that produces and delivers great tasting, healthy meals.  My job involves building the national menu, and working as part of the product development team.  I love my job because I am able to promote healthy food on a large scale, and actively change the way Australians eat.  And it doesn’t hurt that sampling the product is part of my job description!

 

Jane Kellett, Academic and research dietitian

I am a lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Canberra, where I have been the course convener of the Master of Nutrition and Dietetics course since 2005. I love teaching students and sharing my knowledge and experience. My research interests include malnutrition, aged care, clinical dietetics and work-integrated learning. I am currently enrolled in a PhD investigating malnutrition in the elderly.

 

Emma Stubbs, Rural dietitian

I work for a rural health service in Western Victoria. My job typically involves helping patients meet their individual nutrition requirements, cardiac rehabilitation group education programs and the odd supermarket tour to inform people on healthy choices. I also visit local nursing homes and assist residents in optimising their nutrition status and preventing unintentional weight loss/muscle loss.
We also have a large number of patients coming through our health service for bariatric surgery so I am involved in assisting patients in both their pre-op and post-op nutrition journey.

 

Emma high res with wineEmma Stirling, “Slashie” dietitian

I work as a slashie these days after 20+ years as a dietitian. I’m a blogger/academic/business owner/writer/mentor and I love every minute of it.
Dietetics has given me such a diverse platform to grown my career that has taken me around the world and from fine dining restaurants to teaching cooking to the navy!

 

Denise Burbidge, Food Services dietitian

Denise Burbidge

I am a clinical and food services dietitian, working within private practice and as part of a research team. I love the variety that my job brings. From helping someone better manage their diabetes to creating and testing recipes or formulating menus, no two days are ever the same. As a dietitian I bring my love of food and cooking together with the backing of nutrition science to help clients and organisations achieve their nutrition goals.
Being part of a research team also means that I’m contributing to the ongoing development of nutrition science.

 

Maree Ferguson, Company director

I am a dietitian who decided to start my own business called Dietitian Connection. The vision for Dietitian Connection is to inspire and empower dietitians to realise their dreams. We do this by being the one stop shop for busy nutrition professionals for nutrition, leadership and business resources, exciting job opportunities, upcoming podcasts, webinars and events, new products, latest news and research, and more. I especially love working with students and new graduates and seeing them flourish and having the confidence to dream big.

 

Then of course there is me!

Jenna Obeid, Clinical dietitian

I work as a clinical dietitian in a Melbourne based hospital. I work with patients who require certain foods or nutrients to meet specific requirements while overcoming illness. I also see patients who are unable to physically eat, so I initiate tube feeding and determine what route of feeding and formula type is most appropriate for that patient. In my job I use science and high quality research to guide my practice. I find my work challenging but rewarding as I am an important part of the multidisciplinary hospital team that provides care to patients.


So there you have it. We all walk out of university with the same degree to our name, classified as specialists in nutrition, clinical dietetics, food service management, and community and public health. But what one person does with their degree is so different to the next person. And over time, many dietitians move and evolve into different areas of nutrition and dietetics.

That is the true beauty of our profession.

Happy Dietitians Day to all the dietitians out there!

– Jenna

October update on life, adventures and food

October has been a pretty busy month, hence the lack of blog posts. So I thought I would share some photos and updates of what I have been up to.

  • My best friend had a baby! She lives in Sydney so I have to wait another whole month to meet baby Braxton.
  • Last week I presented at the ‘How To Get That Job (or promotion)’ workshop that was run by Dietitian Connection. The two that ran the show were Maree Ferguson AdvAPD and Rhiannon Barnes APD and I was lucky enough to present on my experience as a new grad in this tough job market.
  • I recently went camping to Wilson’s Prom (like we do every year) and it was a great weekend of hiking, cooking with the camping stovetop and playing cards while the wombats walk around us. Here are a couple of photos:

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In other news, I have tried a couple of other things for the first time recently too…

  1. A matcha latte (from Organica Cafe & Foodstore in Prahran). It was an interesting experience. It was like a creamy, potent green tea with milk (and added honey). It gave me a caffeine hit and everytime I had a sip I was surprised with it’s flavour. I’m not sure how regularly I will be ordering a matcha latte, but if you haven’t tried one yet I recommend you do it at least once!

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2. A Chatime iced tea. I can’t really call myself a Melbournian without sipping on one of these in the heart of the city while smelling the La Petite Crêperie stall on Swanston St and listening to buskers.

3. The third thing I tried recently was the food trucks at Welcome To Thornbury. I went for the first time last night and it was a great atmosphere being a warm and still Friday evening in Melbourne’s inner north. A must-go this Summer and one visit isn’t enough as they rotate their food trucks quite regularly. So chances are if you go a couple of times, you will have different food and desserts to choose from.

Well that’s what I’ve been up to this month! Hope everyone is well x

– Jenna

A professional trip up north + food and fun

This past week and a bit I have been up to Queensland for the Australasian Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition annual conference. This year the event was part of the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) and the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) International Congress.

So my brain has been filled with knowledge on diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and when to provide nutrition through a food source, a tube or straight into the bloodstream.

I also had the opportunity to undertake two postgraduate courses through the Life Long Learning Program in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism – and thankfully passed the tests!

But this week hasn’t been all study and learning…

I made sure to head up to Queensland a couple of days before the conference so that I could soak up some sun and experience a mini holiday before putting my professional cap back on. I also brought my other half because it wouldn’t be an adventure without him. We headed up further north to the Sunshine Coast and Noosa for a day, and then by Sunday morning we were back in Brisbane for the Red Hill Farmers’ Market. But rather than me just rehashing it all through words, I thought I would just explain it all through the photos I took.

Aeroplane reading with a 4/5 Health Star Rated snack thanks to Qantas.

Aeroplane reading with a 4/5 Health Star Rated snack thanks to Qantas.

Corn fritters from Raw Energy in Peregian Beach.

Corn fritters from Raw Energy in Peregian Beach.

Noosa Main Beach

Tropical fruit and ginger juice, plus some sliced fruit at the Red Hill Market.

Putting my professional cap on at the conference - but still keeping my blogging cap on! Dont forget to check out Storehouse for your latest credible nutrition blog posts).

Representing the dietitian bloggers at the conference! (Be sure to check out Storehouse for the latest credible nutrition blog posts).

Donut Boys

Gingerbread Man doughnut from Donut Boyz – a shipping container doughnut shop in Brisbane’s West End. Reminded me a little too much of Melbourne so I couldn’t resist.

Amazing French Toast from The Bakery Cafe in South Brisbane.

French Toast from The Roastery Cafe in South Brisbane.

After the conference and some great social outings in Brisbane, James and I headed down to the Gold Coast for a couple of days to see my close friend Jessie. We checked out some great eateries, one of which was Greenhouse Factory in Coolangatta, which was a vegan restaurants with loads of greens in their dishes. We also hung out on the sunny beaches of the Gold Coast and reminisced about our World-class cheerleading days together. We even played late night card games that were part of our childhoods. It was a good couple of days to say the least.

Great breakfast on some pretty amazing bread - pumpkin bread with 5 seeds and perfectly poached eggs. At Vivre A Vie in Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast

Breakfast on the Gold Coast: house-baked 5 seed pumpkin bread and perfectly poached eggs. At Vivre A Vie in Mermaid Beach

Burleigh Heads Farmers Markets - organic chai from one of the stalls.

Burleigh Heads Farmers Markets – organic chai from one of the stalls.

Reminiscing on this moment - 3rd place at Worlds in 2012.

Reminiscing on this moment – 3rd place at Worlds in 2012.

Cheers to all that made this week a great one. Especially Jessie who was our personal tour guide for all food and beach related adventures on the Gold Coast. And also to Ash from Off Duty Dietitian who took me out for a mega pho in Brisbane – nearly on par with the pho from Lam Lam in High Street, Northcote.

Now it’s back to Melbourne and back to work so I can apply all the knowledge I learnt earlier on in the week!

– Jenna

 

Long weekend + a quarter century birthday celebration

So last weekend was the Queen’s birthday long weekend. It was also the weekend I finished my time in the gorgeous town of Castlemaine. It was also the weekend I went to the Mornington Peninsula for a relaxing yet adventurous weekend away. It was also the weekend I celebrated my 25th birthday.

It was an eventful weekend to say the least.

The weekend started off with a big bowl of Goodness Superfoods Traditional Barley + Oats Porridge topped with cinnamon, brown sugar, walnuts and sultanas.

Next was to leave the city (thanks to the boy for his solid organisation skills). We hit up the peninsula for a lovely soak at the Peninsula Hot Springs. The sun was shining and the air wasn’t too chilly so it was a perfect day to absorb the views (and minerals).

Following our soak, we went to A Mini Kitchen in Rye for afternoon tea. I heard about this cafe from close friend Mardi – whenever I visit the peninsula I make sure to sit down for a tea and piece of cake at this dreamy cafe.

Hummingbird cake with an English Breakfast tea. And off to the side we have the pecan cinnamon sticky bun that luckily was shared.

Then it was off to check into our Bed & Breakfast – highly recommend Harmony B&B in Fingal for gorgeous views, a warm and comfy stay, a super comfortable bed and one of the cutest scruffy dogs to greet you. Our evening was spent walking, checking out Cape Schanck and enjoying dinner at the local Thai restaurant.

An apple a day keeps the Dr away (at Cape Schanck Lighthouse)

Day 2 on our weekend away was a little more adventurous than Day 1. Tree surfing was fun, scary, and a hell of an upper body workout. Enchanted Adventure Garden kept us busy for a few hours (tree surfing, zip lines, tubing, and finding our way through the hedge maze!). I definitely felt like a kid again – although it seemed my fear levels were higher than all the kids around us.

Cool wall art in Rye

Cool wall art in Rye

By Sunday evening we were back in Melbourne and ready for the Queen’s birthday public holiday celebrations.

Which leads me to my Quarter of a Century Queen’s Birthday Brunch…..

Set brunch menu for my birthday brunch thanks to the amazing folks at The Left-Handed Chef

Set brunch menu to celebrate my birthday thanks to the amazing folks at The Left-Handed Chef

Picture this: A warm and cozy cafe in South Melbourne with friends and French Toast. It was exactly how I wanted to celebrate my birthday. Selfie sticks were encouraged and a hashtag was formed with only the few eager instagrammers making proper use of it.

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What happens when you order French Toast with the sauce on the side!

What happens when you order French Toast with the sauce on the side!

Some of the boys enjoying a lunch option - pulled pork tacos

Some of the boys enjoying a lunch option – pulled pork tacos

Monday night saw more food – Vietnamese with my family.

I still remember my 7th birthday when my mum stuck 7 x $1 coins to a card in the shape of a number 7. Now at 25 I'm feeling slightly richer.

I still remember my 7th birthday when my mum stuck 7 x $1 coins to a card in the shape of a number 7. Now at 25 I’m feeling slightly richer.

On Tuesday 9th of June 2015 I woke up a 25 year old and just as excited with life as when I woke up on my 7th birthday in 1997 at 6am to no alarm (you see, 7 was my favourite number growing up and I got a Barbie magazine subscription that came with a fold-out Spice Girls poster in it!).

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Young Jenna. 20 years later hats still don’t suit my head.

But yes, in 2015 I also woke up excited with life. Again I woke up at 6am (although this time to an alarm). But this birthday I was excited for other reasons. This birthday was my first day in a new job at a Melbourne-based hospital – a job that I have been hoping to land for a while now. I’m currently feeling pretty lucky. I am also pretty lucky to be surrounded by absolutely amazing people. So thanks to anyone who is reading this who has contributed to my life in some way 🙂

It’s taken a quarter of a century, but I am now exactly where I want to be.

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– Jenna

The great debate: olive oil vs coconut oil

Coconut oil: Most commonly used as the binding ingredient in my quinoa chocolate crackles recipe. Also used as a hair treatment. 

But how does it rate in terms of  our health?

Last week I attended a Heart Health and Diabetes Update day hosted by the Dietitian’s Association of Australia where a range of medical and nutrition experts presented the latest evidence on all things chronic-disease-friendly (and not so friendly).

A very enjoyable, yet still scientific, session was the debate between olive oil and coconut oil.

In one corner of the ring was Catherine Itsiopoulos who debated the case for olive oil. Catherine has conducted extensive research in the Mediterranean diet with olive oil being such a major component of this lifestyle.

The ‘Skeptical Nutritionist’ Bill Shrapnel was in the other corner and was debating the case for coconut oil. His “thing” so to speak is looking at dietary fats and carbohydrates, and analysing their impact on the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

So how did the debate turn out?

OLIVE OIL (predominantly non-saturated fat)

Well Catherine argued a superb case for olive oil with solid evidence to back it up.

  • Research shows that people have seen improved health benefits from following a diet with monounsaturated fats. Less benefits are evident for those who follow a diet with saturated fats.
  • The Mediterranean diet, which includes approximately 4 tablespoons of olive oil throughout the day, has shown through research to reduce inflammatory biomarkers and blood pressure.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) contains a good amount of polyphenols, which has shown to significantly improve HDL cholesterol – more so than the lower polyphenol olive oils (e.g. light olive oil).

COCONUT OIL (predominantly saturated fat)

Bill discussed a vast range of high quality evidence that has been conducted on fats and carbohydrates on the outcome of heart disease over time.

What the evidence tends to lead to is that:

Carbohydrates and saturated fats have very little effect on heart function. However, mono and poly unsaturated fats have clear beneficial effects on heart health.  the Total/HDL cholesterol ratio and reduces risk of coronary heart disease.

After a thorough assessment of the evidence, the Skeptical Nutritionist conceded his argument and stated that there is no case for recommending coconut oil in modern diets.

The bottom line:

Coconut oil is not bad for us. But when there are so many other oils on the market that have evidence of providing health benefits, why wouldn’t you choose one of those instead?

– Jenna


For more information:

My take on That Sugar Film

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) added a guideline for sugar intake in adults and children. The guideline recommends we reduce our daily intake of free sugars to no more than 10% of our total energy intake. WHO have also noted that a further reduction to below 5% each day would provide us with additional health benefits.

Free sugars are basically referred to as any sugars that are added to food products. So the sugar we find in our fresh fruit is exempt from this guideline. However, the sugar added to a bottle of orange juice is considered a free sugar.

5% of our total daily energy intake would equate to approximately 25 grams which is about 6 teaspoons of sugar. Eating less than 6 teaspoons of sugar seems pretty do-able, doesn’t it?

It does. But we also need to be very aware of all of the sugars that secretly sneak their way into the food products we eat each day.

Which leads me to That Sugar Film.

Last night I attended a viewing of That Sugar Film. Before watching the movie I made sure not to have an opinion on the film.

(It seems that I am quite critical of those who demonize sugar, or any particular food group or nutrient for that matter. With many people religiously following fad diets or going through programs that see specific nutrients as the bad guy, I feel that it’s just not a positive approach to take towards food).

So walking in to the movie with a punnet of fresh strawberries (natural sugar) in one hand and a salted caramel choc top (containing free sugars) in my other hand, I decided to enjoy both forms of sugar and watch the movie in it’s entirety before forming an opinion.

What information did I get from watching the movie?

Well other than being very cautious to listen to the medical and nutrition advice provided from the lawyer and the “Wellness Leader”, which are careers that are not medically driven, I did learn some things based on the clear evidence brought up in the documentary…

Many low fat food options are replaced with sugars

Yes many food products that claim to be low in fat can be supplemented with sugar instead. I’m sure many of us are aware of this. Unfortunately manufacturers still want their products to taste good, so they replace the extracted fat with sugar. However this is not the case for all low fat food products.

Take yoghurt for example. In the film, Damon chose a yoghurt that was low in fat yet high in sugar, however there are products out there that can be low in both.

Jalna Natural Greek full fat yoghurt contains 10g of fat per 100g serve and 4.8g of sugar. Whereas a fat free alternative such as Chobani Fat Free Plain contains 0g of fat and still only 3.8g of sugar. Also, the Jalna Fat Free option contains quite low amounts of sugar too!

So low fat does not mean high sugar in all instances. Read the ingredients list and Nutrition Information Panel when choosing food products in the supermarket.

Sugar is sugar is sugar

In the documentary, Damon and others discuss the different ways sugar is classified in the ingredients section of common food products.

Sugar, raw sugar, agave, cane juice, honey, coconut sugar, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, etc. It is all sugar at the end of the day.

The bigger thing we need to look at when consuming sugar is whether it is a processed form added to foods (ie. free sugars) or whether it is naturally found in the food (e.g. fresh fruit). As shown in the movie, it is very easy to drink the juice of 4 apples in one sitting. That is because the juice is basically just the water, the sugar and some vitamins from the fresh juice that don’t really fill you up. But when it comes to eating an actual fresh apple, we would probably have to stop after one or two due to being full. This is because of the high fibre content that we consume in fresh fruit that we do not experience when fruit is juiced.

Sugar is bad for our teeth

If you have seen the movie then you know what I am referring to.

Unfortunately tooth decay/dental caries is a major issue in Australia for children (and adults) who have high intakes of sugary foods and drinks.

So parents: please watch the amount of sticky or sweet foods provided to kids in their lunchboxes.

penny university cronut

Basically we should eat as per the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating

A diet low in discretionary foods. Low in sugary drinks and food products. Low in processed foods. Low in saturated fats and high in good, unsaturated fats. Full of whole, fresh, high fibre, low sugar options. With water as a main drink and physical activity a regular occurrence in our lifestyles.

All of these recommendations are what makes up the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. A resource that is free to all Australians. It recommends the types of foods we should be eating more of and makes mention of the food we should be keeping to an absolute minimum; the discretionary foods. Go to the Eat For Health website for more.

Evidence Evidence Evidence

That Sugar Film is what researchers refer to as a “case study” – that is the results of one specific case is analysed. The film follows the life and dietary intake of one individual and then conclusions based on health outcomes are made depending on the results of the case study.

The highest quality evidence out there, however, is not a case study. The highest quality evidence is what we call a “randomized control trial” (RCT). That is when a randomly selected group of research participants (representative of the wider population) are randomly assigned to one of two groups (an experimental or a control group). A good quality RCT is highly controlled and an even better RCT is one with a high number of participants, rather than just one participant that is found in a case study.

Therefore, That Sugar Film is a great way to analyse the effect of a high sugar diet on one specific person. But a study that looks at this in multiple people and compared the results to a control group would make it a better form of evidence.

The bottom line

So the movie was a great way to open up our eyes to the issue of over-consumption of discretionary foods and the ease of purchasing such foods in the Western food supply.

But at the end of the movie, Damon concluded that while sugar contributes to the issue of obesity, it is not the sole cause.

Perhaps the sole cause is a mixture of all less-than-healthy behaviours, including but not limited to high sugar intake.

Perhaps it is as simple as eating a well-balanced diet full of natural and wholesome foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, unsaturated fats, lean protein and dairy, with very minimal amounts of energy-dense foods that are high in free/added sugars and saturated fats.

Perhaps it is as simple as that.


Want more info?

If you want to achieve that simple yet complex well-balanced diet, please see an Accredited Practising Dietitian to help you achieve your weight and health goals. Dietitians have university qualified degrees in human nutrition and dietetics with major fields of study in nutrition across the lifespan, medical nutrition therapies, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, food science, epidemiology, public health, health psychology and research.

For some quick hits, see:

– Jenna

Scientific Saturday: tube feeding

I’m unsure if anyone celebrates Scientific Saturdays? It’s kind of like Hamish & Andy’s Pants Off Fridays, but without the funny jokes… And with pants on.

Yeah I just made up the term. But it sounded cool.

So anyway… here is a scientific read for your Saturday morning. Filled with long, hard-to-pronouce words and a quick lesson in human anatomy to help celebrate Feeding Tube Awareness Week.

The Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation is dedicated to increasing awareness of feeding tubes and enteral nutrition.

What is enteral nutrition, you ask?

Well contrary to popular belief, as dietitians we don’t just point the finger on all the not-so-healthy food choices you might make. Sometimes it’s not even about real food at all. There is a small portion of the population who require a short-tern or long-term alternative to eating real food. And well, they will need the help of a dietitian to do this.

Enteral nutrition is the process of delivering a nutritionally complete formula directly into the human gastrointestinal tract through a tube. So basically (if absolutely necessary) a person can live a nutritious life with a liquid being fed directly into their stomach.
There are quite a few forms of tube feeding, some that require surgery and others that do not.

Two very common forms of tube feeding occur by either placing a tube through the nose or straight into the stomach.

Nose feeding

Either a nasogastric tube, nasoduodenal tube, or nasojejunal tube is placed through the nose into the corresponding place in the stomach or bowel.

The higher up the tube is placed (e.g. in the stomach), the more nutrients can be absorbed. But sometimes when patients experience reflux or other issues, the tube needs to be placed further down (e.g. in the small bowel).

Nose feeding tends to be used for short-term tube feeding patients.

Tummy feeding

Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) is when a tube is placed directly into the stomach. A Percutaneous Endoscopic Jejunostomy (PEJ) is when the tube is placed into the jejunum (small bowel).

Tummy tube feeding is a little more invasive than nose feeding and tends to be used for longer-term tube feeding.

Why would someone need tube feeding?

In some circumstances, patients may not be able to eat or drink for extended periods of time. For example in adults that have just had a stroke, it sometimes may not be safe to eat or drink so they might require tube feeding to provide them with nutrition until their eating and drinking abilities return back to a safe level.

There are many health or medical conditions that might lead to someone requiring tube feeding.


So help me celebrate Feeding Tube Awareness Week.

If you know someone who is tube fed, or you are interested in finding out more, head over to the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation website.

Now that our science lesson is over, enjoy your Saturday!

– Jenna