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 Hello [name],

Tempted to eat in front of the TV?  Keep reading.  In this April edition you’ll find out how eating in front of the box can be dangerous for your waistline.  You’ll also see why avocados earned their place in the Guinness Book of Records!  And if you’re female, struggling to lose weight, check out the section on secret women’s business.  There may be an underlying cause, that’s slowing you down.

What’s in the News – The Perils of Snacking in front of the TV

Do you enjoy eating popcorn at the movies?  What about ice cream, cheese and crackers or a packet of chips while you’re watching the tele?  Does chocolate hit the spot during your favourite TV show?  If your answer is yes to any of these questions, you may be sabotaging your own weight loss attempts. 

We all know that snacking on calorie dense, nutrient poor foods is a bad idea for weight loss.  But is there a difference if you eat snacks in front of the TV?  Apparently so!  New research published in Applied Cognitive Psychology shows if you snack in front of the screen, you are more likely to eat a greater amount at your next meal - without knowing it! 

In this Australian study, healthy female university students of normal weight were split into two groups.  Both groups were given the same amount of snacks to eat, however one group was allowed to eat the snacks in front of the television, while the other group was not.  Interestingly, the group that ate in front of the TV ended up consuming more food later on, despite not snacking any less beforehand.

Why does it matter if you eat in front of the TV?  First, have you noticed how easy it is to just keep eating…and eating, when your attention is being occupied elsewhere?  Before you know it, that king size block of chocolate is gone!   Even if you control your portions (as was done in this study), do you really get to enjoy your food when you are focused on something else?  Can you recall every mouthful and what it tasted like?  Did it get sweeter or saltier as you went along, signaling to your body that maybe you’ve had enough?

This study shows that people who eat in front of the TV have less recollection of actually eating, let alone how much they ate!  As a result, they’re actually more likely to overeat later in the day. 

Whether it’s TV, the movies or even your work computer screen, being absent minded when eating could get you into trouble.  Remember the time you went to the movies and had a big bag of popcorn… then afterwards squeezed in a three course meal?!

Our advice:  Make a conscious decision not to eat in front of the television (or your computer) – regardless of how healthy that snack may be!  Turn off the tele at meal times, eat slowly and enjoy your food with your family or friends.  For good health, limit TV viewing time to 2 hours per day and separate it from your snacks and meals!

Health Tip

Did you know a typical takeaway meal can hide up to 10 teaspoons of fat - most of it the bad, saturated fat?  This is more than you should be consuming in a day!  Whipping up quick and healthy meals at home could halve your fat intake.

To find out more about some ‘must-haves’ for your pantry and to learn how to shop smarter, join us at the clinic on Wednesday 6th April 6:30 – 8:30 pm, for a Virtual Supermarket Tour.  Ring (02) 9899 5208 to secure your spot.

What’s Cooking in April – Quick N’ Easy Low Fat Meals

Are you always on the go?  Do you get tempted by take-aways, eventhough they’re not ideal, simply because you don’t have time to cook?  Come along to our highly practical cookshop and learn how to create quick and easy low fat meals in under 15 minutes!  You’ll be surprised at how delicious these dishes taste! Join us at the clinic on Tuesday 19th April 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

Perfect if you are trying to lose weight but struggle to find the time to cook, or if you just want to know how to become a whiz in the kitchen and create healthy meals in a flash.

Find out more about this cookshop.

Mums, Dads n’ Bub’s Club – Free Seminar for Parents!

Are you a new mum or dad who is finding life more hectic as a new parent?  Want some tips on healthy eating for both you and your bub?  Come and hear one of our dietitians and exercise physiologist, Jessica Nalder, talk on ‘Food Ideas for Busy Parents’ at the local gym C2K.

Thursday 7th April, 10:30 – 11:30 am
The Terrace, Castle Hill RSL Club, 77 Castle Street, Castle Hill NSW 2154

To register for this free event:
Email: reception@castlehillrsl.com.au
Phone: (02) 8858 4800

What’s Fresh – Avocados

Did you know that avocados are in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most nutritious fruit for humans?  Indeed, they are a fruit supplying a good source of fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, antioxidants and monounsaturated fats.

Avocados originated in Mexico and Central America, but are now grown throughout the world.  There are different types of avocados but they generally come as oval or egg shaped.  The most common types grown and sold in Australia are Hass and Shepard avocados.  Hass avocados have a pebbly skin while Shepard avocados are smooth all over.   While they both taste great, Shepard avocadoes are the only avocadoes that don’t turn brown when you cut them so they’re perfect for salads, sandwiches and dips.

But you may have been frightened off using avocados because they are high in fat.  It’s true.  However the fat avocados contain is mostly monounsaturated, which actually helps lower your cholesterol, offers protection against some types of cancer and keeps your skin looking beautiful!  Further, compared to the same portion of butter or mayo, they supply less fat and calories.

While avocados are highly nutritious, if you’re watching your calories we recommend you limit yourself to half an avocado a day.

Three Ways With Avos:

  • Try adding avocado to your next salad.  Try making this Avocado Salad with Ginger Dressing.
  • Spread ¼ of an avocado onto your bread instead of using butter or margarine, or make an avocado dip with a bit of lemon juice.  Try this delicious Avocado and Dill Salsa!
  • You can even add avocado to nachos, tacos or a wrap instead of sour cream!

Secret Women’s Business

Are you a female?  Have you put on some weight recently that you’re struggling to lose?  Do you have facial hair, acne, or irregular periods?  If yes, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).  This is a common hormone disorder that affects 5 to 10 percent of women of reproductive age.  The good news is that by making some lifestyle changes, you can prevent the condition getting worse.  For more information about this condition and some lifestyle tips, check out Sue Radd’s column.

In the Kitchen – Avocado Slicer

The avocado slicer makes cutting avocados a breeze!  Rather than ending up with green mash in your salad, why not try an avocado slicer?  Simply cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and then run the slicer through the flesh – eh voila!  Your avocado is cut into perfect slices!

You can buy the avocado slicer at many supermarkets and department stores for around $10 AUS.

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Published by the Nutrition & Wellbeing Clinic, Copyright 2010.

Suite 10, 80 Cecil Avenue, Castle Hill NSW 2154 Ph: +61 2 9899 5208 Fx: +61 2 9899 2848 www.sueradd.com

We are a boutique Dietitians clinic in Sydney, Australia, offering one-on-one consultations, culinary medicine cooking workshops, motivational health seminars and nutrition advisory services to businesses in the local and global area.

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