Want to learn more about meat free meals? This issue, discover how it’s ok to add more plant based dishes into your menu, why oranges are an ideal snack, and what you can use if you need to cut down on eggs. Plus, a special wellbeing massage offer if you live in Sydney!
Meat Free Meals – Can Meet Nutritional Requirements
Ever considered going meat free or eating veggie meals more often, but worried about whether you could still get enough nutrients?
In recent times, plant-based diets have been getting more exposure, driven by health, animal and environmental interests. Think ‘Meat Free Mondays’ launched by Paul McCartney and now promoted by many groups in Europe, Japan the US, Britain, Canada, Israel and Australia.
However, doubt about nutritional adequacy has remained among some people, encouraged by clever advertising that disparages vegetables when compared to red meat.
Where health is concerned, the truth is, getting your family to include more plant-based meals in their weekly repertoire could improve their life and stall chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart attack. You don’t even have to be full time vegetarian to benefit. Diets rich in red meat are associated with multiple medical problems.
A 40-page scientific review on plant-based diets recently published in the Medical Journal of Australia found a well planned plant based diet can meet the nutritional needs of both adults and children, while reducing the risk of health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity.
Dr Rosemary Stanton, OAM, who wrote an editorial accompanying the review commented “some nutrients may need more attention in a vegetarian diet, especially vitamin B12, zinc, calcium and essential omega-3 fats. However, nutritional needs can still be met by consuming a variety of plant based foods. Fortified foods offer extra quantities of some nutrients”.
Here are some findings at a glance from the review on a few key nutrients:
Protein – you can easily get enough protein so long as you eat adequate food for your needs and include a variety of foodstuffs such as legumes, soy products, grains, nuts and seeds. You don’t have to combine different plant proteins at each meal, as once taught. The complementation of amino acids is now known to happen naturally as you eat over the day.
Iron – if you regularly incorporate the foods above, as well as preferring wholegrains (you can also include some iron fortified cereals), eating fruit and veg every day (enjoying some dried fruits and green leafy veg) you can obtain and absorb enough iron. As it happens, most of the iron in the average Australian diet comes from plant foods with less than 20 % arriving via meat and meat products. Research shows that when your body requires more iron from plant foods, it simply absorbs more without absorbing too much. Vegetarians eating a varied and balanced diet are at no greater risk of iron deficiency anaemia than non-vegetarians.
Vitamin B12 – as this vitamin is found almost exclusively in animal based foods, vegans and low dairy/egg vegetarians can be at risk of deficiency. The regular use of vitamin B12 fortified foods or a low dose daily supplement can prevent dietary deficiency and is recommended for good health. If you are unsure of your present level, it’s easy to have a blood test.
Omega 3 – while intakes of the omega 3 (ALA) are similar in vegetarians and non-vegetarians, intakes of the omega 3 type found in fish (DHA/EPA) are low in vegetarians. What this means for long term health is not yet clear according to the review, since vegetarians generally already have a lower risk of heart disease and many other chronic diseases. If you are concerned, algal sources of DHA/EPA are now available to top up your blood levels. If you are not a strict vegetarian, simply eat fish twice per week.
Putting it All Together
With a little nutrition know-how (your dietitian can help here), and some kitchen re-organising, you could go meat free more often, or even turn vegetarian, and gain some health benefits without missing out on essential nutrients.
Dietary variety is key and culinary upskilling can help you incorporate more delicious wholefoods into your menus.
The Healthy Eating Plate developed by Sue Radd is a simple tool you can use at home to help plan your plant based meals.
While not everyone needs to or wants to become vegetarian, we concur with Dr Stanton who says “eating more plant based meals is a good recipe for our own health and that of the planet. Diets dominated by wholegrains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables are almost certainly the way of the future”.
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet” – Albert Einstein.
What’s Cooking in September – Going Vego - Inspirational Vegetarian Eating for More Vitality
Want to sneak more vegies into the family diet and still get rave reviews? Learn to design delicious meat free meals without missing out on vital nutrients. Discover protein sources from plant foods. See how to use a pressure cooker. Hear about the benefits you can expect for your health and back pocket by giving meat the chop more often.
Perfect if you want to learn to use more legumes, wholegrains and vegetables to better manage chronic medical conditions.
Join us on 11th September 6:30 – 8:30 pm and enjoy a delicious 4 course tasting meal, recipes and handouts.
Learn more about this cookshop
Call NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to book your place. Bring a date and make it an evening out!
What’s Fresh – Oranges
Did you know oranges originated from China, not California?
A lover of their crimson flesh and subtle cherry flavour, Sue Radd reckons the blood oranges she tasted on her recent trip down the Yangtzee River were ‘the best ever’.
The main varieties of oranges currently grown in Australia are Navel and Valencia.
You can spot a navel by its thicker skin and ‘belly button’. Australian grown navels are available during the winter (June – August) and are deliciously sweet. Being seedless and easy to peel makes them a popular choice. Valencia oranges are available in the summer months (November to February) and can be identified by a greenish tinge on their skin, which acts as a sun block to protect the orange from the hot climate in Australia at that time of year. They do contain pips, but as they are sweet and juicy, they're perfect for both eating and juicing.
In addition to being an excellent source of Vitamin C - one orange supplies double your recommended daily intake – a review by the CSIRO has shown citrus fruits may reduce your risk of cancers of the stomach, mouth, larynx and pharynx by up to 50 per cent! Due to the large amount of phytonutrients contained in citrus, these fruits could also help protect you from heart disease and stroke, as well as conditions ranging from arthritis to Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts and gallstones.
Citrus fruits will contribute significant amounts of dietary fibre (the ‘water soluble’ type, which helps lower blood cholesterol), folate, potassium and beta carotene to your diet. These fruits are also low in fat and have a low GI, perfect if you are trying to manage diabetes or lose weight.
Store your oranges at room temperature just before use for maximum flavour or in the fridge crisper drawer for up to two weeks. A simple bowl of bright oranges on your kitchen bench creates a vibrant display.
To reap the numerous nutrition and health benefits of citrus, enjoy one citrus fruit every day. Cut them into wedges or squeeze them with their pulp. Orange zest also contributes great flavour to sweet or savoury dishes.
3 ways with oranges:
Add freshly squeezed orange juice to lighten up winter soups Smooth Carrot & Orange Soup
Sweeten yummy home made pancakes such as Sweet Orange & Hazelnut Hotcake Stack
Soak traditional rolled oats in fresh orange juice to make your own delicious Bircher muesli
Food InFocus with Sue Radd – Is a Vegetarian Diet Adequate?
Toying with the idea of adopting Meat Free Mondays? Watch a short TV interview with Sue Radd, one of the co-authors of the recent supplement to the Medical Journal of Australia commenting on the key findings on plant-based diets.
New Wellness Service Next Door – The Power of Massage
Do you ever experience muscular aches and pains? Do you suffer from stress or tension headaches?
We are delighted to announce Northwest Massage has opened right next door to the Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic, in Suite 9. Tried and tested by our Dietitians, we can tell you that Linda Senior (the principal and a qualified Massage Therapist), can help you with a range of therapies from relaxation through to pregnancy massage. She can develop a treatment plan to suit your particular health needs.
As a special offer to readers of our e-newsletter (ok – you can also share this with your family and friends), for the month of August, Northwest Massage is offering a special deal. Get a 60-minute massage for the price of 30 minutes! Sound good?
If you know someone who is in need of relief, or even some gentle pampering, Linda will love to hear from them. To make an appointment simply call Linda on 0414 824 474 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org (Gift certificates are also available).
Culinary Medicine Cookshops Facebook Page – Series on The Mediterranean Diet of Sicily
Have you been following our mini series on The Mediterranean Diet from Sue Radd’s recent trip to Sicily with the US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics? It’s not too late. Learn about the use of healthy Mediterranean ingredients, cooking methods, seasonings and Sicilian cooking classes that will help bring this very healthy diet to life for you and your family.
Find us on Facebook and ‘like’ us to be notified of new posts. Earlier posts can also be viewed.
Kitchen Tip – Egg-cellent Substitutes
Need to cut down on eggs or find egg-free substitutes for use in your cooking and baking?
Eggs are more than just a raising agent for sponge cakes. They can help bind, moisten, thicken, flavour and colour food. Sometimes, they’re simply enjoyed as a breakfast food.
The truth is, it can be difficult to source a single ingredient to compensate for all the food technology contained in one clever egg capsule.
So ask yourself the following question: "What functional property would I be missing if I skipped the eggs?" and "Which alternative (or combo of ingredients) would compensate best?" Start testing the following suggestions to see what might be the best replacement in your recipes.
1 egg is approximately equal to:
- ¼ cup quick cooking rolled oats – sticky when moistened so great for general cooking e.g. binding burgers
- 2-3 TBSP tomato paste – also good for binding in savoury recipes plus it adds colour
- ¼ cup pureed apple, banana, prunes or dates – if you’re looking for good texture in muffins or loaves
- 3 TBSP ground linseeds + 3 TBSP water + 1/8 tsp baking powder – try this when baking
- 1 tsp baking powder – use for more leavening power
- ¼ cup soft tofu – crumble with fork and turn into scrambled eggs with the help of turmeric and herbs. Delicious!
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Published by the Nutrition & Wellbeing Clinic, Copyright 2012.
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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