Now that the year is underway in full swing, what will be the new food and nutrition trends? We tell you below. You’ll also hear the good news about omega 3 and biological ageing, alarming findings linking non-stick cookware to thyroid conditions, and the benefits of owning a citrus reamer to help you save time in the kitchen.
New Food Trends for 2010
We’ve checked out the predictions for you from a range of sources - chefs, independent market research companies and supermarket gurus. Here’s our synopsis.
- Food as health insurance - More than 75 % of Australians are placing greater importance on maintaining or improving their health and reckon they’re making conscious attempts to eat healthily most of the time according to Datamonitor.
- Sustainability – We’re going retro, sourcing local foods and ingredients more often as we better understand the impact of ‘food miles’ on the environment and enjoy more flavour and freshness. Farmers markets and eco bags are growing in popularity.
- Nutrition labelling – Consumers are hungry for nutrition facts and fed up with confusing and misleading food labels. Food regulators are trying to decide on one simple front-of-pack guide to help us make healthier food choices at a glance. Programs already in use, such as traffic light labelling recommended by the UK Food Standards Agency and the industry initiated % daily intake guide in Australia are being considered.
- Sodium reduction – We are still eating 2-3 times the recommend amount of salt, which is causing significant damage to our health. More than 20 conditions are now linked to a high salt intake so health organisations and food companies have started a campaign to reduce the added salt in processed foods. The Australian Division of World Action on Salt and Health (AWASH) is spearheading Salt Awareness Week 1-7 February 2010. See the latest: http://www.awash.org.au
- Natural products with minimal ingredients – Less is more. People are seeking foods naturally rich in nutrients and without a laundry list of added ingredients. Real food is in!
- Back to the kitchen – With the downturn of the economy in the last year or so, many people got back into their kitchen and restaurants started to feel the pinch. The success of shows such as MasterChef will mean home cooking is likely to remain in vogue, even if it is only ‘compiling and heating’.
- Ordinary made special – New stylish packaging is predicted to lift the appeal of ordinary products, such as fruit juice or condiments. We’ve already spotted the triangular shaped containers for a delicious new fruit juice in Australia made by Preshafruit!
Slimming Tip of the Month- Go Low
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, go low GI! The GI or glycemic index of foods can be used to help predict your blood sugar response to different carbohydrate foods. Foods that cause a slow release of sugar into your blood – low GI – are tops for weight control as they don’t stress your body as much to constantly produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone required for blood sugar control, but high levels are linked to obesity.
When choosing carbs like bread, cereals and rice look for minimally refined choices that also have a low GI, meaning less than 55. The GI is often reported on food labels. To help, a revised GI Symbol has been launched (see below), which will give you confidence that the figure stated is accurate and the product meets the prescribed nutrient criteria of the Symbol Program. The figure will usually appear near the nutrition information panel.
What's Cooking in Feb? Receive your complimentary shopping bag
Have you booked your place yet? We’re holding our first cookshop for the year on February 16th. The topic is Go Vego: Healthy Vegetarian Eating and we’ll show you some delicious new recipes for summer.
You’ll see interesting and easy ways to cook more plant foods such as chickpeas – think creamy hommus to use on bread or as a dip. Importantly, you’ll sample tasting plates throughout the evening and learn about the benefits you can expect by incorporating more of these foodstuffs into your diet.
Whether you’re vegetarian or simply want to go meat-free more often, what you see may change your life! Plant foods are the ideal way to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, assist with weight control, reduce inflammation and help manage diabetes.
Why not have a gift voucher made out to someone special for his or her birthday?
Call now on 02 9899 5208 to reserve your place.Seats are filling fast. Find out more about this cookshop…
What's Fresh? Chickpeas
Chickpeas are a fresh idea to use all year round as you buy them dried and they have a long shelf life in your pantry. Being loaded with protein, they’re loved in the Mediterranean and a great way to replace some meat in your diet. The good news is, unlike meat, they help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even cancer. This is probably because chickpeas also contain tons of fibre and, like other legumes, important phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
If you’re not familiar with this humble bean, you’ll be delighted with the range of ways it can be cooked to produce a satisfying, filling meal. We love chickpeas because they’re versatile and an inexpensive way of getting a yummy meal on the table for family and guests alike.
3 ways with chickpeas
Buy roasted chickpeas (chick nuts) - loved by all Italians - from health food shops and selected Woolworths supermarkets. A great, healthy snack.
Make creamy hommus to use on bread instead of margarine, or as a dip with veggie sticks. We'll show you how to whip up the authentic Lebanese version using organic chickpeas at our Go Vego Cookshop coming up in February.
- Try our easy 'Chickpea curry with pumpkin and baby spinach', which you can make in a flash using canned chickpeas. Delicious! download the recipe.
What's in the News
Omega 3 may slow biological ageing
Do you have heart disease? Or any risk factors such as high cholesterol or an elevated homocysteine level? Breaking research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests a higher intake of omega 3 (from fish and possibly other sources) may be beneficial to slow biological ageing, meaning your real health age rather than what you’d calculate from your birth certificate.
Elizabeth Blackburn, a fellow Australian who recently won a Nobel prize and co-researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, discovered that among patients with stable heart disease, higher body levels of omega 3 are linked with less telomere shortening over a period of five years.
What are telomeres? Telomeres are the caps at the end of our chromosomes and these shorten slightly each time our cells divide. Not a good thing since the shortening of telomeres is associated with ageing and anything that seems to prevent telomere shortening is under investigation as a potential anti-aging food or medicine.
Read the full story on WedMD:
Should You Throw Out Your Non-stick Cookware?
You’ve probably heard before that we aren’t keen on non-stick cookware. Research so far has linked it to various problems including those of the liver, immune system, fertility and cancer - reason enough in our book to stick with more inert pots and pans.
The latest nail in the coffin for Teflon and other brands of non-stick cookware (sorry Jamie Oliver!) is a study published online just over a week ago in the reputable journal Environmental Health Perspectives. This links for the first time thyroid disease in humans to blood levels of PFOA’s - chemicals used widely in industrial and consumer goods, such as water resistant coatings for carpet and fabrics and cookware as mentioned above. The research revealed that people with higher concentrations of PFOA in their blood were more likely to report a history of thyroid disease. The study involved 3966 adults whose blood levels were measured between 1999 and 2006 for PFOA’s and other nasty chemical compounds. People with the highest 25 % of PFOA concentrations in their blood were more than twice as likely to report being on medication for current thyroid disease compared to those with the lowest 50 % of PFOA concentration.
This is not proof that non-stick cookware causes thyroid problems. More research is needed. But we’re still glad we’ve already swapped our pots and pans to stainless steel and cast iron. See what Sue Radd has to say about non-stick cookware in a recent column. 'Can non-stick cookware be toxic?'
In the Kitchen: practical tips, new gadgets & essential tools
Do you sometimes need a splash of lemon juice but don’t want to get out the juicer and spend more time cleaning than what it’s worth?
Enter the citrus reamer - an inexpensive gadget that can save you time and money, and extract more juice than a metal press. They come in wood, metal or plastic, but we prefer the wooden type to plastic and are aware that lemon juice can degrade some metals.
To use, simply cut a lemon (or any citrus fruit) in half across its centre, pick out the seeds with the pointy end of the hand held reamer and with a few twisting motions extract the juice into a small bowl which you have placed underneath.
We use a lot of lemon juice at the clinic - from salads to lentil soups - as it enhances flavour, adds cancer fighting phytonutrients and helps us to use less salt. Squeezing just the right amount of juice used to be tricky, but with a reamer it’s a breeze. This gadget will cost you less than $10, won’t take up much room in your kitchen drawer and you can even trust your kids to use it.
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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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