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With the warmer weather we can all appreciate a refreshing drink.  This issue we compare cool options for you and review coconut water.  We also give you the fast facts on why you should enjoy tomatoes.  Many people are seeking ways to eat less meat these days so next month we invite you to join us for a special meat free cookshop!


Summer Drinks – What Should You Sip?

Looking for something to quench your thirst without robbing the sugar bank?  You may be surprised to learn sweetened drinks can supply anywhere between 5 % to 47 % of the daily calories you may require!  It all depends on the drink and the container size you choose.  With upsizing having become popular, it’s not hard to drink yourself fat. See Table 1.

Further, research suggests that liquid calories won’t fill you up as much as calories from solid foods, and people generally don’t compensate by eating less at the following meal.  In other words, your body won’t know to crave less food at lunchtime, because you ordered an ice cold drink that just happened to supply as many calories as you needed for that entire meal.

Why Fluids are Important

Sixty per cent of your body is made up of water so getting adequate hydration is important for you to function at peak.  Headaches, dry skin, constipation, poor mental or physical performance and kidney stones are just some of the impacts of running dry.  Studies also suggest more serious concerns, such as a higher risk of heart attack, stroke and bladder cancer are possible.

Sugar sweetened beverages like soft drink, cordial, sports drink, iced tea and fruit juice should be limited to one glass per day for adults and children, if consumed at all.  Note – many sugary drinks these days arrive in your hand as inflated containers, which can easily be twice that volume!

While diet drinks may offer waistline appeal, the safety of artificial sweeteners is constantly being challenged and some research suggests they may actually make you crave more sugar and put on weight!

 Table 1. Sugar and Kilojoule Content of Selected Sugar Sweetened Beverages.

 

Teaspoons of Sugar

Kilojoules

 

Teaspoons of Sugar

Kilojoules 

Coca-cola, Hoyt’s cinemas, Super Mega container, 1.32 L

28

2376

Lipton, Ice tea, peach, 325 ml bottle

4.5

 374

McDonalds, Strawberry shake, Large container

13

1980

Prima, Fruit drink 25 % juice, orange, 200 ml carton

 4.5

 370

Coca-cola, 600 ml bottle

13

1080

Cottee's, Cordial, orange crush, prepared as directed, 250 ml cup

 3

 260

Boost, Low fat smoothie, Mango magic, medium 450 ml

11

1287

Pure Harvest, Organic almond milk, 200 ml glass

 2.5

 360

Solo, Original lemon, 375 ml can

9.5

805

Coconut water, 250 ml cup

2.5

 218

Gloria Jeans, Iced coffee with full cream milk, no cream, 511 ml container

8

1288

Skim milk, 200 ml glass

2

296

PowerAde, Sports drinks, Average all flavours, 600 ml bottle

7

786

Vegetable juice, V8, 300 ml bottle

1.5

255

Boost, Juice, Energiser, medium, 450 ml

7

738

So Good, Fat free soy milk, 200 ml glass 

 1

 280

Red Bull, Energy drink, 330 ml bottle

7

634

Iced tea home made, unsweetened e.g. green or herbal, 200 ml glass

 0

 12

Daily Juice Co., No added sugar, orange, 300 ml bottle

5

480

Mineral water, natural with lemon slice, 375 ml can

 0

 0

Values rounded to nearest half teaspoon.

The Best Solutions

Water is the best fluid for you to drink.  However, if you struggle to meet your daily 6-8 glasses quota, it can also be helpful to  know about other 'no' or 'lower kilojoule' options to top up with, which may also provide some nutrition or health benefits.

Smart choices include plain mineral water with a twist of lemon, home made iced tea with no sugar (the Japanese enjoy iced unsweetened oolong tea, so you can do it too!) vegetable juices or low fat milk or dairy alternatives such as soy drink.

This summer, don’t pile on the pounds with sugary drinks.  Drink smart.  Live well.  

Health Quote

"Water is the only drink for a wise man."
- Henry David Thoreau


What’s Cooking – Money Saving Meat Free Meals

Need a little healthy inspiration for dinner?  Want to feed your family more vegetables?  Discover how to make a gorgeous barley salad by using a pressure cooker - and shave 75 % off your cooking time!  Find out about textured vegetable protein, a versatile meat free ingredient you can store in your pantry to replace fatty mince in all your favourite recipes.

If you’re wanting to give meat the chop, or simply looking to include more meat free fare, you’ll love this cookshop!  Ideal also if you have diabetes or high cholesterol.

Join us on Tuesday 6th March from 6:30pm - 8:30pm for an unforgettable night of fun and good food!

Find out about more cookshops

Call NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to secure your seat.  Why not also book in a friend?


Clinic News – Meet Sarah Messer

Sarah is the newest member of our team having most recently completed an Honours degree in Dietetics at Newcastle University.  Having previously worked in a number of leading food and pharmaceutical corporations, Sarah can help answer your questions on a range of food products, including those relating to infants and children.  Sarah also has a great interest in weight loss and healthy eating during and after cancer. She can advise you on the best dietary pattern to help prevent cancer in the first place or its recurrence for cancer survivors.  Read more about Sarah.


What’s Fresh – Tomatoes

Although tomatoes are botanically a tropical fruit originally from South America; they aren’t dessert sweet like some other fruits.  They have a subtle sweetness complemented by a slightly bitter and tart taste, which is probably why they tend to be used and considered a vegetable.

Did you know hundreds of tomato varieties exist?  You can buy the more commonly available ones in various sizes ranging from cherry or grape, to the largest beefsteak tomato.  In Australia tomatoes are grown both in the field and on trusses in glasshouses.  In Europe, virtually all commercially produced tomatoes now thrive in glasshouses.

Truss tomatoes tend to have a better flavour than commercially grown field tomatoes as they are picked when the last tomato on the truss turns red, so the sugar content has more time to develop.  Field tomatoes are usually picked just as soon as they develop a pink tinge and some may be exposed to ethylene gas to help them ripen before market.

Tomatoes are a nutritionists and dieters delight!  One small tomato (100 g) provides only 74 kJ!  They are low salt, low sugar, low GI and packed with nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium and multiple phytonutrients like lycopene – the pigment responsible for their beautiful red colour and many health benefits. 

Getting your daily tomato dose is important as this super fruit-cum-vegetable is vital for heart and bone health as well as warding off cancer.  Most research has been conducted on prostate cancer.  Men who regularly consume tomato products have been found to have around 35-50 % reduced risk of this disease.  But evidence also links these red beauties to a reduction in lung, breast and ovarian cancers!

You can buy tomatoes all year round.  The best way to store them is in a bowl in your kitchen at room temperature with their green stems still on if they are truss grown.  Never store tomatoes in the fridge otherwise the ripening is slowed and they may not completely ripen to produce the full content of sugars.  When you have spares, rather than risk them going off, freeze whole tomatoes in a plastic bag.  When required simply run them under hot water and their skin will slip off.   Perfect for a pasta sauce!

3 ways with tomatoes:

  1. Make a quick and light meal of Bruschetta with Tomato & Basil. Too easy!
  2. Top your spaghetti with Italian chef Steve Manfredi’s delicious fresh tomato sauce
  3. Watch a short video from the Island of Crete, Greece with Sue Radd and learn to make an authentic Greek salad

Food Matters with Sue Radd – Writing off Calories!

Need to get back on the wagon after indulging too much over the festive period?  In Sue Radd’s Signs column find out how recording what you eat and drink is the closest thing you’ll get to writing off your calories!


In Your Pantry – Coconut Water

Have you tried coconut water?  Flaunted by celebrities and some sports nuts, coconut water (the juice from very young coconuts) is claimed to provide benefits ranging from an immunity boost to increased metabolism, weight loss and rehydration after exercise.  As is common, much of the marketing however is ahead of good scientific research.

We recently reviewed C Coconut Water (available from Harris Farm markets, Sydney in 330 ml tetra packs), which claims to be Australia’s first 100 % organic coconut water.  We liked it because unlike some brands it has no added sugar – a slightly sweetish beverage that could add variety to your fluid intake without costing you more than the energy value found in a thin slice of bread.

In general, coconut water is low in fat and low sodium with significantly less kilojoules than a typical soft drink (or fruit drink) but slightly more than what you’d get in a vegetable juice. We can see why it might help you rehydrate slightly faster after a one-hour workout: it provides a valuable amount of potassium on top of its water content. But, it’s anyone’s guess how coconut juice compares with a formulated sports drink that atheletes may use, such as Gatorade, as this research has yet to be carried out.

For most people fighting the flab, it's useful to know that coconut water contains less sugar and fewer kilojoules than the lollie coloured sports drinks sold in tall bottles, especially since some people misunderstand their use and can consume more kilojoules than they burn off at their training sessions.

Should you drink the juice of young coconuts?  We don’t think you need a functional reason to enjoy this re-discovered traditional food.  Coconut water is a great drink when you’re after something with a little natural sweetness but far less kilojoules than exist in most popular brands of sugary beverages.  But pure water should remain your staple hydrator.

Share these tips with your clients or in your publications.  They will save you time and they’re free!  We just ask you acknowledge the source.


Clinic News – ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Are you on Facebook?  We are!  We’re sure you’ll ‘like’ our Culinary Medicine Cookshop page. Keep up to date with additional cookshop info, including exclusive information and photos from behind the scenes, as well as interesting nutrition tips from our dietitians.  Have you tried a new recipe or dined at a new restaurant lately?  Tell us what you like and what works for you.


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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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