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It’s a great month to update yourself on the healthy amount of weight to be gained during pregnancy, kiwifruit, our super popular low GI cookshop for winter and clever ways to drop the GI of your potatoes!

Weight Gain During Pregnancy How Much is Too Much?

Pregnancy is an exciting time for mums-to-be and one that should provide adequate rest, relaxation and optimal nutrition so your baby can have the best possible start. However, some women fall under the spell of “eating for two” during pregnancy, which can lead to excessive gestational weight gain and health problems down the track - for both mum and bub!

Complications of packing on the pounds

According to newly released guidelines by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), women who pack on the pounds during pregnancy increase their risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, complications through labour and delivery, difficulty in returning to pre-pregnancy weight and future obesity. What’s more, babies born to such mums are more likely to have a preterm delivery, higher birth weight, increased risk of developing insulin resistance (meaning they will be at greater risk later for diabetes) and even experience what is known as ‘foetal programming’ in the womb - a re-calibration of their body systems to make it easier for them to become fat in childhood!  

It’s important to act early.

Healthy pregnancy weight gain

A recent Australian study on pregnant women found that more than one third were already overweight or obese at the beginning of their pregnancy and few knew their recommended pregnancy weight gain range.  

How much weight should you gain? The recommended amount of weight gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight and corresponding Body Mass Index (BMI). To work out your BMI, you need to know your height (in metres) and usual weight (in kilograms) before you became pregnant. Follow the formula below or get a friend who is a maths whiz to calculate this for you:             

 BMI =      Weight (kg)
                Height (m2) 

By knowing your pre-pregnancy BMI, you can select the guideline for weight gain that is most relevant to your situation. The table below shows how much weight gain is recommended in relation to your pre-pregnancy BMI. You will note that if you go into pregnancy skinny, you will need to gain more weight than if you start out as a ‘big girl’. Indeed, if you are already overweight, and have a tendency to put on weight easily, you will need to be very careful that you do not balloon out during this important time.

Pre-pregnancy BMI

Weight gain recommendation

Low BMI (less than 18.5)

12.5 – 18 kg

Healthy BMI (18.5-24.9)

11.5 – 16 kg

Overweight BMI (25-29.9)

7 – 11.5 kg

Obese BMI (30+)

5 - 9 kg

It’s a good idea to weigh yourself every week (especially if you are starting overweight), to keep an eye on how rapidly you are gaining weight. As the actual amount of weight you will gain may vary slightly for each pregnancy you go through, your dietitian can provide you with a personalised guide on how much weight you should expect to gain within each trimester.

Eat right feel right

Pregnancy is certainly not a time to be on a highly restrictive diet. But it’s also not a license to indulge in the ‘fast food groups’ or spend all day grazing on biscuits or chips. With a little planning, you can enjoy delicious and healthy meals (and snacks) without putting on too much weight.

Your dietitian is a great resource when it comes to pregnancy foods. She can provide a personalised eating program to meet your increased nutritional needs as well as cooking tips and easy recipe ideas.

Changing your lifestyle and dietary habits throughout pregnancy can be challenging. But staying focused and getting regular support can make a world of difference to your results. Research shows that interventions based on physical activity and dietary counselling, combined with weight monitoring, can help prevent excessive weight gain and increase your success of achieving a healthy pregnancy. Why not look and feel your best – both now and in the future?

Health Quote

 “Remember that the more weight you gain above the norm, the harder it will be to lose later.” - Julie Gilbert 

New Sue Radd's Healthy Eating Plate – Published in the Medical Journal of Australia

Ever wanted more guidance to eat a healthy plant-based diet? How should you balance your plate? According to recent Newspoll research 70 % of Australians consume some plant-based meals in the belief that eating less meat and more plant foods improves overall health.

To assist GP’s to more easily counsel their vegetarian patients and anyone wanting to adopt more plant based meals, leading Australian dietitians Sue Radd and Dr Kate Marsh have co-authored a unique practical paper.

“Practical tips for preparing healthy and delicious plant-based meals” is published this month in the Medical Journal of Australia as part of a special supplement, which reviews the risks and benefits of plant-based diets.

Download the Healthy Eating Plate device, which you can use to plan meals and see photographs of sample plant-based food plates.

Virtual Supermarket Tour – Get Coached on Reading Food Labels & Shop Smarter

How do you choose the best foods at the supermarket? What levels of nutrients, such as sugar, salt and fat do you look for when checking labels? Do you spend more time around the perimeter or middle aisles?

Join us for a fun filled night and participate in a Virtual Supermarket Tour. We’ll take you through the aisles of a typical store in the comfort of your chair. 

We’ve done all the hard work for you and taken hundreds of packet shots so you can compare brands and practice reading the labels that most interest you.

Increase your confidence and pick the healthiest choices to make a significant difference to your blood test results. Impress your doctor!

When: Wednesday 27th June, 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

Sarah Messer, our lifestyle dietitian with an interest in food product composition, will be running this event so you won’t want to miss out!  Find out more.

Call NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to reserve your spot and bring a friend. 

What’s Fresh – Kiwifruit

Did you know that one medium kiwifruit beats an average orange for vitamin C content?

Kiwifruit originated from China and not New Zealand. Initially termed ‘Chinese gooseberry', the fruit was exported to New Zealand and grown commercially in the early 1900s where it was renamed ‘kiwifruit' by Kiwi exporters.  

It is characterised by its oval shape - typically the size of a large hen's egg - fibrous, dull brown-green skin, bright green or golden flesh (the golden variety is sweeter) and rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. 

Kiwifruit can be grown in most temperate climates with adequate summer heat, but the bulk of production in Australia occurs in Victoria (60%) and New South Wales (20%) from March to June. So it's a good time to be eating kiwifruit if you want local produce, as a large proportion sold in Australia from July through December is imported from New Zealand.

Not only is kiwifruit a delicious and versatile addition to many meals and snacks, it also has many nutritional virtues making it a popular choice for adults and kids. Kiwifruits are high in vitamin C, with 100 grams of kiwifruit providing one and half times as much vitamin C as an orange! They are also a good source of vitamin E.

What’s more, kiwifruits are waistline friendly as they contain very little energy (less than 220 kJ per 100 g serve). Research also shows kiwifruits excellent source of dietary fibre promotes bowel regularity – you’ll need two kiwifruit per day - and helps keep you feeling fuller for longer.

When buying kiwifruits select those, which are plump, large and oval in shape. Those, that when pressed firmly yield to gentle pressure are ripe. Refrigerate kiwifruit away from other fruit for up to two weeks. With its soft texture and unique flavour, kiwifruit makes a great addition to fruit salads, sorbets, cheese platters, savoury salads or breakfast cereal.

3 ways with kiwi:

  1. Include some kiwifruit in your frappe for a fibre boost! 
  2. Add two kiwifruit to your lunchbox – the golden ones are much sweeter and kids will love them!
  3. Slice and top with low fat yoghurt for a guilt-free treat!

What’s Cooking in July – Hearty Winter Meal Ideas to Make Low GI Eating Delicious

Do you need more help or new recipe ideas to eat low GI this winter?  

See how you can create satisfying low GI dishes to warm you up and tame your blood sugars at the same time.  

Learn to operate a pressure cooker and rice cooker and save time cooking wholegrains. Try our interesting blends! 

Taste a super low GI curry (using special chickpeas with an unbelievable GI of only 11!) plus a nourishing traditional dessert, which you can also snack on or eat for breakfast – it’s that good for you.

Low GI eating is ideal if you have insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease, PCOS, acne, fatty liver or are struggling to lose weight!

Date: Tuesday, 17th July, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.         

If you’ve attended a low GI cookshop before please call us, chances are you will experience a whole new menu!

Learn more about this cookshop. 

Call TODAY on (02) 9899 5208 to book your seat and bring your partner – we’ll feed you both! 

Food InFocus with Sue Radd – What Size is Your Plate?

Our plates are getting bigger and our serving sizes are increasing to match. It's not just what you eat, it's also how much.

Check out a 4 minute TV segment with Nutritionist Sue Radd who explains the psychology behind portion distortion and what you can do to avoid the common traps.

Kitchen Tips – 7 Ways to Drop the GI of Your Potatoes

Love potatoes but worry about the impact of their high GI level on your health?  

Potatoes make a great addition to curries or salads and can be eaten as a satisfying side. But the ordinary spud also carries a high GI tag – especially if it’s baked (GI 98) or mashed (GI 83) - leading to unwanted fluctuations in your blood sugar levels.  

Fortunately, not all potatoes are bad news. Some potato can be part of a balanced diet if you know how to use it.

Unless fried as hot chips or smothered in butter (think mash!), potatoes are actually low in fat. Importantly, they contain no saturated fat or cholesterol and are a good source of vitamin B6, potassium and fibre if you eat them with their skin on.

Here are some tricks to drop the GI of your potatoes:

  1. Cook potatoes the day before, refrigerate, then serve cold – either plain or in salad form. Cold, cooked potato contains a type of dietary fibre known as resistant starch that is slowly digested, effectively lowering the GI value.
  2. Choose a lower GI potato variety. Most potatoes have a GI of around 80; however some varieties have been found to have a lower GI value. Look out for new or baby potatoes (GI 54) or Nicola (GI 58) varieties. Or try Carisma (GI 53), which is a type of potato that has been specifically cultivated to have a lower GI (available in Coles). Alternatively, orange fleshed sweet potatoes have a lower GI than white potatoes (GI 61) and can be used as a substitute in most dishes.
  3. Add legumes or nuts to dishes containing potato as these foods can act to dampen the glycemic effect. For example, try adding a few toasted slivered almonds to a potato and spinach curry or toss in a can of chickpeas to bring down the GI.
  4. Learn to cook more eggplant and okra and serve alongside potato based dishes. These vegetables are loaded with viscous fibres, which can help drop the GI of the entire meal.  Why not try our Middle Eastern recipe for Okra with Tomato Sauce - a great winter warmer for the coming months!
  5. Drizzle your salad with vinaigrette (extra virgin olive oil and vinegar of your choice). Healthy fats and vinegar can also lower the GI of your meal.  Alternatively, squeeze some lemon on your potato or make a lemony potato salad like the Greeks do (with no mayo).
  6. Instead of mashed potato, try our Cauliflower Mash, mashed sweet potato or thick cooked dahl. They’re all delicious!
  7. Finally, remember to always keep your potato portion moderate e.g. 1 medium potato per serve. Any carbohydrate food if eaten in large enough quantity, can still raise your blood sugar very quickly.

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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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