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This month we weave through the March madness to pick out the latest nutrition news for you. Can soft drinks be sabotaging your health? Why might you need a health check up with your GP? Plus the best cereal breakfasts, and how a pressure cooker can save you time.

Breaking News - Does regular soft drink consumption lead to cancer? 

If you drink more than two regular soft drinks a week you may be putting yourself at greater risk of pancreatic cancer, according to research published in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. Over 60,000 people in Singapore were tracked for 14 years. In this time, 140 people in the study developed pancreatic cancer. The researchers found that those who consumed two or more soft drinks per week had an 87 percent greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Because consumption of soft drink increases the level of insulin in the body, researchers believe it may contribute to abnormal pancreatic cancer cell growth. While the findings are based on observations alone, over the past several decades, the rate of people developing pancreatic cancer has nearly doubled while at the same time our consumption of fizzy drinks has increased considerably.

In Australia, Professor Ian Olvers, CEO of the Cancer Council, cautions further research is needed. "The research from the University of Minnesota shows an association between drinking soft drinks and getting pancreatic cancer but it can't demonstrate that one causes the other" he says. He has criticised the research study as it didn’t control for two risk factors KNOWN to be associated with pancreatic cancer - smoking and eating red meat. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadliest forms of cancer, with the five-year survival rate for these cancer patients being about 5 percent.

Read the full story on ABC News http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/09/2814559.htm

What’s our verdict? Skip the soft drink and other sugary drinks and opt for water – still or sparkling – with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange to give it a refreshing lift. Water keeps you hydrated, has zero calories and is perfectly natural!

Slimming Tip of the Month - Big bottoms thumbs up!

Do you spend hours and hours at the gym trying to work off the extra weight on your hips and thighs? We’ve always known that a pear-shaped body - big hips, big bum and a small waistline -  is linked with a lower risk of heart and metabolic problems. And new research published in the International Journal of Obesity suggests that big bottoms may be actively involved in the protection mechanism.  


The research showed that although fat around the thighs and backside is harder to shift, it releases beneficial hormones which may protect arteries and assist with better blood sugar control.  Carrying fat around the waist however, tends to release harmful fatty acids into the body as well as 'cytokines' which trigger inflammation – raising the risk of diabetes and heart disease. The good news is, fat carried on the thighs can help trap the harmful fatty acids and stop them from latching on to the liver and muscles and causing a range of health problems, including insulin resistance.


What to do?  Focus on keeping your tummy area in tip top shape and don't worry so much about your thighs. The best way to shape up an unfit belly is to add in healthy foods, reduce added fats and keep active!

What's Cooking in March? Grab N' Go Meals Under 15 Minutes 

Are you struggling to find time and energy to cook? Relying on fast food could fast track you to organ damage. Enrol in a healthy ‘speed cooking’ workshop to be held in our clinic on 23rd March at 6:30 pm with leading nutritionist and author Sue Radd. See how you can easily prepare each of 5 delicious meals in less than 15 minutes, and have your Mondays to Fridays mapped out!

We’ll show you recipes that are both easy to shop for and simple to prepare. This is the perfect cookshop if you are single, a widower or divorcee, a busy executive or have little motivation to cook for one or two. No cooking skills required.

Call us NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to book your place as seats will go fast.  Find out more about this cookshop

What's Fresh? Basil

Belonging to the mint family, basil is a known favourite in the Mediterranean region, and widely enjoyed all over the world. Not only does is it delicious – fresh or dried – and can flavour a variety of your favourite dishes, it contains a good source of flavonoid antioxidants as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it can provide you with a number of health benefits.  It also supplies a source of calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin A. To ensure you lock in as many nutrients as possible, wash fresh basil leaves under cold running water, and avoid soaking them to prevent water soluble nutrients from leaching into the water.

3 ways to enjoy basil

  • Make pesto pasta – See Sue Radd’s book Eat to Live for a delicious recipe.  

  • Toss through salads or serve as a garnish with your favourite soup  

  • Team up with tomatoes in ‘Bruschetta with Tomato & Basil on Rye’. Delicious! download the recipe.

Is your MOJO missing? Could you have Coeliac disease?

Have you experienced unexplained tiredness, fatigue, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation? 1 in 100 Australian’s have confirmed Coeliac disease. However, 75% of people with this condition are yet to be diagnosed, meaning more than 157,000 Australian’s are currently living with Coeliac disease and don’t even know it!

Watch out for the cheeky new campaign ‘Is your MOJO Missing?’ during Coeliac Awareness Week in Australia (13th-20th March) by The Coeliac Society and the Coeliac Research Fund. Visit http://www.coeliacsociety.com.au/index.html for more information.

The MOJO message is quite simple - If you suffer from unexplained Coeliac symptoms as mentioned above:

Make an appointment with your doctor
Organise coeliac tests
Judge the results with your doctor
Omit gluten from your diet if your doctor advises it

If you need to exclude gluten, you will greatly benefit from personalised dietary advice by one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians. Find out how we can help you!

Does your Breakfast Give you Energy to GO?

We probably don’t need to tell you that eating breakfast is important – it increases your concentration, improves memory and gives you a brighter start to your day – but are you getting the best fuel? Learn about the top milks and cereals to help you power through your day in Sue Radd’s latest article, published in the March issue of Prevention magazine. Read more about POWER breakfasts here!

Virtual Supermarket Tour - How to make smarter food choices

Ever feel overwhelmed at the supermarket?  Want to make smarter choices when doing your grocery shopping?

Join us on 31st March at 6:30 pm for an exciting supermarket tour from the comfort of your chair.  Our senior lifestyle dietitian, Monica Kubizniak, will take you through the aisles using a big screen in our seminar room, and show you easy ways to stock your pantry with wholesome products. You’ll also receive a free shopping bag!

Here's what you will learn:

  • Benchmarks to understand what is 'high' and 'low' for certain nutrients
  • How to interpret on-pack claims such as 94 % fat free, lite and cholesterol free
  • Superfoods to better manage medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and arthritis
  • Best products to buy for you and your family

People who attended last year said, “the presentation was excellent and very informative - this should be promoted in schools”, “it was very, very good” and “I’m still surprised about the salami!”

Ring NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to make your booking or find out more. 

Is Soft Drink Making you Fat?

Did you know that the average can of soft drink has around 10 teaspoons of sugar? And when you upsize at the movies from a large to super-sized drink, this almost doubles the sugar and calories you take in! Most people realise soft drink provides little nutritional value, but few understand it has been linked to a number of health conditions, and fuels weight gain. Sue Radd tells you more in her latest Food Matters column liquid calories to burn.

In the Kitchen: Practical tips, new gadgets & essential
tools - Pressure Cooker!

If you want to cook delicious meals from scratch but can’t find the time to do so - you may benefit from a pressure cooker.  This amazing timesaver allows you to cook all those healthy wholegrains and legumes in a quarter of the time it takes to make them using a saucepan on a regular stove. It will allow you to cook quickly, cheaply and efficiently.

Confused about how a pressure cooker works? Without having to get a degree in physics, a pressure cooker works simply by building up pressure from steam in the pot, which cooks food at a very high temperature. This method can cut your cooking time by up to 70 %!  It also keeps foods moist, mingles flavours in no time and helps retain more nutrients because of the reduced length of cooking and the fact that the nutrient rich steam condenses back into the pot rather than being lost.

Sue Radd says "a pressure cooker is a must in my kitchen to be able to cook wholegrains and legumes in no time.  In fact, I own four of them!"

You may have heard stories of pressure cookers exploding! Multiple safety features have made this a thing of the past. Modern pressure cookers come with safety features including double locking lids, pressure indicators, over-pressure safety systems and multiple steam release valves so these days there is no concern.

Pressure cookers can range from $150- $600, depending on the brand. A good stainless steel  cooker will last for years, and needless to say, save you endless hours in the kitchen!

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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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