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 Hello [name],

Autumn is here! This March we’ll look at ways to keep off the kilos in the cooler weather by flicking refined foods and going with the ‘whole’ grain and we’ll discover the health benefits and ways to use polenta.  Plus, we’ll take a sneak peak at a new cookshop to help lower high blood pressure and see what kitchen appliance is a must if you have a busy lifestyle!

What’s in the News – Go Whole for a Whole New You!

If your meals feature refined carbohydrates - think white bread, cornflakes and jasmine rice - you’re likely to be carrying an extra 10 % body fat compared to if you’re filling up with wholegrains according to the latest research. 

The research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has revealed that adults who consume at least 3 serves of wholegrains and less than one serve of refined grains each day have, on average, 10 % less visceral fat and smaller waistlines compared to those who enjoy less than one serve of wholegrains daily.  What’s a serve?  A serve of grains is defined in this study as one slice of bread or half a cup of cooked rice or oatmeal. 

While we’ve known for some time that wholegrains can lower the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and even cancer, this new research considers how eating various types of grain foods is linked to fat storage in our body. 

The fat that surrounds our organs is known as visceral fat whereas the fat that primarily sits under our skin is called subcutaneous fat.  Scientists are particularly interested in visceral fat as this is strongly related to health problems.  By decreasing this type of fat on your body, you can decrease your risk of multiple chronic diseases!  That’s right.  Simply make the switch to less processed, wholegrain, products and you can lower the amount of visceral fat and slim down! Read the full story on Newswise.

Our advice: opt for wholegrains over refined grains whenever you can!  There are many to choose from, including wholegrain breads and cereals, wholemeal or buckwheat pasta, barley, traditional oats, brown rice, polenta and quinoa. (Learn more about Polenta in What’s Fresh).

Aim for 3 serves of wholegrains per day.  A recent survey in America showed that only 5% of the population meet this goal – so come on Australia, let’s see what we can do!

See Sue Radd’s column to learn more about the health benefits of wholegrains or book in to see one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians and find out how you can  incorporate more wholegrains into your day.  Call the clinic NOW on (02) 9899 5208 to book your appointment.

Health Tip

Did you know that your taste buds are replaced every 2 weeks?  This means your taste sensations can change.  Try cutting back on the amount of salt you add to food today and you will see that within just a few weeks, you won’t even be missing it!

The 4th week in March this year is Salt Awareness Week.  To find out easy ways you can decrease the amount of salt in your diet, check out the helpful hints from the Australian Division of World Action on Salt and Health (AWASH) and come along to our very special cookshop and see first hand how to flavour your food, minus the salt!

Flavoursome Meals to Fight Hypertension

Want to learn more about foods that fight increases in your blood pressure?  If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension or pre-hypertension (meaning your readings are between 120/80 and 139/89) this cookshop is for you!  Find out why salt is a killer condiment for more than 20 conditions including hypertension, stroke, osteoporosis, vertigo and carpal tunnel syndrome and how dropping salt can improve your life.

Join us on 22nd March from 6:30 – 8:30 pm to learn culinary tricks so you can plate out flavoursome meals, low in sodium, and avoid the need for multiple medications in the future.

Find out more about this special cookshop.        

Phone us TODAY on (02) 9899 5208 and book your seat for some ‘no pressure’ cooking! 

New Product – Kraft LiveActive Cheese

You may have already spotted LiveActive cheese in your supermarket and wondered whether it’s for you.  This new cheese is enriched with plant sterols, which are proven to lower cholesterol.  Essentially, it is the cheese version of Flora ProActive spread.  How does it work?  The added plant sterols lower high cholesterol by decreasing the amount of cholesterol re-absorption from the gut into the body.  Fortunately this cheese is also lower in saturated fat compared to most cheeses (saturated fat raises cholesterol).  Two slices will provide you with your daily requirement of plant sterols to lower a high cholesterol.  This cheese is not aimed at people with normal cholesterol levels.  Find out more about LiveActive Cheese.

What’s Fresh – Polenta

Bright yellow in colour, delicious and satisfying, polenta is a coarsely ground ‘flour’ made from maize/corn that is easy to cook at home.  It’s not only great for people who require a gluten free diet, it can also improve your eye and bowel health! 

Traditionally polenta was considered a peasant food and used throughout northern Italy and some other parts of Europe, but it is now enjoyed throughout the world and features on the menus of some fancy restaurants.  In its most basic form, polenta is simmered with water to create a creamy porridge, but this food is so versatile it can be served as either a sweet or savoury.

Polenta is high in many vitamins and minerals which are important for your health.  Vitamin A is just one of its virtues.  Vitamin A plays an important role in protecting your eyes from various diseases, including cataracts, as does the impressive content of zeaxanthin (the antioxidant that colours the polenta bright yellow).

Additionally, polenta’s fibre content, particularly the huge amount of resistant starch, can help improve your bowel function.  Resistant starch has been linked in multiple studies to a decreased risk of bowel cancer.

You can buy polenta (maize meal) from the health food section of your supermarket.

3 ways with Polenta

Do You Enjoy Seafood?  Sustainable Seafood Day – 18th March

Fish is a precious commodity and our global fish stocks are under threat.   To find out how you can source more sustainable seafood in Australia, so you can continue to enjoy it in the future, check out the Marine Stewardship Council’s website.

In the Kitchen – Rice Cooker

Cooking grains in a pot can take a long time (and be messy if you don’t pay attention).  This is when a rice cooker can come in handy!  Not only are rice cookers great for cooking any rice to perfection they can be used to cook a whole variety of other wholegrains - easily.  While they require approximately the same amount of cooking time, another advantage is that rice cookers allow you to go off and do other things while your rice is happily cooking away in the background.

Rice cookers are clever little machines.  They contain a heater and a thermostat and cook rice by boiling water.  Once all the water is absorbed into the rice, a thermostat detects the change in temperature, turns the cooker off and will then keep your rice warm until ready to serve!

Whether you have a small family or are cooking for the masses, you’re bound to find a rice cooker to suit your needs.  The smaller rice cookers, which can take 5-6 cups, can be picked up for around $30 AUS.   For the larger and more sophisticated cookers (with multiple settings) you may need to invest up to $200 AUS.  Some rice cookers also have settings for different types of rice (including risotto).   You can buy a rice cooker from department stores and Asian shops.

We use our rice cooker to make barley, quinoa, brown rice, red rice and basmati!  What do you cook with yours?  Have a go at making our Cashew Fried Rice Recipe.

Tell Your Friends! 

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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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