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Q: What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics for gut health?

Probiotics are live beneficial microorganisms ingested in adequate amounts. Main food sources: yoghurt, fermented milks. Prebiotics are types of non-digestible dietary fibre (oligosaccharides, fructan, resistant starch) that are selectively fermented by beneficial microorganisms to stimulate their growth and/or activity. Main food sources: chicory root, onion, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, leeks, soybean, baked beans, red kidney beans, whole-wheat foods, cashews, pistachio nuts, banana, watermelon, custard apples, breast milk. Both probiotics and prebiotics create a more favourable gut environment. Beneficial microorganisms such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are naturally pr

How do I lose weight? Not a read for the faint-hearted.

There are 4 strategies to lose weight: Food- directly reducing your energy intake. Mind- indirectly reducing your energy intake through increasing awareness and unlearning unhealthy behaviours. Medication- Weight-loss medications work on suppressing your appetite or reducing fat absorption. Meaning these are not ‘miracle pills’ that make you lose weight automatically. It still comes down to the fundamental concept of reducing your energy intake. In addition, there are uncomfortable side effects and are usually for short-term use up to 3 months or must be accompanied by a low fat diet. Surgery- physically restrict the amount of food that can fit and/or reduce the amount of food absorbed in th

Q: Can I increase my metabolism?

Metabolism is the chemical process of breaking down food to provide energy for basic human functions at complete rest (Basal Metabolic Rate) and physical activity. You can increase your total metabolism by increasing your physical activity and/or BMR. BMR is mostly dependent on your body size and body composition. You can increase your BMR by increasing your proportion of muscle to fat since muscles use more energy than fat. General facts: BMR of women are less than men due to smaller body size and lower proportion of muscle. BMR decreases with age due to gradual loss of muscle. BMR can decrease by 20% when your body adapts to starvation to conserve energy (e.g. crash dieting or fasting). In

Q: How to avoid forming carcinogens when cooking?

There are two types of carcinogens produced during food preparation (heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Heterocyclic amines are formed when muscle meats are cooked at high temperatures (deep-frying, shallow-frying, grilling and barbequeing). Hence you could use lower temperature cooking methods or partially cook meats in the microwave before high temperature cooking to lower the level of heterocyclic amines. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are formed when fat drops on hot fire during grilling or barbequeing foods with intense heat over a direct flame and sticks onto the surface of food. Charcoal produces less polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons than wood. Hardwoods

Q: Does frying with olive oil have legitimate health concerns?

No. High temperature frying of ‘healthy fats’ (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) can cause structural changes to form ‘unhealthy fats’ (saturated or trans fats), however, in normal domestic use the oil is usually discarded before significant structural changes occur due to the development of off odours and flavours. Tips: Choose stir-frying which uses much less oil and occurs at lower temperatures than deep-frying or shallow-frying. Other healthier cooking methods include microwaving, baking, steaming and poaching. Healthy oils including canola, sunflower, soybean, peanut and sesame oils with a high smoke point are suitable for high-temperature frying (>230°C). Olive oil is suitable

3 Key Things to look for on a Food Label to determine whether you should buy it or not

1). Nutrition Information Panel- Compare between products using the ‘per 100g’ column since the ‘per serve’ amount varies and is determined by the manufacturer. See the image for nutrients to focus on for different food groups and what’s ideal. 2). Ingredient List- Ingredients are listed in descending order of weight or volume i.e. the first 3 ingredients are the main 3 ingredients. “Other names for fat, sugar and sodium: • Fat: animal oil, beef fat, butter fat, copha, lard, milk solids, palm oil, shortening, tallow, vegetable oil • Sugar: sucrose, brown sugar, caster sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, golden syrup, honey, lactose, malt, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, raw sugar • Sodi

Q: What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics for gut health?

Probiotics are live beneficial microorganisms ingested in adequate amounts. Main food sources: yoghurt, fermented milks. Prebiotics are types of non-digestible dietary fibre (oligosaccharides, fructan, resistant starch) that are selectively fermented by beneficial microorganisms to stimulate their growth and/or activity. Main food sources: chicory root, onion, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, leeks, soybean, baked beans, red kidney beans, whole-wheat foods, cashews, pistachio nuts, banana, watermelon, custard apples, breast milk. Both probiotics and prebiotics create a more favourable gut environment. Beneficial microorganisms such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are naturally pr

How do I lose weight? Not a read for the faint-hearted.

There are 4 strategies to lose weight: Food- directly reducing your energy intake. Mind- indirectly reducing your energy intake through increasing awareness and unlearning unhealthy behaviours. Medication- Weight-loss medications work on suppressing your appetite or reducing fat absorption. Meaning these are not ‘miracle pills’ that make you lose weight automatically. It still comes down to the fundamental concept of reducing your energy intake. In addition, there are uncomfortable side effects and are usually for short-term use up to 3 months or must be accompanied by a low fat diet. Surgery- physically restrict the amount of food that can fit and/or reduce the amount of food absorbed in th

Q: Can I increase my metabolism?

Metabolism is the chemical process of breaking down food to provide energy for basic human functions at complete rest (Basal Metabolic Rate) and physical activity. You can increase your total metabolism by increasing your physical activity and/or BMR. BMR is mostly dependent on your body size and body composition. You can increase your BMR by increasing your proportion of muscle to fat since muscles use more energy than fat. General facts: BMR of women are less than men due to smaller body size and lower proportion of muscle. BMR decreases with age due to gradual loss of muscle. BMR can decrease by 20% when your body adapts to starvation to conserve energy (e.g. crash dieting or fasting). In

Q: How to avoid forming carcinogens when cooking?

There are two types of carcinogens produced during food preparation (heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Heterocyclic amines are formed when muscle meats are cooked at high temperatures (deep-frying, shallow-frying, grilling and barbequeing). Hence you could use lower temperature cooking methods or partially cook meats in the microwave before high temperature cooking to lower the level of heterocyclic amines. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are formed when fat drops on hot fire during grilling or barbequeing foods with intense heat over a direct flame and sticks onto the surface of food. Charcoal produces less polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons than wood. Hardwoods

Q: Does frying with olive oil have legitimate health concerns?

No. High temperature frying of ‘healthy fats’ (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) can cause structural changes to form ‘unhealthy fats’ (saturated or trans fats), however, in normal domestic use the oil is usually discarded before significant structural changes occur due to the development of off odours and flavours. Tips: Choose stir-frying which uses much less oil and occurs at lower temperatures than deep-frying or shallow-frying. Other healthier cooking methods include microwaving, baking, steaming and poaching. Healthy oils including canola, sunflower, soybean, peanut and sesame oils with a high smoke point are suitable for high-temperature frying (>230°C). Olive oil is suitable

3 Key Things to look for on a Food Label to determine whether you should buy it or not

1). Nutrition Information Panel- Compare between products using the ‘per 100g’ column since the ‘per serve’ amount varies and is determined by the manufacturer. See the image for nutrients to focus on for different food groups and what’s ideal. 2). Ingredient List- Ingredients are listed in descending order of weight or volume i.e. the first 3 ingredients are the main 3 ingredients. “Other names for fat, sugar and sodium: • Fat: animal oil, beef fat, butter fat, copha, lard, milk solids, palm oil, shortening, tallow, vegetable oil • Sugar: sucrose, brown sugar, caster sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, golden syrup, honey, lactose, malt, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, raw sugar • Sodi

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