Health & Lifestyle
We’ve all experienced how confusing nutrition and healthy eating can be these days. With so much conflicting information at our fingertips, it is only natural to wonder whether the ‘all chocolate diet’ is really going to work for you. The Healthy Eating Hub is a start-up business in Harrison, Canberra offering top quality, individualised nutrition and dietetic services. The Healthy Hub team is made up of four University of Canberra graduates and in this edition they provide a little insight into the world of nutrition backed up by science and facts.
Eat your superfoods
There is no set definition for a superfood, but most nutrition professionals agree it’s a food superior in its class. The term is a new trend and you can pay exorbitant amounts of money for the so-called ‘superfoods’. Forget fancy pants ingredients with unpronounceable names and go back to basics.
The most legit superfoods are vegetables and fruits because of their high nutrient density, think: broccoli, spinach, carrot, capsicum, kale, sweet potato, strawberries, blueberries and apples. Five serves of these per day and you reduce your risk of all-cause mortality by up to 20 per cent. That’s pretty super if you ask me!
Kate Freeman – Bachelor of Human Nutrition, 2004
Build those muscles, lose the fat
What’s the best way to gain muscle and lose fat? Well, for whom? Everyone is individual and has different lifestyles and circumstances. There is rarely a black and white answer in nutrition.
We can break it into three goals: building muscle, losing body fat and the holy grail of re-composition (both at the same time).
Building muscle: requires enough energy through food to provide the body with adequate building blocks, consuming adequate protein and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables consistently over time. You should combine this with a resistance training program that emphasises progressive overload.
Losing fat on the other hand involves creating and maintaining an effective energy deficit via a reduction in food or increase in exercise (or both). Base the majority of your intake on minimally processed whole foods, protein and vegetables.
Toning up can take a frustratingly long time to see results because building muscle and losing fat require opposite processes in the body. One requires a ‘surplus’, the other a ‘deficit’. Pick one or the other and make re-composition or being toned the long-term goal.
James Kuhn – Bachelor of Coaching Science, 2013
Maintain your weight and still be social
The occasional meal out won’t impact our weight, but what we do on a consistent basis will. Look at your week or month as a whole. You might have estimated you will only eat out once a week, but when you see it planned out it may be adding up to 10-12 times per month.
The best way to maintain a healthy weight and stay social is to have a realistic plan, prioritise the important things and eat mindfully.
Plan out social events and work out how to moderate food choices. Prioritise what’s important to you in each situation. Is having drinks at every Christmas gathering more important than maintaining weight? Eat mindfully. Once you have made a food decision, enjoy it. Don’t let it pass you by without realising.
Clare Wolski – Master of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2014
Easy grocery shopping
- Supplies – stocking up on pantry basics is essential. By having these on hand, it is easy to quickly and cheaply create a healthy meal or snack. My ‘pantry musts’ include tinned tomatoes (salt reduced), stock, breakfast cereal, bread, cooking oil, baked beans or other tinned beans.
- Planning – meal planning is the cornerstone of weight loss and maintenance. Make sure you have enough healthy snacks and meals for the week. Carry a piece of fruit or a muesli bar as a snack option.
- Bulk Cooking – can be very cost effective and a major time saver. Curries, soups and stews are great bulk cooking foods.
- Love thy vegetable – veggies are the foundation of a healthy diet. Choosing seasonal vegetables can be an easy and cheap way to add or bulk up a meal. Frozen or fresh – it doesn’t matter.
Rebecca Mete - Master of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2015
Words by Caitlin Judd