Sunday, 25 October 2015
There has been a lot of breathless excitement in the tabloid media this morning comparing bacon to tobacco or asbestos as far as cancer risk. (which is actually no surprise) I thought Id go straight to the World Health Organisation and read their report on cancer risk. Here's some excerpts from the section on colorectal cancer (the whole thing is LONG so I have pulled out relevant bits - the whole report I linked at the end):
"Colorectal cancer incidence rates are approximately ten-fold higher in developed than in developing countries, and it has been suggested that diet-related factors may account for up to 80% of the differences in rates between countries.The best established diet-related risk factor is overweight/obesity, and physical activity has been consistently associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. These factors together, however, do not explain the large variation between populations in colorectal cancer rates.....
Studies have shown a strong association between per capita consumption of meat and colorectal cancer mortality but not with poultry or fish.... Overall, the evidence suggests that high consumption of preserved and red meat probably increases the risk for colorectal cancer.As with meat, international correlation studies show a strong association between per capita consumption of fat and colorectal cancer mortality ....
Many case--control studies have observed association between
the risk of colorectal cancer and high consumption of fruits and
vegetables and/or dietary fibre. On balance, the evidence that is currently available suggests that intake of fruits and vegetables probably reduces the risk for colorectal cancer....
Some prospective studies have suggested that a highintake of folate is associated with a reduced risk for colon cancer . Another promising hypothesis is that relatively high intakes of calcium may reduce the risk for colorectal cancer....
There is almost universal agreement that some aspects of the ‘‘westernized’ diet are a major determinant of risk; for instance, there is some evidence that risk is increased by high intakes of meat and fat, and that risk is decreased by high intakes of fruits and vegetables, dietary fibre, folate and calcium."
So based on this report we should eat more fruit and vegetables, more fibre, less fat, less meat and processed meat and if you do eat meat then focus on poultry and fish. Treat your bacon as a treat food. Make sure we get enough folate (from green leafy vegetables) and calcium (from vegetables, fish, dairy or calcium fortified alternatives) and avoid heavily processed foods.
Now, there's a surprise!! ;)
Oh and one more recommendation: don't get your health advice from the tabloid media!
Lyndal at Lean Green and Healthy HQ
Full WHO report is here http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/trs916/en/gsfao_cancer.pdf
Australian Dietary Guidelines recommendations on meat are here:
Monday, 5 October 2015
My version had zucchini, carrot, onion, fresh parsley, dill, peas, spinach and red salmon - but this recipe has flexibility to use whatever is in your fridge!
2 large zucchinis
2 large carrots
a cup of whatever other vegetables you have handy (fresh frozen or canned) such as spinach, corn, peas, shallots, capsicum
fresh or dried herbs
1 cup of leftover rice or canned cannelini beans or chick peas for low GI energy
200g can red salmon (optional - consider adding diced tofu for protein if you are not a fish eater)
1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
5 eggs (whisked)
squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup grated low fat cheese
Preheat oven to 200 C
Grate your zucchini and carrots into a large bowl
Finely dice onion, herbs and any other veggies and add all into the bowl.
Add rice or drained beans and can of salmon, season with salt pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice
Sprinkle cheese on top
Spoon into a well greased cake tin /baking dish and bake for 30-40 mins or so until golden on top and springy. Slice into squares. Serve hot with a salad or vegetables, or cold .
Keep for 3 days in the fridge or 4 weeks in the freezer.
Friday, 2 October 2015
Chia seeds seem to be one of the newest "superfoods" on the block and get mentioned everywhere. These little black (or white) seeds are probably closest in taste and texture to poppy seeds, but with a whole lot more exciting properties.
Thursday, 1 October 2015
Like many other diabetics, I have to tread carefully with white potatoes. The high carbohydrates and high GI nature of potatoes means that they push my blood sugar up - even though they are nutritious and delicious! That is, unless I eat them in potato salad. So why are cold potatoes different to warm potatoes? Its all because of a wonderful component called resistant starch.
So what is resistant starch?
Resistant starch is a type of dietary fibre that is fermented in the large bowel and feeds the gut microbiome - the bacteria in your bowel that do so much good. Despite the messages to eat more fibre, and people are doing that, most people are increasing their fibre with processed foods like cereals, which don't necessarily contain resistant starch. More fibre yes, but all the great health benefits, no. There is evidence that a healthy gut microbiome plays a role in preventing diabetes, obesity and some cancers, and may even have a role in mental health, so it’s worth taking a moment to understand how to keep it healthy. So rather than just eating any kind of fibre, we particularly need to be eating more resistant starch for a healthy gut and a healthy body.
So where do you find resistant starch?
It can be found in some starchy fruits and vegetables (eg bananas and sweet potatoes), in legumes (have I told you how awesome beans, chick peas and lentils are lately?) and interestingly, in some cooked and cooled starchy foods. Cooking and cooling starchy foods like rice, pasta and potatoes, and eating them cold, lowers the GI and increases the amount of resistant starch. Add some healthy fats and lemon juice and you lower the GI further – so when it is too warm to eat beautiful lentil soups and chick pea curries, change to summer starch foods like potato salad, rice salad and pasta salad!
Add lentils to your meals, cook and cool some rice to add to salads, diced and roast some sweet potatoes to throw in everything – there are loads of easy ways to get slow burning energey and make your bowel bugs happy at the same time.
|For resistant starch goodness, add |
lentils and beans to everything!
All about resistant starch
Most potato salads have heavy creamy dressings which are often also quite sweet and can stack on the calories with unnecessary fats. Not mine! So I guess I should share my magical potato salad recipe too!
white potatoes (you can add sweet potatoes as well for added colour and flavour)
2 hard boiled eggs
I haven't listed amounts here as you can really fiddle with this until it tastes right for you.
Roughly chop your potatoes ad steam them with skins on until tender. You can get lower GI potatoes called Carisma from Coles) but any potatoes will work for this. Adding orange sweet potato (kumara) will make it extra interesting!
Hard boil two eggs, chop them up and pop them in the fridge to cool, along with your potatoes. About an hour in the fridge or half an hour in the freezer should do the trick.
Finely dice a red onion, a bunch of fresh parsley. If you want extra bursts of flavour you could also add chopped gherkins, capers, capsicum, a tin of corn or even a little bacon.
For the dressing mix a cup of plain Greek yoghurt with a tablespoon of dijon mustard, a tablespoon of grain mustard and a drizzle of honey. Mix well then fold the dressing through the potatoes, eggs, onions and herbs.
Serve with a quarter of lemon to squeeze on the side. Left overs will keep in the fridge for 2 days or so (if you don't eat it all first!)
|Potato salad makes a delicious and nutritious side dish|