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Plant Sterols: A Simple Way to Lower Cholesterol

Plant Sterols: A Simple Way to Lower Cholesterol

Early in my career as a dietitian, I faced a common problem. I was working in medical centres and seeing clients who would be bulk billed, so their session was free of charge. When I would ask “what are we looking to do today?” I would often get a response along the lines of “I have high cholesterol and my doctor said I should come see you. I don’t really think I’ll get much out of this, but they told me to come anyway.” Obviously giving standard nutrition advice to reduce cholesterol would not really cut it. Advice that is…
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Ashwagandha for Health and Performance

Ashwagandha for Health and Performance

Ashwagandha (also known as Withania somnifera) is a herb that is common in Ayurveda, which is a type of alternative medicine that originated in India more than 3000 years ago.  This herb falls into the category of an “adaptogen” which is defined as substances that are used in herbal medicine to help your body to respond to stress, anxiety, and fatigue, or to improve overall wellbeing. A Quick Preface Although it seems out of place for an evidence-based dietitian to be talking about a herb used in alternative medicine, it makes a bit more sense when we look at it from…
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Collagen Supplements and Osteoarthritis

Collagen Supplements and Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can be incredibly frustrating. It makes total sense to be exploring any option that could help improve it. There are a lot of options that are proposed to help. Collagen supplementation, in various forms, is an option that has been promoted to help. This post aims to cover the current research on the topic, while also exploring whether it is worth taking. Understanding Osteoarthritis – Background to Understanding How Collagen Could Help Osteoarthritis is defined as the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. It often causes pain and stiffness. Cartilage is a tough, but smooth and slippery…
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How to Accurately Test and Fix Your Metabolism

How to Accurately Test and Fix Your Metabolism

The amount of calories we burn is typically what most people think of when they are talking about their 'metabolism' or 'metabolic rate'. Your metabolism is actually an entire network of biochemical processes that sustain life! Most biochemical reactions require energy. To provide energy for these reactions, other reactions enable us to harness energy by breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, fats and alcohol. The Difference Between Calories and Energy Calories measure how much energy is contained in the macronutrients that make up food - but the body doesn't technically "use" calories.  This would be like saying the body uses "litres" when talking about using water.…
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Nutrition for Reducing Blood Pressure: A Comprehensive Guide

Nutrition for Reducing Blood Pressure: A Comprehensive Guide

High blood pressure (hypertension) is well known for increasing the risk of complications like heart disease and stroke. There are many options for how to reduce it, which in turn can reduce the risk of a lot of health complications.  One thing I want to address with this article is to provide a relatively comprehensive guide, while also keeping it relatively easy to read. Somebody recently asked me if I had any good resources to send them on how to reduce blood pressure. Although I had not yet written anything personally, I did not think it would be hard to…
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Is Kombucha Worth The Hype? A Dietitian’s Review 

Is Kombucha Worth The Hype? A Dietitian’s Review 

Kombucha is really having a moment as a widely used ‘health food’.  Most supermarkets and corner stores usually stock not just one, but several brands of this fermented beverage.  But does kombucha actually provide health benefits? Is it worth all of the hype it is receiving? As a dietitian, kombucha is not a food that I would go out of my way to recommend to everyone. However, I do see it as a great option when water won’t quite quench that thirst. Personally, I love the taste of kombucha and the recent variety of flavors that are now available on…
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Set Point Theory – Is it a Thing We Should Care About?

Set Point Theory – Is it a Thing We Should Care About?

Set Point Theory is the theory that the body has a specific weight or weight range, that it tries to stay within. If you go above or below that range, your body will theoretically compensate in ways that lead to it pulling you back towards your natural set-point. This theory is designed to explain why a lot of people consistently find themselves weighing within a certain range much of the time, even if they take action to try and change it. It can be a potential explanation for why people often regain weight after weight loss. This post covers how…
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Should You Have Slow Digesting/Absorbing Protein Before Bed?

Should You Have Slow Digesting/Absorbing Protein Before Bed?

Whey protein is well known for being a “fast-digesting protein source” while casein is a “slow-digesting protein source.” Having whey protein post-workout when you want protein rapidly and having casein before bed when you want to be minimising muscle protein breakdown overnight makes sense based on this logic. In nutrition though, it is not uncommon for things to make sense when you look at a single mechanism, but fall apart when you look at the big picture. In this case, the big picture thing we really care about is – does this approach lead to more muscle gain/retention in the…
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Which is Better: Whey Protein Concentrate or Isolate?

Which is Better: Whey Protein Concentrate or Isolate?

Whey protein is typically considered to be the gold standard for protein powder. Other forms of protein could arguably be just as good, or similar, but it is hard to argue that another form of protein is “better” for muscle growth. But if you are relatively new to buying protein powder, you may have noticed that there are multiple types of whey protein. Whey protein concentrate (WPC) and whey protein isolate (WPI) are the most common types. This leads to the obvious question: Which one should you buy? Which one is better? Are there certain situations where you would benefit more…
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Rhodiola Rosea: A Dietitian’s Review

Rhodiola Rosea: A Dietitian’s Review

Rhodiola Rosea has long been used in certain countries for medical purposes but has recently gained popularity in the western world. There have been claims that it can help with a variety of conditions. It is most known for its properties as an adaptogen, which means it theoretically helps your body handle stress. In this post, I will be going through a couple of the proposed benefits of Rhodiola and examining the evidence on the topic. Stress Decreasing stress and handling burnout-like symptoms is one of the most common claims for Rhodiola. One promising study on the topic featured over…
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