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Health Tips

The Legume and Grains Ready-to-use Bites

By 27/03/2013 No Comments

Sugar in the spotlight

Quite often the words sugar, excess energy, higher GI and weight gain appear hand in hand. So it’s understandable that many Australians look at the sugar content of breakfast cereals when selecting the healthier option, however a recent research makes us think again. A study of the breakfast cereals available in Australian supermarkets has found that there is no link between the amount of sugar and the number of calories energy or GI of the cereal.  To choose a healthier breakfast option instead of looking at the sugar content, think positive and choose nutrient rich whole grain or high fibre breakfast cereals.

Bill Shrapnel

Amount of sugar in Australian breakfast cereals is not associated with energy density or glycaemic index: Results of a systematic survey

Nutrition & Dietetics, January 2013

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1747-0080.12014/abstract

Give whole grains a go

Establishing a healthy habit takes effort, however unlike some healthy habits eating whole grains appears to be easier to maintain in the long run. Participants in a recent study were encouraged to swap to  whole grains for 4 months. When researchers followed up a year later they found that participants were eating more whole grains compared to their original diet despite the study having finished. Whole grains are nutrient dense and are promoted by health authorities around the world for their health benefits. If you haven’t given whole grains a go why not start now, it’s as easy as choosing a whole grain cereal for breakfast and whole grain bread for lunch.

Iain A. Brownlee et al

The impact of a 16-week dietary intervention with prescribed amounts of whole-grain foods on subsequent, elective whole grain consumption

British Journal of Nutrition,  2013

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8832647

Want to live a long and healthy life?

An Australian study of 2890 older Australians found that those whose dietary habits followed the dietary guidelines reduced their risk of death by 21% over a 15 year period. The recently updated Australian Dietary Guidelines provides a timely reminder for us to see how our diet compares. Following the guidelines ensures you receive the full range of nutrients needed for health and disease protection. An easy way to check the health of your diet is to ask yourself whether your everyday diet is based on the five core food groups which include grains (mostly whole grain and high fibre), fruits, vegetables (including legumes), lean proteins and low fat dairy.

Joanna Russella et al

Adherence to dietary guidelines and 15-year risk of all-cause mortality

British Journal of Nutrition, 2012

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22571690

Kamut an Ancient Grain

Kamut is an ancient variety of wheat with 21st century health potential. A recent study compared heart health measures of 22 healthy people for 2 months while they ate either Kamut wheat products (bread, pasta and crackers) or semi whole grain wheat products.  Researchers found that eating Kamut products improved heart health by reducing inflammation and cholesterol levels. This study, although small, highlights the potential of Kamut as another whole grain with health benefits. As the research continues to unlock the health benefits of ancient grains like Kamut, keep an eye out for these ancient grains in your super market.

F Sofi et al

Characterization of Khorasan wheat (Kamut) and impact of a replacement diet on cardiovascular risk factors: cross-over dietary intervention study

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition January 2013

http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ejcn2012206a.html

Follow Up Bite

GI of rice varieties

Following on from the recent discovery that most rice varieties have a low or moderate GI, here are some additional findings of the study conducted by CSIRO researcher DrMelissa Fitzgerald:

  • Australian rices are in the medium range of GI.
  • GI values of the 235 varieties tested ranged from 48-92.
  • The lowest GI rice was a variety from the International Rice Research Institute, followed by an old Chinese variety called Shan-Huang Zhan-2.
  • In general varieties from South Asia, including India , Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were in the lower end of the GI range. A popular variety from south India called Samba Masoori was the fifth lowest GI.
  • In general varieties from South East Asia, were in the slightly higher end of GI values, with rices from Loas and Thailand having the highest GI.

Research also identified the key gene that determines the GI of rice, and so we are likely to see more specialised low GI varieties on our supermarket shelves in the near future.

Fitzgerald, M. A., et al.

Identification of a major genetic determinant of glycaemic index in rice. Rice. 2011;4(2): 66-74.

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/innovations/a-health-check-on-rice-how-healthy-is-it/1071066

Background Bites

Sugar in the spotlight

It has been suggested that sugar intake is linked to the risk for obesity and, although the mechanisms remain unclear, energy density and glycaemic index (GI) may be relevant. This study conducted a systematic survey to investigate the relationships between sugar content, energy density and GI in Australian breakfast cereals. Results indicated that there was no relationship between sugar content and energy density. GI information was available for 43 products and there was no association between sugar content and GI. The author concluded that sugar content of breakfast cereals is a poor indicator of energy density and GI and the continued focus on sugar in dietary guidelines and nutrition advice may need to be reconsidered, at least in relation to solid foods.

Bill Shrapnel

Amount of sugar in Australian breakfast cereals is not associated with energy density or glycaemic index: Results of a systematic survey

Nutrition & Dietetics, January 2013

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1747-0080.12014/abstract

Give whole grains a go

Whole grains are recommended around the world by health authorities for their suggested health benefits. However, as we know, converting public health recommendations into long term improvements in a population’s diet is challenging. This study assessed the impact of a 4 month whole grain intervention on subsequent elective whole grain intake. The results showed that whole grain intake was significantly higher (approximately double) in people who had previously received whole grain foods as part of an intervention, compared to a control group. This increased whole grain intake resulted in an average increase in fibre intake by 2-3g/day. It appears that a period of direct exposure to whole grain foods in people who don’t usually eat whole grain food may benefit subsequent elective dietary patterns of whole grain consumption.

Iain A. Brownlee et al

The impact of a 16-week dietary intervention with prescribed amounts of whole-grain foods on subsequent, elective whole grain consumption

British Journal of Nutrition,  2013

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8832647

Want to live a long and healthy life?

This study investigated the relationship between diet quality reflecting adherence to dietary guidelines (including the core food groups) and mortality in a sample of 2897 Australians aged 49 years or older. Baseline dietary data was collected during 1992–4, and the Australian National Death Index provided 15-year mortality data. People in the group who displayed the highest dietary quality based on the dietary guidelines had a 21 % reduced risk of all-cause mortality compared with those assess as having the lowest quality diet. The present study provides support for a reduced risk of all-cause mortality in an older population who have greater compliance with the dietary guidelines during the study period.

Joanna Russella et al

Adherence to dietary guidelines and 15-year risk of all-cause mortality

British Journal of Nutrition, 2012

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22571690

Kamut an Ancient Grain

Kamut is an ancient variety of wheat with widely acclaimed health benefits. This randomized, cross-over trial involving 22 healthy subjects examined the effect of a replacing semi-whole grain wheat products with Kamut products on cardiovascular health measures over 8 weeks. Kamut products showed a significant reduction of metabolic risk factors such as total cholesterol (mean reduction: -8.46?mg/dl; -4%), LDL cholesterol (-9.82?mg/dl; -7.8%), blood glucose and marker of inflammation. The Kamut products diet also resulted in an increase of serum potassium and magnesium. The authors suggest that a replacement diet with Kamut products could be effective in reducing metabolic risk factors, markers of both oxidative stress and inflammatory status.

F Sofi et al

Characterization of Khorasan wheat (Kamut) and impact of a replacement diet on cardiovascular risk factors: cross-over dietary intervention study

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition January 2013

http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ejcn2012206a.html

Twitter (please feel free to use!)

Do you check #sugar content of your breakfast cereal? http://ow.ly/hHch8

New Survey of breakfast cereals shows #sugar is not a good indicator of energy density or #GI http://ow.ly/hHch8

When choosing breakfast cereals, choose whole grain and high fibre instead of looking at sugar content. Here’s why  http://ow.ly/hHch8

Give whole grains a go, it’s a healthy habit that is easy to maintain in the long run! http://ow.ly/hHcNA

Eating more whole grains is easy swap chips for plain popcorn, choose whole grain cereal at breakfast and whole grain bread at lunch

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Australian women. Soluble fibre might play a role

http://ow.ly/hHdmS

Want to live a long and healthy life? Base your everyday diet on the dietary guidelineshttp://ow.ly/hHdE6

Kamut is an ancient variety of wheat with 21st century health potential http://ow.ly/hHdMR

Substituting 1 serving per day of meat with legumes is associated with a 33% lower risk of Gestational diabetes

Information provided by Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council  www.glnc.org.au