Most of us know that soft drinks aren't a health option, but let's have a closer look at the issues with these little numbers!Clearly the amount of soft drinks we drink will have increased over the last few decades given they are an increasingly present product on our shelves. Seems we drink 300 mls per person per day. But, it's our teens that really go to town on this stuff, not that we have to tell parents, they will already know. On average adolescents drink a litre a day of soft drinks (that's 10% of their entire energy needs from just one very nutrient-poor source) .
Not only do we consume more, but we have been upsized with the average size of drinks expanding from 200mls to 600mls.
So, all this said and done don't be fooled into going 'sugar-free', not only can many of these 'drinks' contain nasty compounds to provide sweetness, but the provision of sweetness without calories sends confusing signals to the body which to date appear to be linked to increased weight gain.
Coke and other soft drinks are part of the obesity problem
• A can of Coke, Fanta or Sprite contains at least 40g of sugar (around 10 teaspoons), and a 600ml bottle contains at least 60g (around 15 teaspoons).
• The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that people limit intake of sugary soft drinks. The World Health Organization recommends that consumption of soft drinks should be restricted, and the World Cancer Research Fund recommends that consumption should be avoided.
Coke and other soft drinks are bad for your health
• Drinking Coke and other sugary drinks increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and overweight and obesity.
• It's not just the kilojoules from the sugary drink that are the problem - people who drink these beverages tend to consume more kilojoules overall.
Coke and other soft drinks are bad for children's health
• Children who drink lots of sugary drinks are more likely to put on weight and be obese.
• Drinking a can of soft drink each day significantly increases the risk of tooth decay and erosion.
Source: Taken from the joint media release by Diabetes Australia, Heart Foundation, Obesity Policy Coalition, Cancer Council, Australian Dental Association.
The Accredited Certificate of Nutrition
Your key to understanding the ins and outs of nutrition. Don't be mislead by media hype and popularist writers who have no training in nutrition, be informed!
- Just $420 (discounts for groups of two or more)
- 12 months to complete
- No attendance required
Charging for nutrition services
Here at Cadence Health we spend a lot of time assisting people over the phone in understanding the whole grey area of nutrition as a profession. I thought that popping down the main points in a blog might just be helpful for those of you who are not nutritionists but want to work in some way with nutrition (or more appropriately healthy eating).
Let's work backwards which should bring us to our own answers. One of the most important aspects to any business or service is insurance. If you can't be insured to work with nutrition then to do so would be very unwise. To gain insurance in most cases you will need a current base qualification in health or fitness, registration to an industry body can help in some circumstances and relevant up-skilling courses
such as those that we offer. If in doubt a quick call to an insurer is very wise.
Let's have a look at some scenarios people commonly come to us with:A. I've been really successful in changing my lifestyle and have lost a lot of weight,
I want to share what I have done and help others eat better. If I do your course will I be able to work as a food coach
? I don't have any qualifications in fitness or health, I have worked in administration most of my working career.ANSWER
: The short answer here is likely to be 'no'. Without a base qualification it is unlikely that you will find an insurer to cover you for indemnity or liability. And, while you could work on a voluntary basis, if you were to charge for your services without insurance you are putting yourself and those around you at great risk not just in terms of the advice you might give but also financially should you be faced with a law suit. It might only take one person mis-understanding a recommendation, experiencing a reaction and then suing you.
But... We are currently working on a program that will enable those without a relevant qualification to work in the area of healthy lifestyles
, we hope to have more on this by September. It will mean taking the Certificate of Food and Wellness Coaching
but with some additional subjects in human movement and so on. Stay tuned!!!
Even if you do our Food and Wellness Coaching
course you will ideally require a base qualification that you 'layer' this one, for example Certificate III in Fitness. But, if you really want to know where you stand chat to an insurer about cover given your experience and qualifications (including completion of our course). We have a number of students with various backgrounds in cooking, business and so on who were able to get insurance to work as a Food and Wellness Coach.B. I'm a personal trainer with Cert III and IV,
I really feel like fitness is just one piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle and want to be able to provide my clients with some direction regarding their nutrition
. How much can I say and do with them?ANSWER
: With just Cert III and IV
the nutrition units you have covered in essence state that any information or recommendations you provide must be in line with both the content you were taught and the description in the units. As such your advice is required to be quite generic and reflect the Dietary Guidelines and other endorsed guidelines and recommendations. As you can see this can be quite narrow, but clearly it is safe for everyone.
However, for PTs who want to go a little further you can look at courses such as our Accredited Certificate of Nutrition
or the Food and Wellness Coaching
course which allows you a more scope to work with your clients eating habits and be insurance to do so with confidence.C. I'm a PT and have completed your Food and Wellness Coaching course
, exactly how much nutrition advice and information can I offer? ANSWER
: The central issue to ensuring your don't cross the line into nutrition expertise is to avoid being:
- Prescriptive (of supplements or diets)
- Diagnostic (never diagnose, always know when to refer on)
- Treatment focused (never treat a person for a medically diagnosed condition unless you have license to do so)
In your services. These are the realms of those who have spent many years at university learning about pathophysiology, diagnostics, clinical situations, treatment and so on. Insurers will be much dismayed if anyone ventures into these areas without proper qualifications, registration and insurance.
So, with that said and done, the line in the sand should start to be a little clearer. What this leaves you with is what you will have been taught and what our unit descriptions say. As our courses are approved by Fitness Australia
and the like you are able to work with the content
we have provided. To keep it simple and clear we suggest to people that you can:
Be clear about the difference between a food coach and a nutritionist
- Provide basic dietary advice - for example advice based on healthy eating principles (remember you need to stay away from prescribing your own advice)
- Assess a diet - for example for its variety, quality of foods, the timing and portions
- Provide basic meal plans - for example swapping unhealthy options for health options and working with a client to create a healthy eating plan. You would not be providing calorie controlled diet plans, that errs towards being 'prescriptive'.
As you can see this makes a lot of sense. Clearly only nutritionists and dietitians
are 'nutritionists' and we need to work along side them and know when to refer on, for example when we suspect a person needs a great level of assistance than we are trained for. We must always ensure we work from a platform of what we have been trained to do and not beyond this both for the safety of our client and for our ourselves.To sum up
If you have no qualification in health or fitness or similar then the likelihood that you can be insured to use nutrition and charge others for such services is unlikely. If you have a qualification not already approved to work with nutrition
and you feel its relevant then a good place to start is with an insurer, for example Marsh Insurance or Guild. A chat with an insurer may really help in guiding you in the right direction. If you have a qualification and nutrition is an element of your training and you are still unclear as to just what you can do and say then chat with your registering body or your insurer to clarify.OUT NOVEMBER 2013 -
We are about to launch the very course you are looking for, well when we say 'about', it will be out within the next two months. It's based on the current Certificate of Food and Wellness Coaching
but will have the following additional subjects.
2 Core subjects to ensure you are able to work with clients safely:
- Principles of Physical Activity for Health
- Practice management and health assessment techniques
2 electives to enable you to specialise your course:
How long and how much
- Chose from Wellness Coaching level 2 and above (of which there may then be the option to pathway to a Masters program)
- Or from a selection of our nutrition courses (Weight Loss Nutrition; Nutrition Psychology; Sports Nutrition; Childhood Nutrition; Pregnancy Nutrition)
You can take up to 18 months to complete but you can complete it faster if you have the time. Price wise it depends a little on the electives you take but likely to be in the vicinity of $2500.When will it be out
We are aiming to have the course approved with a natural therapists body and international accreditation board which should then allow us to provide an liability and indemnity insurance package with the course (generally around $250 annually).
So, everything is still in draft, we are writing the two core modules noted above and once they are done we can begin the accreditation process. We generally release everything on Facebook, pop updates on the site and of course in our newsletter (though this is only quarterly).
You can of course take theCertificate of Food and Wellness Coaching
and at least have these subjects under your belt by the time the remaining core subjects are released.
Oh and the course name, well we are still debating the formal name but we are looking at the Certificate of Food, Healthy Movement and Wellness Coaching. If this sounds like its just what you are after, you are welcome to email
us and we can pop you on the list for early notice when its released.
Stay tuned, more soon!
We are smack bang in the thick of the winter season here at Cadence Health
head office. Save for a one way ticket on the next plane to Hawaii, we are here to tough it out with you!
It is safe to say that the half way mark has been mild and very forgiving, still, the odd sniffle and sore throat has been inescapable. Before reaching for the commercial pills and potions why not come on a little holistic healing journey with us? [As I write this it has just been announced that we are experiencing our wettest month in the last 6 years……]
Recently at CH I participated in a Webinar presented for The Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS
) by Dr Sandi Rogers ED.D.,N.D. The seminar was on Herbal teas and remedies to restore Wellness.
The emphasis was twofold. Firstly
share your knowledge with your clients and you will be rewarded following the 3T’s; Talk-Tell-Touch and secondly
the ability to encourage the sensible use of household and home-grown items for general wellness; this is bound by the concept of going back to basics with some treatments that provide outstanding results. All great and inspiring stuff right?
The practise of sharing your knowledge unconditionally with your clients can prove beneficial to building your business in the long run. Not all areas of business need be delivered with payment in mind. Free tools that encourage client growth will always be appreciated and foster trust and relationship building. These qualities allow for strong partnerships that ensure your business stands head and shoulders above the rest. It then facilitates the valuable word-of-mouth step where your client “tells” another about the results and strengths of your relationship. Surely a solid marketing tool if there ever was one.
Valuable scientific medical research has helped us grow in many ways; however the sharing of remedies that go back-to-basics will assist in adding value to any business. There is a strong appreciation for this holistic approach and it should not be underestimated as a value-add.
Many common ailments can be effectively treated at home if the symptoms are mild and caught early enough. Naturally there is no suggestion that we all go out and self-medicate without caution however some common sense is required here. Consider headaches, poor circulation, and the common cold, tiredness, sore feet, sore throat, indigestion, Hay-fever, urinary tract infections, mild skin conditions and more… Dr Sandi with some 20 years of clinic experience looked at each of these conditions during the Webinar and was able to share in how simple, inexpensive, even home grown ingredients can be used in their effective treatment.
Let’s take a brief look at the golden list of ingredients that makes up Dr Sandi Rogers’ home-grown pharmacy:
· Lemon balm
· Peppermint or common mint
· Milk (full cream)
· Sea salt
· Apple Cider Vinegar
· Epsom salts/Bi-carb soda
· Lectric Soda
· Egg Mayonnaise
The idea of growing your own ingredients is enticing to me. Most of these are on hand, easily accessible if not ‘growable’ wouldn’t you agree?
Bringing it all together we can start by looking at something as common as a sore throat. The products we need here are Cinnamon, Clove, and Star anise, Lemon, Honey, Ginger and Orange although for a quick treatment that Dr Sandi swears by this gargle.
- Using a Cinnamon quill (stick) and small quantity maybe 6-8 whole cloves, add water just boiled and cool to a warm temp that is manageable to gargle with. The process is simply to make a batch and use it as a gargle repeatedly to combat the early signs of a sore throat.
For a more heavy duty mix use Immune tea
500mls black tea (strong mix)
½ orange finely sliced, ½ lemon finely sliced, 2 tablespoons of grated ginger, 1 tablespoon honey (consider adding some cloves, cinnamon quill and star anise if the throat is bad)
1. Contain it in a thermos is possible and drink the tea steadily.
2. With this I leave you to consider what else may be on offer in the way of DIY home remedies and I look forward to sharing others with you soon.
Remember to eat well, your nutrition
will put you in good stead for winter, with lots of variety of foods and coloured foods, and fresh produce (the vitamin C will reduce colds and their severity).
Olga Cahill (admin @ Cadence Health)
Using nutrition as a PT
Wondering to what degree you can use nutrition with your clients as a PT?
Well, let's take a closer look at this issue and see just what you can and can't say, legally of course!
Most PTs will be familiar with the Fitness Australia stand that PTs can't really give dietary advice unless they have completed an approved nutrition course
and are a nutritionist
or dietitian or similar, which to a degree is true. However, it is the training package and its very specific wording which we need to take our lead from. Let's look at exactly what the units say.
When you started out you would have covered Cert III in Fitness and will have completed a unit SISFFIT306A 'Provide healthy eating information to clients in accordance with recommended guidelines'. This is a unit in the Fitness Training Package that the education authorities tell education providers they must cover in your training and you must complete successfully. Once you have completed all the units in this qualification (Cert III), then you are entitled to do as the Unit describes . In that case you can give healthy eating information to your clients as long as it sits within current guidelines (such as the Australian Dietary Guidelines
I hear you sighing, thinking we have got your hopes up and then dashed them. But wait... there's more!! And even better news is that Cadence Health offers an approved nutrition course
that allows you to have insurance cover to provide basic dietary advice. Be familiar with the detail in the training packages
If you 'unpackage' SISFFIT306A you will find a number of Elements are listed inside it, each of which has a number of units, called Performance Criteria within. It is these Elements and Units that really give you a clearer picture as to just what you can and can't do and say. With us... Ok, then let's take a look at the Elements and their Performance Criteria.Element 1 'Explain the relationship between healthy eating, health and fitness to clients.' Specifically you are entitle to:
1.1. Discuss with clients, the adverse effect of poor nutrition on health and identify common chronic diseases.
1.2. Briefly explain the general features of healthy eating to clients.
1.3. Convey the concept of a well balanced diet and regular exercise to promote good health when providing information to clients.
1.4. Explain the interaction between healthy eating options and physical activity and obtain information about current nutritional intake and physical activity levels of clients.
The use of words such as 'provide' tend to suggest the information is sourced from somewhere else, where as 'describe', 'list', 'explain' tend to suggest this information is from you verbally or in written format for example. You can see above that you are entitle to give an explanation of what healthy diet is as well as how healthy eating options work with physical activity based on information you have gained about your clients diet and activity level.
Becoming clearer now...Get the picture... there is a reasonable scope here! Moving along to Unit 2!Element 2
says 'Provide basic information to clients about the fundamental principles of healthy eating.'
2.1. Provide information to clients about the fundamental principles of healthy eating to improve overall health.
2.2. Apply knowledge of the general principles of healthy eating to provide basic information to clients about healthy eating options and requirements for exercising individuals.
2.3. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of current dietary trends appearing in the media with clients.
2.4. Observe the industry standards for giving healthy eating information to clients and refer clients with healthy eating or dietary concerns to suitably qualified accredited practising dieticians.
Ok, here there is a little less scope for you to create healthy eating programs, clearly there is an erring towards the provision of information as apposed to explanations. Don't forget that is why our nutrition courses
provide you with dozens and dozens of healthy eating booklets and fact sheets! WE HELP YOU PROVIDE INFORMATION! No need to look around or question what is accepted knowledge.Element 3 states 'Provide healthy eating information to clients regarding body composition management.'
3.1. Evaluate information collected in the fitness appraisal of clients about current body composition using relevant body composition measures.
3.2. Provide basic information about the relationship between diet and the management of body composition to clients.
3.3. Describe briefly the role of the body's energy systems in the storage and utilisation of energy substrates for energy production.
3.4. Refer clients requiring more extensive dietary information to a suitably qualified accredited practising dietician.
We can see here there is a mix of both the provision of information and describing information (eg verbally or written from your own knowledge). Element 4 goes on to 'Support fitness clients with body image issues.'
4.1. Implement strategies to promote body satisfaction when providing information about exercise, fitness testing and healthy eating options.
4.2. Provide information
about healthy eating options that fosters a positive attitude towards food and eating.
4.3. Recognise indicators of poor body image and discuss body satisfaction with clients, providing referral to an appropriate medical or allied health professional, if required.
4.4. Show sensitivity to cultural and social differences.
The term implement in 4.1 does tend to leave the door open. After all to implement a strategy you are very likely to have had to work out a plan with a client, for example a healthy eating plan. This would then be supported by fact sheets and other information (websites, booklets etc) that will assist your client in meeting their goals. Element 5, 'Refer clients to medical or allied health professionals for further information or consultation.'
5.1. Recognise and acknowledge the current legal and ethical limitations of a fitness instructor in providing healthy eating information.
5.2. Identify gastrointestinal disorders or other medical conditions, disclosed by the clients during a screening process, which may affect nutritional intake, and refer clients to a suitably qualified medical or allied health professional.
5.3. Identify healthy eating or dietary concerns and refer clients to contact suitably a qualified accredited practising dietician or medical or allied health professional in accordance with organisational policies and procedures maintaining confidentiality of clients. Element 6 'Provide information about the structure and function of the digestive system.'
6.1. Use knowledge of the structure and function of the digestive system when providing information to
6.2. Describe to clients the process of digestion and absorption, including the production and action of enzymes during the breakdown of foodstuffs for energy.
6.3. Explain the process of energy metabolism in relation to muscle contraction.
Again, we can see here that the use of the terms 'describe' and 'explain' allow you scope to guide your clients using your own knowledge.The only courses that allow you to use nutrition professionally
:How Cadence Health courses help fill the gap
We have been very aware of the frustration that many people in the fitness industry feel in regards to the scope of nutrition they are able to work with. As a result we have worked for many years in extending our courses to help fill this gap. Cadence Health and Nutrition Courses
assists in 'providing nutrition information' by suppling you with:
Read more of the detail!
- A full set of healthy eating fact sheets you can print and pass onto clients ranging from everything from caffeine to yoghurt.
- All students have access to our private Student Facility which holds the very latest national and global reports, including the Dietary Guidelines, WHO policy, OECD Obesity Reports and much much more, giving you access to the latest 'Guidelines' 24 / 7.
- Our courses are not only written at a tertiary level we offer you extended readings, webinars and research reports so that you are as up-to-date as we are.
We recommend that you take a good look at the training package units on the Government Training
site by simply typing in SISFFIT306A into the unit search area, or download the package units
. If you read over the document (they are quite brief but detailed), you will also find specific details determining just what is acceptable sources of information and so on. If you have trouble just flick Olga an email (firstname.lastname@example.org
) and we can send it onto you.
Want to give nutrition and dietary advice legally? Personal Trainers - legally entitled to provide basic dietary advice
All Cadence Health PTs who hold Cert IV in Fitness and who complete Accredited Certificate of Nutrition
course can be insured for the:
- Provision of basic dietary advice
- Undertaking of meal analysis
- Provision of meal plans
Details on the insurance package from Marsh Fitness
, simply contact Marsh to ensure you have these options added onto your current insurance.
Note: We believe that SISFFIT306A will be updated this year in which case you are likely to see it represented at SISFFIT306B. We are hoping it will further extend the PTs options in nutrition. Fingers crossed
Well if you are finding the path to choosing where to study to become a nutritionist
confusing you are not alone. As one of the most common questions we are asked we completely understand your confusion! Why is it so confusing?
Currently in Australia and NZ there is no strict control over who can use the label 'nutritionist'. Having said that, one of the central reasons you must undertake a relevant course is so that at the end of it you are:
a) Accepted by a reputable industry association and;
b) You can then gain public liability and indemnity insurances so you can practice safely.
In essence anyone can call themselves a nutrition consultant, weight loss consultant
, nutrition coach and so on and unless you check you won't necessarily know if they are accredited or registered or associated to an industry body who will have ensured a certain level of academic and clinical proficiency (current and ongoing); mental note to self to check these things...!What is the minimum requirement?
The simplest (and we are not judging it to be the easiest) way is via an Advanced Diploma of Nutrition Medicine
. These are commonly offered by private colleges.
Most colleges offer the diploma via face-to-face, but also recognising that geography shouldn't be a limitation they also offer distance options. Now, it is important to make mention of two considerations:
What do you mean by different type of 'nutritionists'?
- That some industry bodies don't recognised diplomas that have been gained via correspondence only. It makes sense, you really need to see actual patients and have hands on in this industry! So if you opt for distance ensure you chat to your chosen college about how many hours and subjects you should do face-to-face and how best to go about it!
- It is highly possible that in the future the minimum requirement to practice nutrition will step up to a degree. Almost all colleges offer an upgrade to a Bachelor of Health Science. Now, not only might this cover you in the future, but it also opens pathways to continue on to other levels of 'nutritionist' (more on this in a tick). We recommend you discuss how many and they type of extra subjects you may be required to complete, how long this might take and the total cost.
Good question. Well you will see nutritionists refer to themselves in the following ways:
- Accredited nutritionist/nutritionist - commonly diploma and/or degree qualified nutritionist who have registered with complimentary health bodies such as ATMS and ANTA.
- Associate nutritionist - Generally with an undergrad degree and at least a post graduate certificate in nutrition and is recognised by theNutrition Society of Australia (NSA) as an 'associate nutritionist'.
- Registered nutritionist - Is the next step up from associate nutritionist with a minimum of a post graduate diploma in nutrition and three years experience and is registered with the NSA.
- Accredited and practicing dietitian - Holding a minimum of a master in dietetics which requires over 200 clinic hours in a hospital, registration is with the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) . Dietitians are also eligible for Medicare rebates given they have a thorough knowledge of hospital based nutrition.
We have numerous nutritionists and dietitians who work with us, all with different expertise and backgrounds. And as you can see from the points above, there is no one type of 'nutritionist' that is necessarily better than the other. Instead, ensure a practitioner is registered with a body, has current insurance and try to find one who has long specialised in the area you require help with. Word-of-mouth is an excellent referral system and select a person you feel comfortable with. Don't be too swayed by the seemingly impressive long lists of qualifications someone tacks on their website or business card, you can find sometimes half of them are in fact only memberships... tricky!!!!Don't forget the new Lifestyle, Food and Wellness Coaching course!The only courses that allow you to use nutrition professionally
apart from the ones above are:Career advice - not sales
Yes, we hear you! You have tried calling a few colleges and all you get is ill-informed reception staff whose main aim is to sell 'bums on seats'. If you are still stuck on where to start feel free to call us. While we believe our distance and online courses
are the best, we also know they sell themselves. We promise to give you unbiased information to help you in what we know is a very big decision, no catches!
Read more on our dedicated page about how to become a nutritionist
How many eggs is enough - Cadence Health
How things can change in nutrition. Once we thought that eggs were to be feared, that they increase blood cholesterol and had way too much fat for good health. Not any more. It seems eggs are now one of nature’s nutrient-packed meals-in-a-shell and they don’t cost a fortune either. Cadence Health and Nutrition Courses
and Sneakys director and nutritionist Leanne Cooper takes a look at the nutritional facts on eggs. What’s in an egg?
Eggs are packed with at least 11 different nutrients, they contain a good quality protein (in fact one of the most absorbable forms of protein) and have healthy fats such as omega-3s. Containing a number of nutrients that have unique health benefits, eggs certainly pack a punch; for example two eggs provide around two-thirds of our daily requirement for selenium (which is reputed to be a strong antioxidant). Another is choline, vital for foetal and infant development, as well as potentially keeping homocysteine production (linked to a number of disorders) in the body in check.
Eggs are a good source of a number of B vitamins, vitamin E, folate and iron. Plus they are a good source of vitamin D; important for healthy bodies. In fact iron, vitamin D, folate and several other nutrients found in eggs have been shown to be low in Australian diets, particularly in children and women.
For those nutrition lovers out there who want all the facts there is a full table of the nutritional breakdown of an egg at this link - http://eggs.org.au/health-and-nutrition/nutrition-table What about eggs and heart disease?
Current research points to very little association between the consumption of eggs and the risk of heart disease and stroke. We now know that dietary cholesterol (the form found in our foods) doesn’t appear to strongly affect blood cholesterol (unlike trans fats and excessive saturated fat in foods).
For those who have a risk of heart disease, for example those with diabetes or high cholesterol, current recommendations are as follows:
“There is little research to guide recommendations for egg consumption for people at high risk of heart disease (e.g. with diabetes or high cholesterol). However, prudent advice is that the inclusion of eggs in the context of a diet low in saturated fat, and containing known cardio-protective foods, is not associated with increased risk.” The Eggs Network, Australia How much?
So we know that eggs aren’t bad for us, but let’s just take a quick look at how much is enough. Using figures based on two eggs (which is one serving, just to make it confusing) this provides 581 kJ (139 calories) of which 10g is from fat (90 calories). Not so bad!
The Heart Foundation recommends “all Australians can consume up to six eggs a week, in a healthy, balanced diet low in saturated fat, without increasing their risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).” Good, better, best or just hype? Organic, free-range, omega-3, veg eggs… what next?
If you are mindful of animal welfare and prefer to purchase humanely laid eggs, or if you are health conscious and buy organic eggs to avoid nasties, or you just think organic tastes better you may need to do a little homework. The area of labelling of eggs appears to be somewhat wanting. Sadly, sometimes what you are buying isn’t as it seems.
Interestingly there are just three major egg producers in Australia (Nov, Pace Farm and Manning Valley); they represent over 50 per cent of free-range eggs sold in Australia (Choice, 2008). And a whopping 80 per cent or so of our eggs come from intensive battery farms (FREPA, 2010). Free-range
Exactly what ‘free-range’ means depends on where you buy your eggs. Free-range eggs can come from small roaming flocks to large flocks of more than 100,000 birds; some roam outside, others never see the open space. I see a frown beginning to form!
The actual standards are quite lengthy and complex, and are currently voluntary. In a nutshell, the standards state: “When fully feathered, in accordance with the current edition of the appropriate State Animal Welfare Code, birds must have easy access to an area on which to range during daylight hours.” You can see from this that there is considerable flexibility in these standards. The United States has begun to adopt the term ‘barn-roaming’ to describe eggs that are laid by chickens who don’t roam freely outdoors, so keep an eye out for this term being used here.
If you are really keen and would like to read the standards visit Free Range Egg and Poultry Australia (FREPA) - http://www.frepa.com.au/standards/egg-standards/ Update:
Sadly, the Australian Egg Corporation has proposed an increase of laying hens from 1,500 hens per hectare to 20,000 (yes, that’s a 750 per cent increase). Hens would be allowed to be kept in these conditions from 25 weeks, even though they begin laying at 18 weeks. In this event the good ole ‘free-range’ eggs would hardly live up to their name. Be informed
If you want to know just what you are buying it’s worth checking out the Animal Welfare Labels site, which lists the brands and their hens’ egg-laying conditions; it’s eye-opening!
Or if you wanted to stay up to date with industry changes or take action, you can read more and keep up with all the latest on the Animals Australia website - http://www.animalsaustralia.org/take_action/save-free-range-eggs/
Clearly there is a need for the egg industry to pay urgent attention to its labelling to assist consumers. Organic eggs
This is the best way to ensure you get the whole egg and nothing but the egg; no antibiotics, nasties or inappropriate animal feed. It doesn’t necessarily say anything about the farming practices but generally organically produced eggs are laid under very humane conditions. It’s best to opt for brands that have an endorsement (look for organic certification logos), that way there is a good chance an independent body has checked out the farm.
So, remember variety is one of the most important keys to a good diet, so enjoy your eggs, along with other whole foods as nature intended! Passionate about nutrition? Why not do a short nutrition course! Accredited Certificate of Nutrition
at Cadence Health and Nutrition courses! Go to www.cadencehealth.com.au
Caffeine, Coffee and Sport
Caffeine was once considered a diuretic, which was believed to increase dehydration. However, we now know that while caffeine does cause some fluid loss, where it is consumed as a liquid there is generally a net gain in fluid, caffeine also has its benefits in sports nutrition
and is no longer a banned substance. Roughly 1.07 mg of fluid is lost from the body. Given most drinks will provide about 200 mls of fluid this will still leave a net gain of about 150 mls of fluid entering the body.
Caffeine is found in the leaves and beans of the coffee tree, in tea
leaves, guarana berries, and in small quantities in cocoa
and the kola nut. If you are a Rooibus tea drinker you will be pleased to learn that this tea comes from a different plant and contains no caffeine. Caffeine can also turn up as an ingredient in cold medications, appetite suppressants, and pain relievers and can be helpful against some headaches and of course drowsiness. Surprisingly, it's the leaves of the tea plant that contain the most caffeine, around 5% compared to 1 -2% for coffee beans. The plant world uses caffeine cleverly for survival as it helps to repel many insects
. As most of us know, caffeine is a stimulant to our central nervous system (CNS), helping to keep us alert and overcome feelings of drowsiness. What’s in a cuppa?
Depending on what you read the amount of caffeine any in food will vary. The caffeine content of an average 150 ml cup of tea varies from 30 - 100 mg, depending on how long the tea is made. If you use milk, sugar, loose leaves or tea bags (strong loose-leaf tea provides the most caffeine)all create a different end result. Coffee beans come in two flavours, Robusta, which has more caffeine and Arabica. An instant coffee has 60–100mg per 150 ml, depending on the brand. An espresso comes in at around 90 mg per 150 ml1. Consuming a whole 200 g block of chocolate, would mean you would get the equivalent of about 550 mg of combined methylxathines (caffeine and other stimulants). A 30 g bar has between 20 to 60 mg caffeine. Given it’s our teenagers who consume the greatest quantity of soft drinks; caffeine intake is something worth keeping an eye on. A 375 ml cola drink contains around 40 mg of caffeine while a 250 ml energy drink contains around 80 to100 mg caffeine – about the same as a shot of espresso.
Caffeine is rapidly absorbed in less than an hour. After this, caffeine has a half-life (the time it takes for the total amount taken in to be reduced or cleared to half the original total) of 3 ½ hours to 6 hours2. Athletes
Caffeine is a common aid in sport and hence why specific levels of caffeine derivatives in the urine were once banned in many sports. However, recently the ban was lifted. But remember there is a fine line between the benefit and cost of caffeine use in sports, for example, intake of 13 mg/kg and over greatly increases the risk of serious side effects including gastric distress, anxiety attacks, heart palpitations and headaches. The use of caffeine in sport varies according to intensity of the activity and the athlete’s body weight. One last major variable must be considered and that is the individuals ‘tolerance’ to caffeine, for example, habitual coffee drinks may require a period of abstinence from caffeine in order to gain beneficial effects from caffeine. Caffeine’s effect on performance
Caffeine at intermediate dose levels of 5-mg/kg caffeine up to three to four hours before intensive exercise stimulates the oxidation of free fatty acids, as a glycogen sparing effect researchers suggest that this is limited only to the first 15 minutes of activity (Burke, 1998). Other effects include increased blood flow to the central nervous system and consequently stimulation of the nervous system providing a feeling of alertness and acuity. Increased release of adrenaline occurs at this dose also, stimulating muscle, improving performance and generally causing an excitatory effect on the nervous system.
Caffeine was once considered a diuretic, which was believed to increase dehydration. However, we now know that while caffeine does cause some fluid loss, where it is consumed as a liquid there is generally a net gain in fluid. Roughly 1.07 mg of fluid is lost from the body. Given most drinks will provide about 200 mls of fluid this will still leave a net gain of about 150 mls of fluid entering the body. Download the full fact sheet.
Yes we are getting bigger! As most of us know, many health professionals believe there is an ‘epidemic’ of overweightness
in Australia and New Zealand and indeed in most developed countries. The body weight of the average Australian has been increasing, and around 20–25% of Australian children are either overweight or obese; so it’s little wonder that so many of us are looking for fast-track methods to reduce body fat. We need to be cautious about going too far in the opposite direction. Becoming overly concerned with slimness can also lead to well-documented health problems. With reasonable certainty, we understand that society’s current weight issues are due to an interaction of one or more of the following:
1. Biological factors of weight gain
2. Environmental factors of weight gain
3. Behavioural issues
of weight gain
Most likely, it is a mix of all of the above that has lead to our increased weight. Read the whole fact sheet on overweightness.