Nu­tri­tion­ist Me­lanie McGrice shares her ad­vice

DI­ETI­TIAN ME­LANIE MCGRICE CON­SID­ERS COOKED FOOD VER­SUS RAW, AND SHARES HER TAKE ON MEAL RE­PLACE­MENT SHAKES, LUPIN FLOUR AND… CHEW­ING

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‘Some veges, like toma­toes, are bet­ter cooked’

Is it health­ier to eat veg­eta­bles raw?

AIt’s pop­u­lar to fol­low a raw food diet, but there’s no sci­en­tific ev­i­dence to sug­gest that raw is health­ier than cooked. In fact, some veges, like toma­toes, are bet­ter cooked. One of the most pow­er­ful nu­tri­ents in toma­toes is the an­tiox­i­dant ly­copene; re­search sug­gests it can help to re­duce the risk of can­cer and di­a­betes, so we want to get as much as we can. Our bod­ies are able to ab­sorb more ly­copene from cooked toma­toes than raw. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t eat them raw too, but it does show that raw foods aren’t al­ways bet­ter.

Which meal-re­place­ment shake should I pur­chase?

AWith ev­ery­thing from sugar-free, to ve­gan, to omega-3-boosted meal re­place­ments on the mar­ket these days, it can be hard to know which to choose. My rec­om­men­da­tion is to start by ask­ing yourself why you’re us­ing a meal-re­place­ment shake, and whether or not you re­ally need one. Then, think about your di­etary goals – which are most im­por­tant to you? It’s also rel­e­vant to con­sider whether you re­ally want the meal re­place­ments, or ac­tu­ally the sup­port pro­gramme that goes with them. Also, note that meal-re­place­ment shakes are in­tended to re­place just one or two meals a day, whereas VLEDs (very low en­ergy di­ets) are re­place­ments de­signed to sub­sti­tute all of your meals for faster weight loss. If you’re still un­sure which brand to choose, make an ap­point­ment to see a di­eti­tian, who’ll guide you based on your unique needs.

How do I add lupin flour to my diet?

ALupins are a type of legume that have found to be ben­e­fi­cial for weight loss, and lupin flour is high in pro­tein (40%), high in fi­bre (30%) and low in car­bo­hy­drates and fats. It’s also gluten-free. So, what’s the best way to add it to your diet? Lupin flour doesn’t have a strong taste, so it doesn’t re­ally im­pact the flavour of food. You can use it to make bread, but a great way to start is to sprin­kle a ta­ble­spoon or two onto smooth­ies, sal­ads and por­ridge. It’s also great to mix into pan­cake bat­ter, dips and pro­tein balls.

Do I re­ally need to chew my food 20 times be­fore I swal­low it?

AAlthough there’s no magic num­ber that’s best, chew­ing our food well is good for us. The act of chew­ing helps to pre­pare our body for di­ges­tion, and re­search shows that those who chew their food more thor­oughly are more likely to feel fuller and more sat­is­fied af­ter meals, and more likely to be a healthy weight. So, take the time to chew each mouth­ful prop­erly, rather than in­hal­ing your food.

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