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
‘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.