NOT SO SAUCEY

ARE YOU A CONDIMENT PERSON? DO YOU LOOOVE ADDING SAUCES TO YOUR FOOD?

Condiments are something used extensively in Western diets. They have become hugely popular. They can accompany breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Be it with eggs, tacos, chips, pizza, burgers, wraps, salads, pastas you name it and there is a go to condiment. Condiments are often the X-factor for many fast-food restaurant signature meals.

Many people do not realize how much added energy (calories), fat and sugar are contained within these products. Remember condiments are consumed in addition to the calories, sugar, and fat in the meal. Often people do not think of them as food.

Mayonnaise:

Brand

Quantity

Calories

Hellman’s Original

2 Tbs (26g)

180kcal

Tangy Mayo Woolworths

2 Tbs (30g)

155kcal

Tangy Mayo Lite Woolworths

2 Tbs (30g)

87kcal

Woolworths Vegan Mayo

2 Tbs (30g)

152kcal

Woolworths Burger Mayo

2 Tbs (30g)

169kcal

Crosse & Blackwell Tangy Mayonnaise

2 Tbs (30g)

 

154kcal

Crosse & Blackwell Trim Mayonnaise

2 Tbs (30g)

41kcal

It’s quite frightening how the addition of mayo to your meal can add up to 200 calories, without you even realizing! Aim to use reduced oil “lite” or “trim” mayonnaises as a substitute. Mayonnaise’s primary ingredient is oil, which is fat.

Remember that:

  • 1g Fat = 9 calories
  • 1g Carbs = 4 calories
  • 1g Protein = 4 calories

 

Fat is energy dense. If you won’t compromise on the Hellman’s, watch your portions.

Here are some examples of some popular condiments. Have a look at their fat and sugar contents.

We bet you didn’t think you were adding 3 teaspoons of sugar to your meal when you topped it with some T-sauce. Or 3 and a half teaspoons of sugar if you prefer sweet chilli… Did you release how many added calories you were adding to your toast or burger roll, just by having butter?

Condiment

Quantity

Sugar      

Fat

Calories

Butter

2 Tbls (20g)

0.15

16.22g

145kcal!!

Tomato Sauce (All Gold)

2 Tbls (30g)

13g (3.2 tsps)

0.8g

57kcal

All Gold Tomato Sauce Light

2 Tbs (30g)

0g

0.1g

29kcal

Mrs. Balls Original Chutney

2 Tbls (30g)

10.4 (2.6 tsp)

0.2g

53kcal

Wellingtons Sweet Chilli Sauce

2 Tbls (30g)

14g (3.5 tsp)

0.1g

66kcal

Creamy Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

60g serving

8g (2 tsp)

7.8g

160kcal

Cheese Sauce

62g serving

1.6g

13.5g

139kcal

Bolognaise Pasta Sauce

130g Serving

6.1g

8.3g

135kcal

Butter Chicken cook in sauce

125g serving

2.3g

16.1g

162kcal

Peanut Butter

20g (2 Tbls)

2.5g (1/2 tsp)

9.4g

120kcal

Fibre

Do you know if you are consuming enough fibre?

Do you know how important fibre is for health? Fibre does a lot more than just ensuring you have regular bowel habits :).

 

Fibre is contained within carbohydrate food products. This includes foods derived from wheat, maize, grains (barley, quinoa, rice), nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, pulses, fruits, and vegetables. Fibre is listed on the nutritional information table on the packaging (usually the back) of food products in South Africa. It is listed at the bottom of the table. Any product that has more than 6g of fibre per 100g of food product is considered “HIGH” in fibre and is the favourable choice.

Did you know that the recommended quantity of fibre for the average adult is 25 for women and 38g for men PER DAY? 

It is recommended to achieve this intake from a variety of fibre sources.

What is fibre?

Fibre is fundamental for healthy GIT function. It is the edible but indigestible starch component of the carbohydrate food. Fibre is in the form of soluble fibre (fruits, vegetables, legumes, barley, and oats) or insoluble fibre (whole grain and whole wheat carbohydrate products, maize/corn derivatives and lots of other vegetables). Both the fibres have different but important functions.

Fibre travels through the GIT (undigested) until it reaches the site where the magic happens: the large intestine. Here, the fibre is fermented by the local gut bacteria to produce short chain fatty acids. These short chain fatty acids (namely acetate, butyrate, and propionate) have many important benefits for health including anti-inflammatory properties, increasing the good bacteria in the GIT, promoting detoxification, stabilize GIT microbiota colonies and increasing intestinal bacterial concentrations. Fibre absorbs water into the GIT tract which increases satiety and works to form a healthy stool. It can also lower blood cholesterol levels. Fibre increases peristalsis, which maintains healthy bowel habits, promotes efficient waste removal, and prevents constipation.

Fibre increases satiety; it is very filling! It can help with weight loss, as well as help to maintain stable blood glucose (sugar) levels and prevent the development of diabetes. If you eat meals higher in fibre, you might not find yourself feeling hungry 2-3 hours later. This is because fibre absorbs water and delays gastric emptying (it takes longer to digest) and this is also why it has benefits for blood sugar regulation. Your blood sugar increases will be gradual if you are consuming high fibre whole grain carbohydrates.

In summary, fibre is a very important (yet under emphasized) element of the diet. Its benefits include (to name a few): regular bowel habits, satiety, diabetes prevention, lowered blood cholesterol, IBS management and prevention, constipation prevention, colon cancer prevention, AND anti-inflammatory properties.

We challenge you to check and compare the fibre content of your food products with similar products. Compare the fibre contents of breads, crackers, cereals, grains, potatoes, rice, pasta, and starches. Have high fibre products accessible in your homes. Include these products into your daily and weekly meals. And most importantly, always choose the higher fibre option!

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SLEEP AND WEIGHT

Are you guilty of sleeping less than 7-8 hours at night? Are you watching screens at night? Are you not prioritizing your sleep?

 

You are not alone. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide suffer from chronic sleep deprivation. This can be as a result of many reasons such as stress, parenting, stressful living circumstances, screen time and social media, and an increased occupational workload burden. Sleep is an essential process which enables our body systems to rest and rejuvenate in order to operate and function effectively.

It has been documented that as sleep shortens, obesity prevalence rises. Those who sleep more are generally leaner.

The general guideline for sleep duration is 7-9 hours every night. However, each one of us is uniquely different. Some people may require slightly less/more sleep. Remember there are confounders here too. Sleep requirements increase in periods of growth, menstruation and intense physical activity.

There are two hormones which are responsible for regulating hunger and satiety. The hunger hormone is Ghrelin, and the satiety or “fullness” hormone is called Leptin.

Chronic short sleep or sleep deprivation disrupts the regulation of these hormones. Very simply when you sleep less you produce more of the hunger hormone. This impairs your ability to self-regulate your food intake. It can result in a marked increased intake of total calories (energy intake). It also results in a change in the composition, and distribution of food intake. The trend towards unhealthy food choices, and more regular food intake (SNACKING) because less leptin and more ghrelin are circulating in the blood (consistent feeling of hunger).

You may be eating more with even realizing. For example, having one rusk instead of two, getting the large latte instead of your small one or having seconds at lunch or supper. Doing things like this every day, every week and month, can lead to steady weight gain.

Have you ever experienced that your stomach is a “bottomless pit”, and you cannot satisfy your hunger? Maybe when you are hungover after too many drinks on a Saturday night? This is most likely due to the fact that you only slept for 5 hours, or that the alcohol disrupted your sleep quality, and now you have elevated levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin in your body.

When you are overtired, or sleep deprived you may find yourself craving calorie dense, high fat, high refined carbohydrate and high sodium fast foods as opposed to nutritious energy balanced meals. You will most probably order a toasted bacon and cheese sandwich and chips for lunch at work as opposed to grilled chicken strips and vegetables. You will be more likely to swing past the vending machine to collect a Coca-Cola and packet of Doritos. Even worse you may find yourself swinging past McDonalds or KFC drive through after work as ghrelin drives your appetite through the roof.

Stress is a common cause for poor sleep habits and sleep deprivation. In periods of stress, the hormone cortisol is produced. Chronic stress (and cortisol) increases circulating levels of blood sugar as the body is continuously in “fight or flight mode”. This can also result in increased appetite.

There is another hormone at play in this equation and it is called Melatonin. This hormone is responsible for regulating the bodies sleep wake cycle and circadian rhythms. It is released by the pineal gland in response to darkness (at night). Its secretion is suppressed by light. Exposing yourself to screens and technology at night opposes the production of this hormone. You may fall asleep when you close your laptop at 11pm, however melatonin will only reach its peak concentration some hours later. Therefore, you impair the quality of your sleep much later into the night.

Turn the main lights off sooner, decrease your screen time and start prioritizing your sleep! This is only the start of a multitude of health benefits from adequate sleep. You can thank us later.

Omega 3: Essential Fatty Acids

Ever heard of Omega 3 or Omega 6? Or seen those yellow gooey soft gel fish oil supplements?

 

Omega 3 is a polyunsaturated essential fatty acid. This means it cannot be produced by the body, and so it must therefore be consumed in the diet. These fatty acids are involved in many important metabolic processes, and studies prove that essential fatty acid deficiency can cause increased inflammation and has been linked with vulnerable brain chemistry.

Benefits of long term adequate fatty acid intake may include:

  • Improved mental health and depressive symptom alleviation
  • Reduction of the inflammation causing rheumatoid arthritis
  • Decreased blood clotting and atherosclerosis formation
  • Decreased serum (blood) triglyceride levels
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Anti-inflammatory properties

Intake of these fatty acids is important for optimum functioning.

Dietary sources include: fatty fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines, pilchards, salmon, tuna, trout and shellfish.

Vegetarian or Vegan dietary sources include: flaxseed, linseed, soya, canola oil, chia seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and green leafy vegetables.

Some eggs are fortified with omega 3. Have a look at the packaging.

Omega 3 in food is in the form of DHA and EPA (in animal sources) and ALA (plant sources). Absorption of essential fatty acids is more efficient via animal sources however, as the form of omega 3 (as EPA and DHA) is more bioavailable (digestible and absorbable) than plant sources of omega 3 (ALA). However, humans can convert ALA from plant sources like canola or flaxseeds into DHA and EPA, with varying degrees of efficiency.

The recommendation is to aim to eat 2-3 portions of fatty fish weekly. Here are some ideas to help you increase your intake:

  • Try sardines or pilchards with fresh tomato, cottage cheese, salt, and pepper on low GI toast.
  • Choose an “omega 3 fish” option every Tuesday night for dinner (or Wednesday, whichever day you prefer).
  • Cook salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, herring, shellfish or sardines and get creative with your recipe’s!
  • Use canola oil or soybean in cooking and salad dressings.
  • Incorporate sardines or tinned salmon into fishcake recipes.
  • Choose omega 3 fortified products such as eggs, milk, yoghurt, bread, and pasta. – Use ground flaxseeds as a partial substitute for flour (1/4 cup flaxseeds for ¼ cup of flour) in breads, sources, muffins, cakes, and meat bastings.

Why am I still Gaining Weight?

There are more calories in 5 CHUCKLES than 1 whole tin of Tuna. Do you believe us? 

 

Well, here is the proof:

  • 5 chuckles (+-25g) = 124kcal
  • 1 tin of tuna in brine (120g drained) = 103kcal

Other Comparisons:

  • 1 Woolworths Muesli Rusk 34g (170kcal) = 1 large chicken schnitzel (172 kcal)
  • 1 Tbs smooth peanut butter (120kcal) = 1.5 slices of brown sandwich bread (128kcal)
  • 30g Woolworth’s roasted almonds; small packet (159 kcal) = almost 2 slices of bread
  • 30g (1/4 cup) of Woolworths Almond and Cocoa nib Carb Clever Granola (145) calories = 1 and a half tins of tuna (151.5kcal)
  • Woolworths’s chicken and bacon pasta salad 360g (740kcal) = 8 slices of bread (744kcal)
  • Woolworths roast chicken, bacon and pasta wrap (560 calories) = 6 slices of bread!
  • 1/3 of a packet of chuckles (411 kcal) = 4.5 slices of bread
  • 4 BBQ chicken pancakes (289kcal) = 3 slices of bread
  • 20cm of Woolworths Droe Wors (113kcal) = 1.2 slices of bread
  • 60g Boerie (142kcal) = 1.5 slices of bread

Calorie Density

Today we are talking about the concept of calorie density of food and food products. The above-mentioned foods are not “bad”, and we are by no means saying they should not be consumed, we are just educating you about the principle of energy density.

Calories are the unit used to measure the amount of energy provided by foods. You may have also heard of the unit “kilojoule” as an energy measure. Both the calorie and the kilojoule measure energy, and in this case, the energy in food. It’s quite the same as using a meter or a yard to measure distance.

Density is a measure of the amount of substance or matter in a pre-defined volume. 15ml (1 tablespoon) of olive oil has 120 calories versus 25ml of low-fat milk which has 7.5 calories. Both the oil and the milk have the same volume; however, the oil has a lot more calories.

Are you eating regular or small portions of food and not understanding why the scale keeps creeping up? How is it possible to gain weight when you aren’t overeating?

Many people eat energy dense foods, and this means that these foods are concentrated sources of calories. It becomes easy to eat a lot of calories in a small volume of food. Consequently, it is easy to eat too many calories in your day and week, because you do not feel satisfied when eating a small volume.

The macronutrients in the diet are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Each macronutrient has a different energy density.

  • 1g carbs = 4 kcal (17kJ)
  • 1g protein = 4 kcal (17kJ)
  • 1g fat = 9 kcal (38kJ)

1g of fat has more than double the number of calories as 1g of proteins or carbs. This means you can eat double the amount (or volume) of carbohydrate or protein predominant foods, for the same number of calories.

Cooking with lots of oil, adding butter and margarine to your bread or cooking, salad dressings, mayonnaise, cheese sauces, marinades, avocado, cheese, feta, croutons and bacon are examples of some energy dense food “extras” which can quickly increase your calorie intake.

If you look on a food label you will find the nutritional information table. This tells you the composition of the food you are eating in terms of energy (calories), carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibre and sodium. Foods with a higher fat content composition are more energy dense than lower fat options, and it is therefore easy to eat a lot of calories very quickly.

Have a look at the energy density of the foods you are consuming and compare this with other food products.

Are 5 chuckles satisfying enough for 124 calories? Or 1 and a half slices of bread? We’ll let you decide!

SALT: DO YOU TASTE YOUR FOOD BEFORE ADDING SALT?

Do you taste your food before lathering it in salt?

 

Salt in food or table salt is in the chemical form of sodium chloride.

High salt and sodium intake can increase blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, increasing the risk for heart disease and also diabetes. Risk factors contributing to high blood pressure are increased BMI (overweight and obesity), tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.

This co-morbidity has been flagged in the COVID-19 pandemic, as a serious risk factor for fatalities. Statistically, South Africa has a very high prevalence of Hypertension (high blood pressure). In an effort to try and control the epidemic, we are one of the only countries in THE WORLD who has had implement sodium legislation. This legislation places restrictions on the amount of salt the food industry can add to our processed food products.

Your body has an average of 5 litres of blood which travels within your vascular system (arteries, veins and capillaries). Diets that are too high in sodium, saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and alcohol can contribute to the narrowing of arteries (what we call arteriosclerosis). High blood pressure results from the narrowing of these vessels. Your heart now has to pump much harder (increase the pressure) to push the blood through all your vessels, because they are now much narrower than normal. The result = increased blood pressure.

Sodium is used extensively in the food processing industry for food preservation and flavouring. Processed foods are generally very high in salt. Salt is used as a preservative, and therefore it is almost always added to processed foods or anything that’s pre-prepared. The sodium content is listed in the nutritional information tables on food products. Have a look at the sodium content of your next ready-made meals, canned foods, pre-made sauces, soups, dips, or any other convenience meal or product.

There are very few supermarket products that are sodium free. It’s added to everything! And consequently, very quickly you are consuming much more salt daily than you would like to be. We challenge you to become more aware of the quantity of sodium you are consuming.

Look at food labels (quantities per 100g):

  • Low sodium foods: <120mg
  • Medium sodium foods: 120-600mg
  • High sodium foods: >600mg of sodium

Food Product

Sodium content/100g or /100ml

Soya sauce

6833mg

Bovril

5380mg

All Gold Tomato sauce

802mg

2-minute noodles

704mg

Lays chips

530mg

Beef Biltong Snap sticks

1598mg

Smooth Peanut Butter

293mg

Moroccan chicken fillets

608mg

Cheddar Cheese

708mg

Roast Chicken and Bacon Wrap

570mg

Roast chicken pie

420mg

Vienna                                         

787mg

Parmesan Cheese

650mg

Bacon

833mg

Butter Chicken Soup

313mg

Woolworths club pizza

590mg

The recommendation is to consume 2400mg or less of sodium per day for optimum hypertension prevention. This is a mere 5g (1 teaspoon of salt) per day!!

Ways to decrease salt intake:

  • Flavour food with herbs, spices, garlic, lemon, chilli, vinegar and ginger instead of salt and stock powders.
  • Taste your food before adding table salt
  • Use half the amount of stock required by recipe’s
  • Choose low sodium soya sauce
  • Reduce the amount of convenience food and fast foods you are consuming. These are generally excessively high in salt 
  • Choose unmarinated meats
  • Choose unprocessed foods as far as possible
  • Avoid using artificial flavourings like Aromat
  • Look out for high salt ingredients in ingredient lists
  • Choose snacks lower in sodium
  • Choose low sodium foods