Monday, 20 October 2014

Nurturing your nature

by guest blogger - Nicole Dellora
Nurturing your nature                                                                                                    
Ever wondered why living a similar lifestyle and consuming similar foods can result in good health in one individual but may cause ill health in another? Or why a particular weight loss diet works wonders for a friend but not you?
This difference is likely due to genetic variation as individuals vary in their nutrient metabolism and response to diet. Research in the field of Nutrigenomics has demonstrated this.
What is Nutrigenomics?
Nutrigenomics (or nutritional genomics) is the study of how individual genetic variation affects a person’s response to nutrients and impacts the risk of nutrition-related chronic disease1.
What does the research say?
It is becoming increasingly clear that our genes determine our specific and unique nutritional needs and it is when we listen to them we get the best results for our health.  The research has shown that following a tailored diet, based on nutritional genomics, may result in better weight loss and greater improvements in blood sugar levels, even if you have previously failed on other diets2. Diet recommendations based on your genetics may be better understood and more useful than general diet advice3.
What are examples of the gene variants?
Let’s take coffee consumers as an example, some people have a gene variant that makes them metabolise coffee more slowly; when they consumer over 4 cups/day, they can increase their heart disease risk4. Other gene variants include one that has been found to make people more salt sensitive, indicating a higher risk of blood pressure if they over-consume salt5.
Other diet-related genetic differences are ones that make it harder for the body to synthesis enough of the B vitamin folate due to low enzyme activity6 ; another causes people to metabolise saturated fat more slowly so they are more likely to gain weight if they eat too much of it7.
What do we offer?
Newtown Nutrition can find out how your genes affect your metabolism, if they put you at risk of certain chronic diseases as well as help tweak your diet to meet your health needs more precisely.
We offer this service under the guidance of Nutrigenomics expert Kate Gudorf. Kate has completed genetics training. With Kate’s experience in the area, the dietitians at Newtown Nutrition are able to provide you with personal, fine-tuned DNA-based diet advice. 
What does the testing involve?
Testing involves a simple saliva swab of the mouth taken by your dietitian and sent to specialist Canadian-based biotechnology laboratory for analysis. A personalised nutritional profile is then returned to your dietitian 2-4 weeks later. Armed with this information, specific to your genetic profile, your dietitian will be able to develop the best dietary plan to help you meet your goals of improved health and wellness.
What can be tested?
Currently, the laboratory can identify how your body responds to the intake of the following 7 dietary components:
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Wholegrains and low GI foods
  • Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Saturated fats
  • Sodium (salt)
  • Caffeine
Testing for coeliac and gluten intolerance can also be performed if you suspect you have symptoms after eating wheat containing foods. Please note this test only provides an indication of the likelihood of gluten intolerance or coeliac disease. The test does not specifically diagnose coeliac disease; if it is positive you will need to follow up with your GP and/or gastroenterologist.
What do I need to do if I am interested?
You will require 2 visits to see one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians:
  1. Initial appointment to receive the testing kit, collect saliva and discuss the testing process and any nutrition related issues that you may have.
  2. Second appointment within 4 to 6 weeks to receive the results of the test and to discuss any recommended changes to your diet. 
This exciting service will compliment other existing services available at Newtown Nutrition and will provide you with a new opportunity to maximise your health.
Please call or email Newtown Nutrition for more specific information or book an appointment for your genetic test.
References available on request

Wholefood cooking classes

Ever wanted to learn how to cook from a dietitian? At Newtown Nutrition, our dietitians spend most of our days talking about food, but a hands-on cooking class will take you one step further. We are lucky to have cooking classes just down the road in St Peters with the recent opening of Healthy Home Café.
Caroline, who conducts the classes at Healthy Home Café, is also a dietitian and previously ran a busy café and catering business, so she knows her way around the kitchen!
Caroline’s focus is on wholefood cooking, designed to show you how to cook wholesome, nourishing and delicious foods. Most people know they should be eating more vegetables and legumes, but without the know-how many people think that this means a life of boring food! Caroline will teach you quick and easy ways to incorporate a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, legumes and whole grains in to your diet to boost you intake of fibre, minerals, antioxidants and health-enhancing phytonutrients. In Caroline’s cooking classes you’ll discover new, delicious, mouth-watering creations that will become staples in your diet.
Choose from a range of classes
  • Veggie-licious - Learn how to cook with lentils, beans and tofu as well as how to boost your vegetable intake
  • Damn Quick Dinners - with different classes for each season
  • Learn how to spice up your meals with Chutneys, Relishes, Pestos and Spice Blends
  • Sweet Baking with Wholefoods - How to sweeten things naturally, Dairy free alternatives and how to best work with gluten free grains
As a special bonus to Newtown Nutrition clients Caroline is offering 20% discount if you book before the 30th November! To claim the discount, enter the code: NNutrition20
Find out more at Healthy Home Cafe

Black Beluga Lentils with Rocket, Pumpkin, Beetroot, Avocado & Feta

For a taste of Healthy Home Cafe we have shared one of Caroline's delicious recipes

Serves 4
  • 350g pumpkin, diced into 2cm squares
  • 2 medium beetroots (250g total), diced into 2cm squares
  • 1 3/4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beluga lentils (see below on how to cook)
  • 1 bunch (150-200g) rocket
  • 1/2 large ripe avocado, diced
  • 30g low fat feta, crumbled

Heat oven to 180 degrees. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Place pumpkin and beetroot in a bowl. Drizzle over 3 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Toss vegetables to coat, then spread onto tray and bake in oven for 35-40 minutes or until
softened and brown.
Place remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and mustard in a jar and shake well.
Mix dressing through cooked lentils and set aside.
Wash and dry rocket.
When ready to serve, layer rocket, roasted pumpkin, beetroot, 3/4 of the lentils and the avocado onto a serving plate. Crumble the feta over the top.
Scatter with the remaining lentils and drizzle any leftover dressing over the salad.
Serve and enjoy!
    To cook black beluga lentils: Place lentils in a pot with plenty of boiling water and cook for 20 minutes. Drain and allow to cool. Store any leftovers in the fridge or freezer.
    Note: If you can’t get black beluga lentils, substitute with puy lentils (preferred) or brown lentils (as a last resort!)

    For more cooking tips (and more recipes!), check out the original recipe on Healthy Home Cafe

Share the love

Have we helped you?
If you feel you have benefited from your dietitian consultations we would love you share the love. A number of our clients have offered to write a ‘Testimonial’ for our website so other people can see how we have helped them. However, unfortunately due to the Dietitians Association of Australia Code of Conduct and Australian Health Professionals Register we are not permitted to use Testimonials on our website or flyers.
We’d love you to share your story, but you will need to do it the old-fashioned way - tell your friends, tell your family, tell the next person in the supermarket queue!
Or send them an email. Forward this link, where we have a special invitation for them, and a discount for their first visit.
And as our way of saying thank-you for sharing, we will also offer you a discount for your next consultation.