Thought for Food Blog

Dieting: is it Really Worth the Sacrifice?

Posted by Chris Cattini

04-Feb-2016 14:22:21

Christmas is a distant memory. For some of us, the annual mission undertaken by chocolate, mince pies, brandy butter and yule log to convert themselves into excess body fat has been a success. Once again we find ourselves in post-yuletide gloom, with weight to lose and fitness to gain.

We all know that New Year resolutions are made to be broken. As the fireworks break out and we blow up what is definitely our last supersized bag of crisps of the season with a salty bang, it’s all too easy to go online and sign up to membership of the local gym. It’s also not that difficult to declare that alcohol will not touch our lips for the foreseeable future and filling up our supermarket trolleys with healthy stuff, including items disregarded in the approach to Christmas (and possibly at most other times of the year too), such as celery and low fat cottage cheese, requires little in the way of moral fibre when we’re still feeling bloated and slightly nauseous due to our recent excesses.

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Topics: omega-3, cancer, protein, cholesterol, diabetes, nutrients, obesity, cardiovascular health, carbohydrates, dieting, appetite and satiety, metabolism

Is Stevia a Trend or the Answer?

Posted by Chris Cattini

15-Apr-2015 13:46:00

Stevia is the name given to extracts from leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana used as sweeteners or sugar substitutes. The two main compounds responsible for the sweetness of stevia are stevioside and rebaudioside A, both of which are derivatives of the diterpene, steviol.

  • Stevioside is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar, but possesses a bitter aftertaste. 
  • Rebaudioside A is 350-450 times sweeter than sugar and is less bitter than stevioside, making it a popular option for use in sweetener preparations.
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Topics: diabetes, bacteria, obesity, additives, sugar and substitutes, functional foods, confectionery, analytical techniques, hormones, appetite and satiety, supplements

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Posted by Chris Cattini

30-Nov-2014 12:16:00

Christmas means different things to different people. For children, of course, it means presents and the magic of the festive season, for the spiritual, it’s a time for prayer and reflection and for the exhausted, it’s an opportunity to hibernate and watch all the box sets that have accumulated during the year. 

But most of us have one thing in common. The festive season gives us an excuse to stuff our faces with as much food as we possibly can. Some of this food is ok. Turkey and sprouts, for example, are fine, upstanding healthy foods. But a great deal of our yuletide intake consists of sugary and salty snacks that at best make us put on weight and at worst may lead to one or more of the various unpleasant conditions that come under the umbrella of the metabolic syndrome. And because it’s Christmas, we allow ourselves to eat both good and bad food in humungous quantities. 

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Topics: caffeine, Christmas, saturated fat, protein, sugar and substitutes, hormones, appetite and satiety, central nervous system

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