THE THERMIC EFFECT OF FOOD

Weight gain, whether intentional or not, generally occurs over long periods of time, as habitual energy intake exceeds our bodies’ requirements. Because the process for most of us is a relatively slow one (e.g., on average 0.5 kg or 1.1 pounds per year), factors that influence energy balance, even modestly, may be clinically important over …

SWEET HISTORY

“Sugar and spice and everything nice that’s what little girls are made of…” Robert Southey Long before the recent association of sugar with words such as “toxic” or “poison”, sugars and sweetness were used as terms of endearment or affection amongst people of all ages: Cupcake Honey (bun / pie) Peaches Sugar bun / babe …

MICROBIOME LINGO: PREBIOTICS, PROBIOTICS AND SYNBIOTICS

Our microbiome is a collection of around 100 trillion bacteria (mostly), fungi and viruses that live both on the surface of our body’s and inside our gastrointestinal tract – from mouth to anus. A typical adult’s microbiome weighs around 1 kilogram, equivalent to some of our essential organs. Believe it or not, there are about …

PERSPECTIVES: Dr ALAN BARCLAY

LOWERING THE GLYEMIC IMPACT OF SOUTH-EAST ASIAN DIETS  Food is not merely a collection of nutrients, and neither is it medicine – it’s so much more than that. From the day we are born to the day we die, food not only nourishes us, but it provides pleasure, social interaction and anchors us to our …

PERSPECTIVES: Dr ALAN BARCLAY

RICE: THE GO-TO GRAIN  English translation: “Have you eaten rice?”  This popular greeting used throughout East Asia is a reminder that traditionally food was scarce and people were often starving. Rice saved lives, so it’s not surprising that the word for “rice”, “food” and “meal” is one and the same in Chinese—and in many other …

PERSPECTIVES: Dr ALAN BARCLAY

FIBRE AND GLYCEMIC INDEX  There is a common belief that foods that are high in fibre do not raise blood glucose levels as much as those that are low in fibre, and therefore “high fibre” can be used as a surrogate marker for “low GI” when shopping for foods. Is this belief valid?  Before I …

PERSPECTIVES: Dr ALAN BARCLAY

FOOD AND MOOD Most of us are aware that certain foods and drinks, like chocolate, or a nice hot cuppa, can provide comfort when feeling down, but many would be surprised to learn that there is increasing evidence that the types of foods and drinks we consume on a regular basis can have a more …

PERSPECTIVES: Dr ALAN BARCLAY

PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITION COMPARED TO PERSONALISED DIETARY ADVICE  Diet-related health conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers (e.g., bowel) are increasing all around the globe and governments are struggling to cope with their economic costs as are individuals with their social, psychological and financial costs. Strategies for reducing their burden range …