Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 160 August 2023 | Page 60


Six Steps to Better

Health By Christine Rice

You ’ d think that choosing the less fattening option is a no-brainer when you ’ re at the grocery store , but every choice comes with a pro and a con . Here are a few pointers to help you wade through the jargon before you head to the till .
In general , whole-wheat bread is a richer source of protein than white bread – a slice of 100 % wholegrain bread provides about 3.6g of protein , compared to 1.9g for a slice of white bread . The wholegrain is also substantially higher in dietary fibre , 1.9g compared to 0.6g , and it will make you feel fuller for longer because the fibre takes longer to digest . Furthermore , wholegrain bread is a rich source of selenium , a trace mineral that provides antioxidant benefits .
There is a significant difference between fat-free and full-cream dairy products :
Nutritional summary
Fat-free milk ( 1 cup )
Full-cream milk ( 1 cup )
Fat-free yoghurt ( 175ml )
Calories 86 146 77 104.3 Fat ( g ) 0.44 7.83 0 5.6 Saturated fat ( g ) 0 5 0 6
Full-cream yoghurt ( 175ml )
Also , people are often under the impression that fat-free dairy products are lower in the important mineral calcium , but they ’ re actually equivalent , if not higher , than their full-fat versions . One cup of whole milk generally contains 276 milligrams of calcium , while one cup of fat-free milk contains 299 milligrams .
Ostrich meat is low in fat and lower in cholesterol than regular lean beef . However , both are a great source of iron , as the high iron content in regular beef is only slightly higher than that of ostrich meat :
Nutritional summary
Ostrich ( 100g )
Calories 116 150 Fat ( g ) 2.4 7.3 Protein ( g ) 22 21 Cholesterol ( mg ) 46 60 Iron ( mg ) 3.2 3.25
Everyone loves to hear that their favourite indulgence is “ good for you .” Not so fast ! Cocoa and dark chocolate are rich in a group of antioxidants known as flavanols , which research shows promote blood-flow to the brain , keep arteries elastic , lower inflammation and ‘ top up ’ your levels of antioxidants . But … while dark chocolate may have more health benefits than milk chocolate ,
Lean beef ( 100g )
due to the antioxidants it contains , it ’ s still just as high in calories , fat and sugar .
Decaffeinated coffee still contains caffeine – about 4mg per cup versus 130mg in a cup of regular – and has been shown to have similar health benefits to caffeinated coffee . Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that can have some positive effects on the human body , such as it may help reduce the risk of heart disease , diabetes , certain cancers , Parkinson ’ s disease and maybe even Alzheimer ’ s disease . Caffeine in low doses is also thought to be associated with an improvement in sporting performance , increased alertness and reduction in fatigue .
However , there are some definite drawbacks to too much caffeine , including anxiety and irritability , headache , irregular heartbeat , muscle twitches , and sleeplessness . Caffeine can cause temporarily high blood pressure , nervousness and increased production of urine and gastric acid , and may trigger arrhythmia in people with heart conditions .
Butter is an animal product , high in both saturated fat and dietary cholesterol , so increases our risk of heart disease and stroke . On the plus side , butter is a good source of fatsoluble vitamins A , D , E and K . Margarine is made from vegetable oils and contains no cholesterol , but the controversy with margarine lies with its level of arteryclogging trans-fat , a largely man-made fat formed when hydrogen is added to vegetable oils , making the oil more solid and less likely to spoil . In general , the more solid the margarine , the more trans-fat it contains . Fortunately , there are a number of margarines on the market that are transfat-free .
This article was taken from the Modern Athlete archives , and we ’ re republishing it because it remains relevant . It was written by Christine Rice ( née Peters ), a registered private-practicing dietitian who heads up Christine Rice Nutrition , based at the Sunninghill Medical Centre in Johannesburg . More info at www . christinericenutrition . com .
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