Top 4 food tips for a healthy heart

Oil and olivesWe know cardiovascular disease is a major killer in Australia. However, I only recently learnt about 40, 000 people die each year from the condition. (aargh depressing :( ).

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is actually the term used for a range of conditions relating to our  heart and blood vessels and includes coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure. At the moment in Australia, the main cause of CVD is probably atherosclerosis. This is where we get deposits of fats and cholesterol  in our arteries. It’s thought the atherosclerosis is what causes blockages in the blood supply to the heart or brain leading to a stroke, heart attack or angina (chest pain).

As with all sorts of health conditions, a lot of the diet advice out there tends to talk about what’s good and what’s bad to eat.  Of course we all then tend to worry we will be missing out on foods we like and start to feel somewhat deprived (and possibly unhappy ;) ).

Today I only want to focus on what WE CAN EAT.  The reason being, if you can think about adding things to your diet for good health rather than taking away anything – it becomes more positive, less restrictive and less like a “DIET”. (p.s – if you would like to learn more about this non-diet approach you can read a little more here).

So here are my top 4 food tips for a healthy heart:

1. Eat more fruit and vegetables

Fruit and vegetables not only contain fibre, vitamins and minerals but also phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are chemicals in food that have a protective effect against certain health conditions including heart disease.  Adding just a little extra fruit or vegetables at each meal-time can make a big difference. For example, try adding some fruit to your breakfast cereal, including a smoothie in your day, making sure at least half of your plate contains vegetables or adding extra grated vegies or leftover veg to one pot/casserole style dishes.


2. Include nuts in your diet

A reduced risk for heart disease has been shown in people who have a handful of nuts each day.  Nuts are full of both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, fibre and protein. They have been associated with reducing the LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad one) and keeping healthy blood vessels.


3. Include oats and barley in your diet

These wholegrains contain a kind of fibre called beta-glucan which has been linked with lowering LDL cholesterol and therefore these grains have a beneficial effect on our heart health. Woo hoo!


4. Remember the heart health fats like oily fish and olive oil.

Oily Fish like salmon, tuna and sardines are high in Omega 3 fats. The Omega 3 fats appear to have a protective effect on heart health by decreasing undesirable triglycerides, their anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to act as a blood thinner (reducing the chance of blood clots). Similarly, olive oil has some awesome benefits due to it’s high levels of monounsaturated fat and anti-oxidants. It has been associated with increasing our HDL cholesterol and decreasing our triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and risk of oxidative damage.

So there you go. Four things we can all eat for a healthy heart.

Enjoy :)


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The non-diet approach to health & life | Guest Interview with Sarah Harry

It’s November already and what a year it has been so far! Throughout 2015, many lovely people have taken part in interviews to give their thoughts about living a non-diet approach to health & life. (to get the recap, head HERE)

Today’s special guest is Sarah Harry. She is one half of the dynamic duo that is Body Positive Australia. Together with my fellow Dietitian Fiona Sutherland, Sarah spreads the body positive love across the country. I personally love reading interviews or social media posts where Sarah is quoted. She breathes fresh, helpful and kind words but isn’t afraid to call out organisations or the media and “say it how it is” when required :)

sarah harryIntroducing Sarah Harry… Continue reading

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Muesli Slice Recipe (recipe of the month)

muesli slice recipeThis is a pre-apology for any anti-grain people out there ;) ;) – Also anti-sugar as well.

This recipe is a combo of a bunch of different slices and muesli bar recipes I have dabbled with.

It’s very tasty, based on whole foods and loads more filling (and possibly cheaper) than a store bought muesli bar.

So if you are after a snack type food that you can bake, then you might be interested to try this one. Continue reading

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The non-diet approach to health & life | Guest Interview with Leah Gilbert

Let’s cut to it.

It’s time for my next interview in our non-diet approach to health & life series. If you are new to this series then you really need to head to the back story here first. If you are all over it, then keep reading my friend and….

Say hello to Leah Gilbert Continue reading

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What’s good about bread?

Is bread the forbidden food?

If you read a lot of social media posts about food and nutrition you would think bread is the forbidden food. Whether it’s the anti-carb, paleo, clean eating or whatever the newest food fashion is, many trendy folks advocate for no grains (of any kind).

While there are genuinely many people who can not tolerate wheat based foods (like bread) including those people with coeliac disease and those with an intolerance, it doesn’t necessarily mean we all should be avoiding them. This blog post isn’t really about that debate anyways. ( I would suggest watching this quick video below from Michael Pollan as a start on that topic).











Today I actually wanted to talk about some positives for the humble loaf of bread. A staple of many civilisations. There are some real nutritional benefits in bread which are often overlooked.

This post is for those folks who: Continue reading

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Four ways protein is awesome for our mental health

four ways protein is awesome for mental healthOne in seven Australians will experience depression at one point in their life.  It’s common. So we need to know what we can do to help avoid and manage it and other mental health conditions.

Today I wanted to touch on one of the key nutrients that’s super important for great mental health and that’s protein – and just four ways protein is awesome for our mental health. Continue reading

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The non-diet approach to health & life | Guest Interview With Magnus Fridh

It’s time for the next interview in our non-diet approach to health & life series.

I’m so happy we have had such a diverse range of individuals willing to take part in this series. If this is your first time on our blog, perhaps start here to get the background info.

So let’s get straight to it and meet my next guest:

Introducing Magnus Fridh

magnus fridhNot many people in Australia will know who Magnus Fridh is and that’s part of my reasoning for doing this interview series. I’m keen for us all to think about other people in both similar and different fields of work than our own. It’s also great to connect with like-minded souls in other countries.

Magnus Fridh is one of the founders behind a super popular ph app called MindApps. (>>>It’s actually been rated as the number 1 health app in 10 countries). He hails from Sweden and had a previous career in the music industry. He was a composer for Universal Music Publishing from 2001 – 2011, is an Ashtanga Yoga and meditation teacher, obviously a global app developer and oh – just on the side – has a Bachelor of Science in History and Literature. Continue reading

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What’s good about eggs?

what's good about eIt’s been awhile since I did a post about a particular food.
So today I am naming eggs as our SOL food of the month.

Although I mainly see clients with eating disorders nowadays, I still get asked the question, are eggs OK to eat? Continue reading

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Four ways to eat mindfully as a family

family mealsI have a confession to make. The inspiration behind today’s post is not my own.

It’s from a trail blazing health professional called Ellyn Satter.

Ellyn Satter is coming to Australia for a tour soon. If you haven’t heard of Ellyn, she is a well known in the nutrition field as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Family Therapist from the United States.

I’m keen to see what we can learn from Ellyn with regards to applying her knowledge in the field of eating dynamics and eating competence to that of mindful eating. Continue reading

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The Non-Diet Approach to Health & Life | Special Guest Interview with Lauren Fowler

Have you ever followed someone on Instagram or Facebook and feel like you really do know them, but yet you have never met and they probably don’t anything about you?

Yes?  - Well I hope so as otherwise I’m going to sound like a crazy social media stalker!! ;) ;)

My special guest this week is Lauren Fowler. Lauren is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist from the United States. I have been following Lauren on instagram for sometime and really love reading her blog. I asked Lauren to take part in our series because she shares an awesome message. You can instantly tell she writes from the heart to help others incorporate intuitive eating, self-love and mindfulness into their life.

Thankfully she said YES! Continue reading

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