Two Peas In A Podcast

Your weekly dose of nutrition news from OnCore Nutrition. 

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If it fits your macros (IIFYM)

What is this diet?

  • Tracking energy (kJ/calories) and macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats).
  • Calculating basal metabolic rate based on predicted equations (BMR is how much energy your body uses at rest). Add activity +/- stress factor to estimate your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).
  • Depending on goals, establish a calorie deficit, maintenance or surplus.
  • Apply macro percentages to your end calorie number, e.g. 30% energy from protein, etc…
  • Once you have your macro calories and split you then build this into a meal plan and track it all

Potential Benefits

  • Nutrition knowledge
  • Eye opening
  • Label reading
  • Goal oriented
  • No forbidden foods
  • Effective for weight loss …but there is far more to health than number on scales.

Some drawbacks

  • It may promote an obsessive way of eating, body dysmorphia, disordered eating patterns
  • Psychosocial limitations
  • Does not encourage intuitive eating
  • Practically arduous – weighing
  • Low food variety
  • Not necessarily an enjoyable or sustainable way to live life.

Bottom line

  • When starting an eating plan, think about sustainability and true flexibility!
  • Think about your sanity, relationships with loved ones and allow yourself to enjoy food in the moment!
  • Listen to your body, eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.
  • There is so much more to life and enjoyment of food than calorie or macro counting.

Food variety score

Aim for >30 per week

Frankenfield D, Roth-Yousey L, Compher C. Comparison of predictive equations for resting metabolic rate in healthy nonobese and obese adults: a systematic review. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005;105(5):775–89.

Diet soft drinks

Diet soft drinks often replace sugar with artificial sweetener, often aspartame. Aspartame is around 200 times sweeter than sugar, so a very small amount is all that is needed to sweeten a product.

Aspartame safety

Studies performed in 1980 by Joint Expert Committee of Food and Agricultural Organization + World Health Organization (JECFS) established the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of Aspartame as 40mg per kg of body weight, meaning that the average person can safely consume around 3400mg of aspartame daily without any adverse side effects. Can of Diet Cola is around 180mg = 18 cans per day. 

Health impact of artificial sweeteners 

  • Some observational studies have found high intake of artificial sweeteners and diet soft drink is associated with an increased risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome
  • Diet soft drink may increase appetite by stimulating hunger hormones (Grehlin), altering sweet taste receptors and triggering dopamine responses in the brain
  • Predispose us to want sweet, calorie dense foods and fluids 
  • Observational (diet soft drink leads to weight gain) vs experimental studies (swap to diet soft drink leads to weight loss, but beware of funding source and bias)
  • Link to weight gain possibly from above, possibly from pre-existing poor dietary habits. One study of over 300 overweight  participants – drink 710ml diet soft drink or water per day for a year. At the end of the study, the diet soda group had experienced an average weight loss of 6.21 kg compared to 2.5 kg 
  • Bias in the scientific literature – some studies (including this one) funded by the artificial sweetener industry have been found to have more favorable outcomes than non-industry studies, so we need to be careful when interpreting results.
  • Observational studies have found a link between high intake diet soft drink and the development of kidney disease ? related to acid load on the kidneys from high phosphorus content.
  • Gut microbiome: Artificial sweeteners alter the gut flora, leading to reduced blood sugar control. This may be one way diet soft drink increases the risk ofT2DM, but more research needed. 
  • Be careful if you have low bone density – particularly with phosphorus containing drinks, so cola, and those with caffeine. PO4 interferes with Ca absorption. 

At the end of the day, diet soft drinks offer no nutritional benefit. The ingredients list is empty and doesn’t offer anything positive to our health. 

If you’re a regular drinker, set yourself a challenge. 21 days to change a habit. Set a target, recruit some friends, get a calendar going to mark off days and set yourself a challenge. Try our sparkling iced teas. Challenge to break the habit so you can enjoy sugar-free soft drink on occasion, but it’s not a must have each day.

Carbonated water and teeth


Cows milk full vs skim = change in ratios, no sugar added. Permeates ensure consistency in nutritional composition of milk.  

Soy – similar nutritional profile – has to be by food standards law, plant-based, sometimes sweetened

Almond – low protein, low kJ, low fat, low CHO, low Calcium. Some are sweetened, some calcium fortified.   

Rice milk – low is kJ, protein, high in natural sugars. Hypoallergenic. 

Coconut milk – low in carbs and kilojoules, but is significantly higher in saturated fat than other non-dairy alternatives, lacks protein and calcium (unless fortified).

Oat milk – same kJ as cows milk, half protein, low fat, higher CHO, equiv Ca,  beta-glucans (soluble fibre reduce chol reabsorption)

Milk comparison table: 

Heart Foundation guidelines


The positives 

  • We love plants – lots of benefits to a diet rich in plants
  • Generating conversation! 
  • Controversy is sadly often necessary to create a ‘movement’ we see why they did this! (We can’t because we’re trained and regulated health professionals – and therefore the most trustworthy source of nutrition advice) 
  • Removing stigma around veganism and vegetarianism  (although the terminology they use was interesting eg never said vegan but implied it) 
  • They help clear up the stigma around soy – check episode 4 where we present the science in a less inflammatory way! 
  • Farming and environmental concerns 


Unfortunately good TV often equals bad science

Supporting science – controversial sources, grand extrapolations from small studies, and statements that are misleading.

Anecdotal experience, conflicts of interest


  • Whole premise of doc built on concept that gladiators didn’t eat meat…Their exact words were “gladiators were likely predominantly vegetarian”. True-ish. 80% ish plant based. Not vegetarian. Not vegan. Just like us.  
  • We were misled from the start 
  • They also implied that the gladiators were vegan for performance reasons, which again is misleading. Gladiators ate more of a plant based diet because of many reasons including access to animal products, availability, seasons and money! And because carbohydrates fuel the human body. Meat is expensive and many ancient civilisations only ate what they had access to.
  • Gladiators weren’t overly lean – gladiators benefited from additional fat stores as food supplies were often scarce and this extra weight was protective when they went into battle/helped them stay alive. More fat = lasts longer in the arena. Different to many sports in today’s day and age.

Athletic performance

  • You don’t have to eat animals to build muscle  
  • So many other variables to consider when exploring athletic performance
  • Nutritional advice should be tailored to the sport of choice, performance goals and outputs and individual variation 
  • In one instance, they do cite actual peer-reviewed research, he narrates: “And when it comes to gaining strength and muscle mass, research comparing plant and animal protein has shown that as long as the proper amount of aminos acids are consumed the source is irrelevant.” What they fail to include is that the same study states that “as a group, vegetarians have lower mean muscle creatine concentrations than do omnivores, and this may affect supramaximal exercise performance.” (achieving higher than what is considered maxima) = prime example of cherry picking.
  • Theory: Beetroot juice consumption increases bench press by 19%. Beetroot study – review of 9 studies with total of 120 subjects numbers –  The beetroot juice intervention led to significantly improved performance in four of the studies, while in another four no such effects were observed. In the show they quote a 19% increase in total strength for bench press, but this is referenced in the study cited not tested by it. Obviously we went and found the actual study. It was a cross over trial, 12 young men, lifting 60% of their 1RM (single rep max, the most they can lift). 3 sets until failure were performed and those reps were totalled. Those in the nitrate supplement group performed more reps. The weight equated to an 18.9% increase. “This study demonstrates that nitrate supplementation has the potential to improve resistance training performance and work output compared to a placebo.” The study was looking at a Nitric Oxide Enhancing Supplement, not just beetroot! Nitric oxide (NO) is generated from the nitrates in the beetroot. It’s a vasodilator so opens up blood vessels and improves flow in the short term. If you understand nutrition you’ll know that other foods contain nitrates, including beef, pork, chicken, liver, salmon, trout and tuna!
  • Beware of supplements and performance enhancing drugs 

Experiments – endothelial function (cloudy blood) and erectile function 

  • Neither are scientifically validated test. Looks good on screen. Convincing. But not scientifically meaningful.
  • The ‘cloudy’ portion of blood in the test tube does not necessarily indicate there is an issue, more it shows there are triglycerides and fat transporters present called chylomicrons. This is a completely natural and necessary process, however the documentary portrays it to be negative to support their argument. 
  • If there was sufficient EVOO or avocado in the vegan burrito, the blood sample would have looked the same. 2hrs post meal. They didn’t specify how much avocado they put in. And they didn’t have to because this wasn’t a study!  
  • We know the fat was seen in their blood, but we don’t know if their endothelial function was impaired and/or their blood flow disturbed in any way due to their meal.
  • The study that suppoerted their findings (n=11): “The high-fat meal consisted of 53.4 g fat (= 7.4 chicken breasts), 30.7 g protein, and 50 g carbohydrate, composed of 110 g rice, 100 g Korean barbecue, 20 g egg, 200 ml milk, 8 g oil, 25 g mayonnaise, 50 g vegetable.” The response shown, as stated in the paper’s title, was due to ‘oxidant stress’. Not the triglycerides 
  • Another study n=10. The standardized high-fat meal consisted of whipping cream, liquid chocolate and non-fat dry milk and contained 65 g of fat, 25 g of carbohydrates.
  • Supporting study funded by the Hass Avocado Board
  • We know that lean protein sources (e.g. poultry and fish) can improve endothelial function
  • Neither of these “experiments” considered variables like sleep, muscle fatigue, stress, training, hydration, blood electrolyte levels, history of tobacco use, alcohol consumption, prior medical history, mental clarity, emotional state, genetic predispositions. n= 3 people. Not enough. 

Clinically concerning hypertriglyceridaemia looks like this…




Nutritional profile

  • The show claims, animals eat plants, so we should bypass animals and eat plants too. To put it in context for you a cow has 4 stomachs (we have 1), can extract amino acids from plant based materials as a result of enzymes and bacteria that we as humans do not have. As humans our digestive tract is very different. We can not get the same nutrients from grass as cows do.
  • Compared to animal sources, plant based sources are a poorer source of leucine – important for muscle growth 
  • Vegans can get a complete profile of AA’s however they need to be eating a wide range of plant based protein sources.
  • Estimated bioavaiability of protein in beef – 92%. Estimated bioavailbility of protein in kidney bean – 54%. Grams of protein does not equate to how much we as humans can absorb and access. 
  • There’s a funny bit here where they reference a peanut butter sandwich as containing an equivalent amount of protein to 3 ounces of beef. To achieve the ~20g of protein that is in 3 ounces of beef, you would need to consume 2 slices bread plus 4 tablespoons peanut butter bringing the total to 510 calories (2100kJ), 20g protein, 34g fat, and 39g carbs. Beef – 213cal (894kJ), 20g pro, 13g fat, 0 CHO. So the peanut butter sandwich has yes the same protein, but more than double the calories, almost triple the fat, 40g vs 0g carbs
  • “Even iceberg lettuce has more antioxidants than salmon or eggs.” – worse than comparing apples & pears…Just because they’re not ‘antioxidants’ doesn’t mean they’re not valuable nutrients! Eg omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and protein in eggs are so valuable!  How much protein or omega 3s are in iceberg lettuce?! Shall we compare it the other way?
  • Go to episode 2 for tips on upgrading your salad 
  • Wilks claims that cow’s milk can increase oestrogen and lower testosterone in men. The 2010 study he references, published in the journal Pediatrics International, was conducted using the milk of pregnant cows. The scientists pulled from a pool of 18 people (seven men, six children, and five women), and found that milk reduced testosterone secretions—not overall testosterone —temporarily. Seven men. Temporarily.
  • Focus on ADDING plants rather than REMOVING animal products.

OnCore Practical Plant-based tips 

Our upgrade your health tips (not 0-100!) 

  1. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. 
  2. Focus on adding plants rather than necessarily removing all animals. 
  3. Add veggies, fruit, spices or acidic marinades (such as yogurt or vinegar-based marinades) to your meats – this may decrease hetereocyclic amines (linked to cancer development) formation by up to 99%
  4. Start with meat free monday
  5. Upgrade to one meal per day – plant-based lunches
  6. Still eat REAL food – avoid fake cheese, fake-on, tofurkey. This takes planning and knowledge and perhaps tailored expert advice and guidance. 
  7. It’s relatively easy to meet your protein needs. It’s hard not to overdo the carbohydrate load. Tailored advice from a dietitian will help ensure you’re eating to match your goals. 
  8. Watch a David Attenborough documentary instead – we think this gives a far more powerful, realistic perspective on how we could be better looking after our planet and health simultaneously 
  9. Think about where you’re getting your health information – underlying biases, conflicts of interest, governing bodies or registrations? We are required to stay up to date and be safe and fair to public. 
  10. Think about how you can ethically source your animal products (see below). 


Sustainable produce 

The Game Changers References:

The Gladiator Diet


Nutrient Profiles

These are the studies cited with regards to vegetarian diets for athletes:

Endothelial Function


Plant Based Guide for Physicians

Heme Iron (

Cardiovascular Disease

Cancer Risk

Human Evolution





Types of Intermittent Fasting

ADF – 25% energy reqs one day, nil restrictions on the next 

  1. Complete alternate-day fasting (or total intermittent energy restriction) – no energy consumed on fast days
  2. modified alternate-day fasting (or partial intermittent energy restriction) – up to 25% of daily energy needs on fasting days instead of complete fasting.
  3. Most studies are in this method – mice and human 

Periodic fasting 

    1. 5:2 (Michael Mosely) – not a whole lot of evidence yet, but more emerging
    2. The 2 Day Diet (Michelle Harvie) – 2 days 500-600Cal then eat & drink normal for rest of week
    3. 24hr fast
    4. Valter Longo– 5 day consecutive fast (800Cal/day) then normal for rest of month > evidence for protection against cancer.
    5. more extreme versions with several days or weeks of fasting. 
    6. During the fasting days, it may be allowed approximately 500 to 600 calories or about 25% of regular daily caloric intake instead of complete fasting.

Time-restricted feeding / TRE – eating only during a certain number of hours each day. Eg 16:8. This schedule is thought to leverage the circadian rhythm.

    1. Timing – earlier may be better. BF not most important meal of day but BF and lunch better for circadian rhythm and glucose tolerance the next day than lunch + dinner. 

Physiological benefits


Practicalities / sustainability / contraindications 


Skin, hair, nails supplements 

  • Many products on the market that claim to thicken our hair, improve the quality of out skin and strengthen nails.
  • Many of these products come with fancy marketing and an expensive price tag!
  • Are these supps all they;re cracked up to be? Here’s what the research shows:

What do these supplements usually contain (individual products do very)?

  • Hair, skin, and nail supplements commonly contain antioxidants (e.g. vitamins A, C, and E, and/or Coenzyme Q10). 
  • biotin & B- vitamins can be in there too!
  • They can often contain the minerals manganese (helps your body utilize a number of vitamins and selenium (plays an important role in the health of the immune system by reducing oxidative stress), along with fatty acids (fish oil and/or flaxseed oil).
  • Deficiencies of these nutrients is uncommon
  • Over time, inadequate intake of vitamins A and E and biotin can affect our hair and skin, however this is rare!
  • Sadly I’ve seen some really poor quality products (with very fancy marketing) that don’t even contain all of these ingredients.

What does the science say?

  • For those with no deficiencies, there’s no good evidence that supplements can make a difference to our hair skin and nails.
  • I’m not aware of any robust data suggesting that any supplements can improve the inevitable age-related hair loss, skin elasticity or nail weakening.

What if you are one of those people who have nutritional deficiencies?

  • Most people get enough of the nutrients mentioned above through the diet, but in rare cases, a chronic disease and/or medical problem may cause a nutritional deficiencies, which as a result affect your hair, nails, or skin. 
  • If you’re experiencing hair, skin or nail issues for no clear reason, talk with your doctor and request a blood test .
  • Supplements can often contain heavy metals and other ingredients that aren’t necessarily health promoting. We always recommend food first!

Our recommendations:

In summary: While nutrition plays a key role in many skin issues, consuming pills specifically to target these without making any other changes to your diet or lifestyle is likely counterintuitive – eat a healthy, balanced diet and save your pennies!

Vitamin A and skin


Transdermal absorption

MUST be fat soluble! Lipophilic. All water sol vitamins won’t be well absorbed.

MUST be small

Vit D – sublingal vit D spray, not yet transdermal

Magnesium – poorly absorbed. Requires sweat glands/hair follicles 

Dead  cells of the upper skin layer do not contain functional magnesium transporters, which have not yet been identified in detail, magnesium absorption may be possible only at the small area of sweat glands and hair follicles.


Suitable alternative to oral or intramuscular injections at restoring serum B12 levels

The bioavailability of sublingual vitamin B12 appears to be equivalent to oral vitamin B12


Omega 3 fats

How does this impact our skin?

  • DHA = structural component of skin and keeps our cell membranes healthy. When the cell membrane is healthy, this means healthy skin – yay!
  • EPA has many benefits
  • Reduces signs of premature aging.
  • May reduce the risk of acne formation.
  • Skin hydration.
  • Can prevent Hyperkeratosis – thickening of skin
  • Omega-3s can protect skin from the UV rays emitted from the sun. 
  • EPA in particular can help your body retain skin collagen after sun exposure

Alkaline diet

Eggs and cholesterol

Let’s take it back, what is cholesterol?

  • Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is produced by our bodies and also found in food.
  • Our bodies need cholesterol to function properly. e.g, cholesterol is used to build cell walls and hormone production.
  • About three quarters of cholesterol in the body is produced by your liver and the rest comes from the foods we consume.
  • Cholesterol is carried in the blood by lipoprotein as Lauren discussed last week. The main types of lipoproteins are high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Obviously we want more of the good stuff (HDL) and less of the bad stuff (LDL)

Where’s the research at?

  • Research has shown that dietary cholesterol does not significantly impact cholesterol levels in your body.
  • Data from population studies showed a limited association between dietary cholesterol and heart disease in the general population.
  • Healthy foods that contain cholesterol (e.g. eggs, fish, shellfish, yoghurt) can be protective against heart disease and high cholesterol.

Eggs specifically?

  • The cholesterol found in eggs has little effect on your blood cholesterol levels.
  • Cholesterol levels influenced by saturated and trans fats.
  • Choose healthy sides to accompany you eggs, e.g. a slice of wholegrain rather than white bread and limit your intake of bacon.
  • If bacon is your side of choice to accompany your eggs, the bacon will likely have more of an impact on you blood cholesterol than the eggs! We encourage you to try some vegetable based sides, e.g. spinach, tomato, avocado, mushrooms or beans!

What is important to note is a small number of people are sensitive to eating dietary cholesterol that is naturally found in food. Therefore when they eat cholesterol rich foods, their LDL (not so good) cholesterol levels may increase.

Recommendation: 7 eggs per week.

Which foods will increase blood cholesterol?
The research suggests that processed foods which are high in saturated or trans fats will increase our blood cholesterol levels.

I was reading a large study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which followed over 300,000 people for 4–10 years. The subjects modified the type of fats consumed. Those who reduced their saturated fat intake by ~5% and selected polyunsaturated fats had lower rates of coronary illness or coronary related deaths.

Moral of the story: with a baseline healthy diet eggs are an excellent source of healthy fats and protein!

Pick your drink

G+T = up to 3 slices bread (short glass ~715kJ, 250ml tonic = 840kJ) = 14% daily energy needs.(7 = 100%)

Gin and soda = 1 slice bread (415kJ)

Cider = up to 4 slice bread

Cocktail – up to 5 slice bread

Dry wine, champagne, spirit = 1 slice bread

Beer = 2.5 slice bread

Better options

  • Spirit + soda
  • Champagne
  • Dry wine

You know the drill

  • Stay hydrated – 1 for 1
  • Get a long glass if it’s soda, short glass if it’s soft drink
  • Line your stomach → About 20 percent of the alcohol consumed is absorbed in the stomach, and about 80 percent is absorbed in the small intestine

Bone Broths

Bone broth? Do we need it?

  • These days, bone broths are being hailed as a new cure-all regarding gut health, skin, immune system and joint relief.
  • There are many testimonials to support this soups benefits— e.g. as wrinkle removers, gut bacteria boosters, bone builders and immune enhancers
  • Unfortunately, the science doesn’t quite back it up!
  • What is interesting is bone broth is something we have always had in my culture, my Omi makes the most delicious chicken soup and all these years we thought nothing of it (other than how delicious it was)!

What is bone broth?

  • Usually made with chicken stock or beef stock, but can be made with pork and fish. The soup bases made by simmering the bones with added spices and vegetables, often for as long as two days.
  • Bone broth is a fairly good source of protein and often contains ~ 6-12 grams a cup.

Where’s the evidence at?

Claims with some support:

Small studies which have found benefits on consuming chicken broth:

  • Chicken soup & mucous secretion. There is research to suggest that consuming hot chicken soup can help to loosen and clear secretions – study from 1978 and we have spoken about this in previous podcast.
  • Chicken soup & inflammation. Laboratory studies that found chicken soup inhibits the activity of neutrophils (white blood cells). However, this evidence is not overly strong

Both small studies but some evidence nonetheless

Claims with no support:

  • Bone broths & joint pain. Arthritis can occur as a result of collagen loss. Whilst bone broth contains collagen, dietary collagen isn’t necessarily absorbed and directed straight into your joints.
  • Bone broths & skin firming/elasticity. Claim also based on collagen, which forms a layer of tissue to support our skin. Just as dietary collagen isn’t transported directly to the joints, it isn’t taken necessarily directed to our skin either.
  • Bone broths & digestion. Bone broths contain gelatin, which has claims to support and improve digestion. Again another claim with little evidence
  • Bone broths & bones. Whilst the soup is made from bone, this doesn’t mean it will build bone or strengthen the bones in our bodies. The animals bones in the soup release very little calcium into the broth, despite being simmered for many hours/days

Of note

  • All bone broths are made differently – no consistency with products, therefore very difficult to test.

The bottom line: If you enjoy it, drink it or use it as a base for your soups, there is absolutely no harm. However it is not the cure-all it’s claimed to be! Save you $$ from the health food stores.


Coffee and pregnancy

Exercise caution. Over 200-300mg caffiene per day increasing risk of miscarriage and low birth weight 

  • Decaf safe -3mg caffeine per tsp – hard to overdo!
  • 1 Tsp of instant – 60mg per tsp
  • Espresso shot (30-35ml) – 90mg   but anywhere up to 200mg
  • Percolated – 100mg per cup
  • Energy drinks – up to 110mg per serve
  • Cola – 40mg per serve
  • Black Tea – 50mg 
  • Green tea – 30mg
  • Chocolate – 60g of milk or dark Choc has about 30-40mg

Pregnant women can safely have two instant coffees a day and two to three cups of tea OR one cap/latte 


Apple Cider Vinegar

Chocolate and acne

  • Researchers has found that high glycemic index foods (think white bread, lollies, cakes, biscuits and soft drink) may make acne worse. 
  • On the contrary, a diet rich in low GI carbs, which includes wholegrain breads and cereals, legumes, fruits, vegetables has been found to improve acne.
  • Much more research needs to be done though, as the info we have is still early days
  • Good news for all you chocolate lovers: There is no evidence to support the claim that chocolate causes acne. 
  • There is data to show that dark chocolate (which is rich in antioxidants) can be good for our skin. However, everything in moderation!
  • For some individuals, dairy products can trigger acne. 
  • There have been studies which  have shown a link between acne severity and consumption of dairy products.
  • It’s still farfetched to say that dairy causes acne, and avoiding dairy probably won’t cause acne to disappear. However, if you consume large volumes of dairy and experience acne, you may want to cut back on the dairy for a while and see if it has any effect on your skin.
  • Acne development is very complex and it’s highly unlikely that just changing one aspect of your diet is going to completely irradicate ones acne.

Iron hacks

Animal-based iron sources
Food Serving size Iron content
Chicken liver 100g 11mg
Beef 100g 3.5mg
Kangaroo 100g 3.2mg
Lamb 100g 2.5mg
Salmon 100g 1.28mg
Tinned tuna 100g 1.07mg
Lamb brains 100g 1.0mg
Pork 100g 0.8mg
Chicken 100g 0.4mg
Snapper 100g 0.3mg
Plant-based iron sources
Food Serving size Iron content
Weetbix TM 30g 4.2mg
All Bran TM 30g 3.2mg
Kidney beans 1 cup 3.1mg
Green lentils 1 cup 3.0mg
Tofu 100g 2.96mg
Chickpeas 1 cup 2.7mg
Cooked wholemeal pasta 140g (1 cup) 2.3mg
Cashew nuts 30g (20 nuts) 1.5mg
Raw spinach 1 cup 1.2mg
Rolled oats 30g 1.1mg
Almonds 30g 1.1mg
Dried apricot 30g (5 dried apricots) 0.93mg
Broccoli 1 cup 0.86mg
Cooked brown rice 140g (1 cup) 0.7mg
Wholegrain bread 1 slice 0.4mg
How much iron do I need? 
Age Recommended Daily Intake1
All 1-3 years 9mg per day
All 4-8 10mg per day
Girls 9-13 8mg per day
Girls 14–18 15mg per day
Boys 9-13 8mg per day
Boys 14–18 11mg per day
Females 19–50 18mg per day
Female 51+ 8mg per day
Males 19+ 8mg per day


Pregnant & lactating women Recommended Daily Intake1
All pregnant women 27mg per day
Lactating women, 14–18 years 10mg per day
Lactating women, 19–30  9mg per day



Functional signs of Fe def:

  Redced physical work capacity,

      Delayed psychomotor development in infants,

      Impaired cognitive function

      Dizziness, headaches,

      Tmpaired immunity

      Challenges in pregnancy

      Tongue and mouth sores

      Pica (the compulsion to eat nonfood items, such as paper or ice chips)

  Get your serum Fe levels checked – measure the stores, the transporters and the saturation of the Fe on the transporters. A haemoglobin level might also be taken if there is suspicion of blood loss.

Tips to enhance absorption

    Eat foods high in vitamin C or citric acid with foods that contain iron.

      If possible or plausible, separate the intake of Fe rich foods with phytate rich foods such as whole grains, cereals, soy, nuts and legumes

      Cook your plant foods to improve the amount of available iron

      Avoid having tea, coffee or calcium during or directly after having a source of iron – if you’re taking supplements, split them up!

  Ensure that you only take iron supplements under the advice of a medical prof, as too much iron can also be harmful.

Butter vs Marg

Red meat

Dairy and mucous

  • Mucus is produced by cells in the nose and lungs. It consists of salt, water and various proteins which help to trap germs. SO there is very good reason that we produce mucous, even though it’s not overly pleasant.
  • Antibacterial enzymes and proteins within mucous (called antibodies), recognise the germs so they can be removed by our immune system and protect us from further infection.
  • Mucous actually helps us to remove the infection from our body.
  • As it stands there is currently no evidence to suggest that dairy increases mucus production and delays recovery.
  • Some people report that dairy can make their phlegm seem thicker, however it doesn’t cause the body to increase phlegm production.
  • Do what makes your feel best! Listen to your body.
  • Dairy is a rich source of protein and contains a number of vitamins and minerals that may be immune boosting. Therefore, if you enjoy dairy, there is absolutely no reason to cut it out when you’re sick.

Soy and hormones 

Calcium supplements 

Probiotics vs Prebiotics



  • Prunes = dried plums     
  • 1 cup prunes = 12g fibre = almost half daily fibre req (25-30g per day)
  • 3 prunes = 4g fibre 
  • 100g prunes = 7.8g fibre vs 3.8g in broc vs 2.4g in apple
  • Almost equal parts soluble and insoluble fibre which means it not only adds bulk to the stool to help you create something to pass in the first place, but the soluble fibre helps absorb fluid to create a formed stool and also feeds our good gut bacteria.
  • Prunes are also a good source of sorbitol – a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in dried fruit but also is commercially manufactured and added to things like diabetic jelly and sugar free gum. It gets fermented by our gut bacteria and draws fluid into the gut to help it, errrr slip out! 

Resistant starch

  • The research suggests that increasing your intake of resistant starch can be beneficial for the bacteria in our intestines as well as for your cells.
  • Research has shown that the way you prepare common foods like grains, potatoes, rice and pasta may change their resistant starch content.
  • One type of resistant starch is formed when foods are cooled after cooking. A great way to increase the amount of RS in your diet is simply cooking and cooling your carbs.
  • Green bananas are also high in RS, however as they ripen and become sweeter, they amount of RS lessens.

Faecal Transplant

Miracle fruit

Tapeworm Diet

  • Victorian Era- late 1800s 
  • Tablet containing parasite egg – hatches and “eats extra calories” in the digestive system
  • Possibles side effects: nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhoea, infection blocked bile ducts, pancreatic ducts, neurological issues (blurred vision, dementia), altered lung + liver failure

Upgrade your health – salad leaves

Best vegan protein for muscle gains

  • Need 8g leucine per day spread over meals and snacks (2.5g per serve) – amino acid – building block plus anabolic trigger
  • Most leucine rich vegan protein powder = corn protein. 
  • Leucine rich foods include meat, chicken, fish, nuts & seeds, eggs
  • For those who prefer vegan protein, a corn protein isolate has a decent BCAA  profile and is an excellent source is leucine. Soy is also another option that is high in leucine.

Celery juice – savvy marketing, early mornings, juicing vs blending and a heightened electricity bill!

The old wives tale ‘starve a fever, feed a cold’ and what to eat when you’ve got a cold versus a flu. 

  • Dates back to 1954
  • People thought that eating would divert energy and resources away from fighting the fever, to the process of digesting your food…and that this would lead to more fever
  • When we eat, digestion creates something called the thermic effect of food, or the energy that it takes our bodies to break down our food. This process released a byproduct of heat, which is where this concern might have come from. 
  • What science has been able to demonstrate is that in fact the opposite is true. Medical research suggests the saying should instead be “feed a cold, feed a fever.” 
  • When we are unwell with fever or a cold, it requires additional energy to fight the infection. This means our body requires an increase in energy and nutrients to produce the immune cells required to fight the infection. 
  • These immune cells, immunoglobulins for e.g. are made up of protein
  • Other micronutrients, including Zn, selenium, Fe, copper, vits A, C, E, B6 and folate, glutathione (cruciferous veg), bioflavanoids (citrus fruits) are all involved in immune processes and its important to have enough of these through eating a variety of whole foods. 
  • Colds and flus are caused by viruses 
  • Intermittent fasting may enhance immune function, but not so useful once you’re already sick
  • Starving a fever is of no benefit and may even delay your recovery 
  • Drink plenty of fluids, rest if you need to, hearty soups such as minestrone, chicken and veg, can help provide nutrients and liquids – killing 2 birds with 1 stone. And the heat can help loosen mucous. 
  • Listen to your body – eat when you’re hungry but also rest when you need to. 
  • Some benefit in zinc , olive leaf extract at the first sign of a cold to reduce the severity and duration

Upgrade your health – swap your rice

  • Rice itself doesn’t offer much more than carbohydrates and calories so if you have an opportunity to swap it out for something that adds more value we’d encourage you to do so. 
  • You could swap rice for a grain such as quinoa, barley or freekeh for significantly more protein and fibre; a legume like chickpeas or lentils, or get right amongst it and try some cauliflower rice. If it’s the curry you’re really after then you’re unlikely to miss it. 
  • And if you just want rice, absolutely use it, keep your serves to the size of your fist. And select basmati rice, wild rice or a rice and quinoa blend to get the glycaemic response down. 

Organic versus non organic produce

  • Studies on the foods themselves in terms of nutritional content, levels of chemicals and resistant bacteria
  • Studies on the health of humans long term 
  • When we look at organic vs non-organic there may be slightly higher concentrations of antioxidants in organic produce. This is only in general, as organic milk has been found to have lower mineral content, and varies depending on the source. 
  • When we look at chemicals and pesticide residues, organic produce may reduce exposure to these but important to note that the levels of toxins in non-organic produce is generally well below safe limits
  • When we look at health overall, in particular long term health of individuals that eat organic vs non organic produce, the benefits are far less clear. 
  • No difference in cancer risk (studies of >600,000 women)
  • Huge systematic reviews show no difference
  • Some studies that report a difference need to be careful of other confounding factors. If we think about the profile of someone who may eat organic – they have chosen to and have the means to do so. In general,this often means they are more likely to be of a higher SES/income, better living environments, higher education level, health conscious therefore choose more fresh produce overall, get regular health check ups and screen for chronic diseases. It’s really difficult to attribute health benefits to the organic produce when there’s a whole bunch of other health-promoting behaviours, environmental and lifestyle factors contributing. 
  • Bottom line: if you’ve got the means and it’s a priority for you – by all means! If you don’t – just keep aiming for your 5 serves of veggies and wash them well.
Disclaimer: While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of material, any information provided on this website and any associated material is generalised and all individuals should assess content for relevance and appropriateness to their individual needs. Nutrition therapy should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your healthcare professional for a nutritional assessment and advice tailored to your needs and before making any significant dietary changes or taking nutritional supplements. Information on this site and any associated material may contain technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Information and products may be changed or updated without notice. Please contact OnCore Nutrition with any concerns that may arise.

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