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These Are The Questions Our Nutritionist Gets Asked The Most

21st September 2022

21st September 2022

By Catherine Hargreaves

Eleanor Thrupp is a registered Nutritional Therapist and personal trainer. From personal experiences she recognised her passion to explore the relationship between nutrition and wider health conditions in more depth. Her aim is to bring honesty, clarity and transparency to her practice and make nutrition as accessible and enjoyable as possible for her clients. 
As an accredited nutritionist (that's Dip-NT, mBANT, CNHC, ANP to you), you can bet that Eleanor gets asked a lot of questions. And some of these questions come up a lot. We sat down with Eleanor to find out which are the most common questions she gets asked - and get her answers once and for all! 
What are some good sources of plant protein? 

Plant proteins provide the nutrients required for growth and repair, as well as vitamins, minerals, fibre and low levels of saturated fat. 

Best plant sources of protein:

  • Tofu, tempeh and edamame all originate from soybeans. They contain iron, calcium and approximately 12-20g of protein per 100g serving. 
  • Beans (kidney, pinto, black) and chickpeas contain 15g of protein per cooked cup. They are also sources of fibre, iron and folate. 
  • Lentils contain 18g of protein per cooked cup. 
  • Nuts and seeds - a handful contains about 5-7g of protein. They are also sources of fibre, healthy fats, magnesium and iron. 
  • Quinoa provides 9g of protein per cooked cup. It is another good source of fibre and magnesium.
How much protein should I eat per day? 

    Each individual has different needs but on the whole adults need between 0.8 and 1.2g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Those who are more active and exercise regularly will require more. Protein is essential for cell and organ function, as well as repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue after exercise. 

    Do I need to eat breakfast? 

      Breakfast used to be called the most essential meal of the day and while there certainly are some benefits to eating breakfast, it isn’t for everyone. It’s generally true that those who do eat a protein rich breakfast tend to eat less throughout the day and feel more energised. However, I would always advise children to eat breakfast as this will help improve cognitive performance as well as stop feelings of hunger and fatigue. 

      What are healthy fats?

        Healthy fats are unsaturated fats, like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Polyunsaturated fats contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids - helping to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as improving mood and fighting inflammation. 

        Foods to include are oily fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies), olive oil, avocados, nuts (walnuts) and seeds (pumpkin, sesame and flax seeds).  

        How many fruits and vegetables should I eat per day? 

          At least half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables. I always advise my clients to ‘eat the rainbow’ and have as much variety as possible as you can’t get all the nutrients you need from a single piece of fruit or vegetable. 

          Eating seasonally is also important because many nutrients decline over time. By eating seasonally, you are more likely to get the full nutritional benefits from the piece of fruit or vegetable. 

          What is the difference between probiotics and prebiotics? 

            Prebiotics (dietary fibre) are the indigestible components of food that are able to reach the large intestine, to feed our beneficial bacteria to promote its growth and function. 

            Probiotics however, are a combination of live beneficial bacteria and/or yeasts that naturally live in your body. 

            Is fibre good for me? 

              Dietary fibre from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes can help maintain a healthy weight, lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Fibre also helps food pass through the digestive system, promoting regularity and preventing constipation. 

              How much caffeine is too much? 

                Up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is a safe amount for adults (that is roughly 4 cups per day). However, I advise my clients to aim for no more than three cups per day and to consume them before 1pm to avoid sleep disruption.

                What are superfoods? 

                  Nutritionally speaking, there is no such thing as a superfood but there are plenty of foods that are packed with nutritional goodness and naturally provide health benefits. 

                  Examples of nutritionally rich foods are blueberries (they contain antioxidants), garlic (contains allicin which is an active compound helping to fight infections), turmeric (contains curcumin which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties) and dark leafy greens (they contain high levels of anti-inflammatory compounds known as carotenoids).

                  So there you have it - whilst you might not be quite ready for your own accreditation, you can be sure to have a super-smart answer prepped and ready next time someone asks you what a prebiotic is, or whether that sixth cup of coffee is okay or not. To learn more from Eleanor, you can book a Nutritionist Consultation session with her, to gain one to one feedback on your nutrition habits and goals.

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