The security code is a three-digit number on the back of your credit card, immediately following your main card number.
The security code is a four-digit number located on the front of your credit card, to the right above your main credit card number.
Oops! You can only add one Get Lean membership to your account. Stay tuned for exciting new programs over the coming months!
Chillies are in the same family as capsicums (peppers) and have many of the same nutritional qualities. However we tend to eat them in smaller quantities, depending on how hot they are. Chillies are eaten all around the world. They are central to Mexican cooking, and used broadly throughout Africa, India and much of Asia.
The heat comes from the phytonutrient capsaicin. The highest concentration of capsaicin is actually not the seeds as commonly thought, but in the white pith surrounding the seeds. If you want to reduce the heat in your dish, make sure you remove this and use just the flesh of the chilli.
Capsaicin has been studied as an anti-cancer agent, with some promising results from animal and cell line studies in the lab. Be careful with eating too many really hot chillies - burning the cells of your mouth and throat is not a sensible idea. There is also divided evidence linking chilli consumption with stomach cancer, with studies for and against. The strongest positive evidence is for the use of extracted capsaicin from chillies used topically to treat pain. Here it does seem to be effective.
The nutritional components of chilli are less important as you're likely to only eat a small amount. However a benefit is that by flavouring your food with chilli, and other spices, you can use less salt.
Capsaicin has been studied as a potential weight loss aid. When you eat chilli you feel hot, and that's because you are indeed producing some extra heat. This means a few kilojoules are being lost as heat. For a time you could even purchase chilli supplements, sold to help weight loss, but since the effect is so tiny people quickly realised it was not an effective strategy.
Garlic stands out as having particularly potent anti-cancer effects. It has high levels of allicin and other sulphur compounds that are thought to be responsible. Garlic is also anti-bacterial, it can block the formation of carcinogenic substances, can enhance the repair of DNA in cells around the body and can assist in killing off rogue cells that may progress to cancer. The World Health Organisation recommends we eat a clove of garlic a day for general health.
High heat, prolonged storage and exposure to light are known to affect the levels and form of the potentially beneficial substances in garlic. But on the other hand raw garlic disagrees with many people. You might find that raw garlic repeats on you and garlic breath is not so desirable! Or you may find it causes heartburn or indigestion. Since there are many studies showing a benefit of cooked and raw garlic, as well as other cooked allium vegetables, there is clearly still a benefit from enjoying them in this way. What you might like to do is rather than frying your garlic at the start of the dish, try adding it a little later to the pan to reduce the heat exposure.
Garlic can help to improve your blood cholesterol profile by raising HDL-chol by 10-15% and reducing LDL-chol by 10-20%. These studies used garlic supplements of between 600 and 1200mg a day. Unless you're prepared to munch on raw garlic cloves every day, a supplement is probably the way to go to hit these levels!
Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats – they are also only one of two fruits that are fat rich (the other being the avocado). A solid body of scientific evidence supports making these fats the major ones in your diet. They can help you to achieve a healthier blood cholesterol profile, improve your insulin sensitivity, help you to control blood glucose levels, improve a fatty liver, and even reduce the amount of fat you store around your abdomen.
The Mediterranean diet is hailed quite rightfully as one of the healthiest in the world. This diet has been associated with lower rates of heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower risk of stroke, better cognitive health, lower risk of diabetes, and lower risks of many cancers. There are many factors that may contribute to this, but one of the key characteristics is the use of olive oil as a staple food and the principal fat.
It is important to buy extra virgin olive oil however and not products labeled as “light”, “pure olive oil” or “pomace”. These are all refined products and do not contain the health promoting qualities of fresh extra virgin olive oil. Refining the oil removes many of the antioxidants, phytosterols and polyphenols present in the fresh extra virgin oil that benefit us. Oil is not like wine – it doesn’t get better with age. The fresher it is the better. Choose quality over quantity and you will reap the benefits.
It’s a myth that cooking with extra virgin olive oil destroys its benefits. Good quality extra virgin olive oil has a high smoke point of around 210°C. It can be used for stir-fries, on the BBQ, roasting foods in the oven and pan-frying. Store your oil in a cool dark place to retain the freshness and health-promoting properties. And use it regularly so that you are always consuming this year’s batch.
Fat helps deliver taste and flavour, but it is also necessary for the absorption of many antioxidants including beta-carotene, not to mention the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Drizzling extra virgin olive oil over your salad or steamed veg adds flavour (so you eat more plant food) and makes sure you can absorb more of those beneficial plant compounds.
Bacon is cured and smoked pork meat. The curing process involves soaking the meat in brine (salty water), injecting it with brine or dry curing in plain salt. This is why the end product has a high salt content with around 1000mg of sodium per 100g of bacon.
On average a 50g serve of bacon contains almost 500kJ, 10g of protein, 8g of fat, no carbohydrate and 500mg of sodium.
Bacon would have originally been produced as a means of preserving the meat and indeed the high salt content prevents the growth of many pathogenic bacteria. However today chemical preservatives, usually sodium nitrite (E250), are almost always added as an extra precaution. Although this is usually thought of in a negative light, it's worth remembering that the pathogens you could pick up from cured meat would do you far more harm and potentially make you very sick. They do therefore play a safety role.
However a high consumption of processed meats including bacon has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. The nitrite preservatives, the high salt content or other unknown factors may be to blame. If you enjoy your bacon you can certainly continue to do so, but I do suggest that you don't eat it every day. I suggest limiting bacon to no more than once or twice a week for this reason. You can also help to protect yourself by ensuring the rest of your diet is rich in plant foods with their beneficial compounds.
Nutritionally bacon varies enormously depending on the cut. Streaky bacon comes from the pork belly and has visible streaks of fat throughout the rasher. Back bacon is leaner as it is mostly the loin from the middle of the back of the pig. In Australia bacon sold as middle bacon, has both the eye of the loin at one end with a long streaky bacon 'tail'. Short-cut bacon has this tail removed so is far leaner. Depending on the cut bacon can range from 5-16% fat, with about 40% of the fat present being saturated fat.
Silverbeet is fabulously nutrient-rich with one cup of raw leaves providing about a quarter of your recommended vitamin C for the day and 16% of your vitamin A. The latter is coming from the carotenoids present in silverbeet that can be converted to vitamin A in the body. Those carotenoids also have an antioxidant role in the body and so are important nutritional components in their own right.
Silverbeet is a good plant source of iron with a little over 1g per cup. However be aware that this iron is very poorly absorbed, as with all dark leafy greens, due to the presence of phytates. You can improve the absorption of iron by consuming a vitamin C rich food in the same meal, and avoiding drinking tea with or immediately after the meal.
Like most leafy greens, silverbeet has a very low energy density with a cup providing only 25kJ. This combination of low energy density and high nutrient density, makes it a winner for weight control. I love to add silverbeet to stirfries, soups, casseroles or shredded and served raw in salads. My favourite recipe though is to fry it in a little extra virgin olive oil with garlic, chilli, a little proscuitto and a can of cannelini beans. My Get Lean members can view the recipe here served with pan-roasted blue eye cod. Makes for a quick easy but totally delicious mid-week dinner.
Silverbeet is known in some countries as Swiss chard or simply chard, while in South Africa, and often in Australia, it is labelled spinach. It is not in fact spinach at all, but is related to beetroot.
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