Protein drinks – is it all hype?

Published on the 6th Jun, 2013 by Azmina

I’ve been helping Duncan Walker at BBC online with his article on the rise of protein drinks for ordinary people, published today.

If you look at dietary surveys we are actually doing okay for protein and there’s no reason for dietary supplements unless you are in a vulnerable category. But who is vulnerable? milk n fruit

Nutrition and Diet surveys are based on people recording what they eat – if you’ve ever tried to do that, you’ll know how difficult it is to remember every mouthful. And food eaten outside the home, including sandwiches and takeaways, are estimates of portion size rather than accurate weighed measurements. So it’s not a complete picture of what we’re eating.

Protein as we get older…

Protein shakes could be important, or popular, with middle aged people. On average, between the age of 50 and 70, you will lose about 30% of your muscle strength. That’s why we look flabby as we get older! Protein is the nutrient that helps to re-build your muscles. And I think that’s probably one of the reasons why there’s this growing attention – we’re an ageing population and 50 is the new 30. We all want to be as active as we once were. (more…)

Would you eat your own placenta?

Published on the 5th Jun, 2013 by Azmina

Yesterday I was interviewed by a researcher from ITV This Morning in preparation for their debate on new mums eating their own placenta. It follows news that Kim Kardashian plans to do this once she delivers her baby. Gosh, being a media nutritionist is full of surprises! I set to work on finding out what this could mean for you nutritionally…

This practice seems to be common in some cultures. In my search for credible evidence, I found none. There was nothing in the research that pointed to this being good for you – but there was none that confirmed it was harmful either.

My views

  1. Placenta is indeed a nutritious organ.  It’s rich in protein, vitamin B12 and iron. These are important nutrients, especially for women or if you are vegetarian (though I wonder what vegetarian women would think about eating placenta?). We don’t know the nutritional value of cooked placenta. You can get these nutrients from red meat and liver.
  2. This is a matter of personal choice. You need to eat a varied diet, regular meals, and protein and iron-containing foods after pregnancy. If you’re breast-feeding, you must take a 10mcg supplement of vitamin D and 500 extra kcals.
  3. There have been reports that the hormones help to combat post-natal depression. I wonder how much of this is a placebo effect.

Anyone for liver?