Feedback with Helen and Melissa – Week 3 – Mar 2018 – Food as Medicine

HELEN TRUBY: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the final week
feedback for Food as Medicine. We really hope that
you’ve enjoyed this week. And Mel’s with me today. And Mel, what have
you got there? MELISSA ADAMSKI: Hi, everyone. I’ve got my new food
that I’m going to try. I forgot to bring
it in last week. So this week, I’ll be
trying a dragon fruit, which is originally from– I believe it’s South America. HELEN TRUBY: Right. MELISSA ADAMSKI: And
it’s a variety of cactus. But now it’s very common
in Southeast Asia, and also growing here in
Australia in the Northern Territory. So having– HELEN TRUBY: It’s looking
slightly wilted in our Summer. MELISSA ADAMSKI: I know, it is. It doesn’t look the greatest
at the moment, but– HELEN TRUBY: Hopefully
it tastes good. MELISSA ADAMSKI:
–hopefully it’s good. But having a look at a bit
of the nutritionals about it, it does seem to be a fruit
that does contain some calcium, which is interesting. And in the literature,
there are some suggestions around its role in helping
to maintain a normal blood pressure, or helping to
reduce high blood pressure, and also in reducing
glucose levels. So it might be useful for
type 2 diabetes in the future when we do a bit more research. But we’ll put up
a study in regards to a systematic
review that’s been done that collects
all the evidence, so you can have a bit
of a look at that. But too early to use
it just yet, but just an interesting point that
you might have not known. HELEN TRUBY: And give it a go. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yes. See if it tastes good. That’s the main thing. HELEN TRUBY: That’s
the main thing. Yeah, exactly. MELISSA ADAMSKI: And Helen,
one of the interesting topics this week that a lot of
learners are talking about is why nutrition
science keeps changing. So we’ve got a nice video
on that from Simone. I was wondering if you’d
like to add anything to that. HELEN TRUBY: Sure. And I think this is
something that is really concerning to a lot of people
about why recommendations change. And that’s largely because
new research is done, and we sort of build on
our evidence over time. And what we want is
really a body of evidence. We don’t like,
like, one study that says dragon fruit is good for
type 2 diabetes, for instance. We want to see a
whole range of studies so we’re confident that that
wasn’t just one finding, that there’s actually
a consistent pattern. And this is why dietary
guidelines get updated, but not all that often. Often only once
every 10, 15 years do we do a major review
of dietary guidelines. So it can be
confusing for people, and particularly when
the headlines often provoke a very emotive
response about a certain food or a certain nutrient. But actually long-term what
really supports people’s health is dietary patterns. MELISSA ADAMSKI: And I
suppose, because these days we have access to so much
information on the internet, it’s a lot easier for
those single, small studies to get reported and
those big headlines made, whereas, you know,
before the internet, or when we relied more
on textbooks and things, we would wait until we
collated a lot of the evidence, and then put out
information about it. And so you didn’t get these
constant changes all the time. HELEN TRUBY: Yeah. And I think the constant
headlines, and also in terms that it does actually
take us quite a long time to look at health outcomes,
because obviously human beings live quite a long time. So we’re interested in really
those long-term impacts, not just whether something has
an impact over a week or 10 days, or indeed does
it work in a rat. We want to know whether
it works in humans, and is there any
long-term benefit. So I think as scientists, we
do tend to be rather cautious. And indeed perhaps in the
media they’re less so. So, you know, you have to
be quite critical about what you’re looking at, and thinking
about those long-term gains in your health. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yeah. Definitely. Yeah. HELEN TRUBY: So other
things this week, people have been
practicing taking food out of our vending machine. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yes, yes, doing
the vending machine activity, which was in week two,
but lots of people are still filling it in
at the moment, as well. HELEN TRUBY: Great. MELISSA ADAMSKI:
So Helen, did you want to take us through a
few of those results there? HELEN TRUBY: So, sure. So the majority of people
choosing this activity were aged between 25 and 75. Most people doing it
in the early evening, where they were rating
their hunger as quite low. And also they were
slightly more tired. Their average tiredness
was 3.7 out of 10. So people weren’t feeling
particularly tired. And consequently, they’re
choosing very healthy foods. So top number one was almonds. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yes. HELEN TRUBY: Second
top was bananas. And thirdly, people
were choosing– MELISSA ADAMSKI: Mainly
water as a drink. HELEN TRUBY: –water
to drink, indeed. And the nut options I think
were very popular, too. Kiwifruit was also a top choice. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yes. HELEN TRUBY: So what we
know from the literature is, the more rested people
feel, the more able they are to make
healthier choices. So particularly
in people who work shifts, for instance,
and overnight, people who are
tired, you’re more likely to go to that vending
machine and pick out, you know, the packet of
chips, the packet of crisps, the chocolate bars
and things like that. So you’re a very healthy lot
this week, so that’s fantastic. So that was an
interesting thing. We hope you enjoyed doing
your vending machine activity. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yeah. Yeah, very much so. And another activity
that we got people to do was to look at some of
the different food guides around the world. So while we had to step on the
Australian dietary guidelines, we also wanted you to have a
look at the dietary guidelines in your region. And people were very
interested to see that they’re very similar
in their recommendations. While they might culturally
change, so for example if you’re looking at,
say, the grains group, the grains might be culturally
appropriate to that country, the conditions for
amounts are very similar. And I suppose,
Helen, it comes back to the point you were
mentioning earlier, they will have used
the same evidence base. So looking at all the
studies that have ever been done sort of
around the world, and then basing their
decision on that. And so because everyone
uses the same studies, we come to very
similar conclusions. HELEN TRUBY: But again,
they’re culturally different. So for instance, in Japan, rice
might be a much bigger staple food than it is in other
countries where, you know, wheat and bread
might be the staple. So they do look
slightly different. And I think, as
time goes by, we are going to be a bit
more specific in being able to tailor those
recommendations more to people’s genetic origins. But we’re a little way off that. So we were involved
in doing some of the synthesis
for the literature for the Australian
dietary guidelines, which were released in 2013. And I think it was 55,000
different papers that were actually reviewed
for part of that process. And indeed, some of the papers
that we wrote out to them are actually now cited in the
American dietary guidelines that have recently been done,
and from around the world, as well. So I noticed them in another
international paper, as well. So people do share
this information around the world, which is why
a lot of the recommendations do look very similar. And that brings us
really to thinking about what dietary
patterns people thought were the most healthy. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yes, yes. So another activity,
as well, was for you to have a look through
a list of different diets that we’ve heard about
from around the world, and to rate which
ones you thought had the most
evidence behind them. And the one that
topped the list, both at the beginning of
the week and at the end, was the Mediterranean
diet, way out front. Many people identified
that as being a good, robust
dietary pattern that seems to provide health
benefits in many ways. However, there
were also a couple of comments around
not knowing some of the names for some of the
diets that were mentioned. And that doesn’t matter. Part of the exercise, as well,
was to go and research them to see what evidence was behind
them, or even to look them up and to understand them
a little bit more. So just because you don’t
know the name, that’s fine. Have a bit of a look, and
start practising analysing or critically evaluating some
of the information you read online, on the internet, or
through books so you get that practise. And then rate them and
tell us what you think. HELEN TRUBY: And not all of the
dietary patterns, of course, you know, that come through as
fads, particularly that tend to be celebrity-endorsed or
in a bestseller this week, the evidence base is
often very weak on those. So to give you a caution
about how much weight you should put to those kinds
of diets that may offer you quick fixes, but
actually long-term may not be the best idea to
support your nutritional health and help prevent some of these
chronic diseases that are rampaging through the world. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yeah. Absolutely. HELEN TRUBY: So
there’s also a question about where do you go
for reliable sources of information. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Yes. HELEN TRUBY: Which I think
you mentioned in the internet. Massive amount of information
at people’s fingertips. So how do you know whether
stuff’s good or not? MELISSA ADAMSKI: That’s right. And we had Simone in a
video giving some tips around how to evaluate
some of the information. But there was a question from a
learner for some more specific resources. And so I provided
a response looking at some of the
research-grade resources there, so looking at PubMed
and some of those databases. But Helen, do you have
any other sources that you would recommend going to? HELEN TRUBY: Yeah. Generally, if you look at the
professional associations, so like the British
Dietetic Association in the UK, the
Australian equivalent, the Dieticians
Association of Australia, they can be very helpful. NHS Direct does a
lot of good work in kind of synthesis of
knowledge if you’re in the UK. And again, there can be
local resources, as well, such as your local– in the States, there’s the
American sources of information that you could get from those
professional associations, as well. So if it’s kind of got a
professional body attached to it, it’s more
likely to have gone through some critical review. So that’s helpful,
I think, in terms of thinking about what can I
trust and what can’t I trust. MELISSA ADAMSKI: That’s right. And also, even if you’re
reading information that’s not from one
of those sources, even if it’s got
references attached to it, really starting to
think about, or having a look at those references,
because a lot of the time we see references used
inappropriately, and that it might
look scientific, but it’s not actually
factually correct. So just murkies the
water a little bit more– HELEN TRUBY: Sure. MELISSA ADAMSKI: –but gives
you a bit more reading to do. HELEN TRUBY: And there’s
a nice comment about where the word diet came from. MELISSA ADAMSKI:
Yes, yeah, the origin of diet, and how
it didn’t always mention or mean ‘fad diet’,
as we sort to take it for now. It’s sort of been
hijacked a little bit. But it does mean, you know,
your overall dietary pattern, and the food that you
eat throughout the day. But it got me interested, and
I had a little bit of a look, and there’s some interesting
papers that actually, from a number of historian– or
history groups around the world that look into the origins
of the dietetic practice, and it takes us all the
way back to ancient Greece and Plato’s time and looking
at the importance of different foods and food
groups for health, and how we can use
food as medicine, especially in a
preventative type sense. So we’ll put a couple of
those links up for you just so you might be interested
to read those research articles there. I know that we certainly were. HELEN TRUBY: And in
terms of ancient Greece, we know that Hippocrates made
that famous saying, let food be my medicine and
medicine be thy food. And I guess food as medicine is
about that, except it’s evolved into a more holistic approach. And we certainly
hope that you’ve enjoyed this course
as Food as Medicine. And if you have done, it’ll
be running again in July. Please tell your friends
and family about it. And also, you know, rank the
course and rate the course. We’d really love to
have your feedback and what we can do
to improve, too. So we’d really love
to hear from you. So that’s Food as
Medicine for this run. I’d like to thank
everyone from my team who makes Food as Medicine possible,
and also all our support staff here who actually help
us make our videos, and the quality
of the production we’re enabled to make. So thank you to
everyone who’s been involved in Food as Medicine. And we’re back when? MELISSA ADAMSKI:
Yes, so back in July. And also want to
thank the learners for all your great
comments, and– because I know that everyone really
enjoys learning from us, but also learning from example
through what a lot of people are doing around the world. So really playing into that
differences in culture. So what we can learn
from different countries. So thanks again. Keep the comments coming. And yes, we’ll be back in July. HELEN TRUBY: And if you want
to upgrade to have access to the course for the rest
of the time that it’s online, you can do that via the
Future Learn platform. So that’s up to you. And if you want the
certificate, as well, then you need to complete the
elements of the programme. And if you want to seek the
certificate for accreditation purposes, that’s details
at the end of this course. So I really hope
you’ve enjoyed it. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for all your comments. And we’re back again in July. MELISSA ADAMSKI: Cheerio. See you, everyone.

1 comment

  1. I loved the course!! I would be really interested on your opinion about culinary spices, i missed that in the program 🙂

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