Unpacking Fat.

The word ‘fat’ is loaded with misconception. Many of us struggle when it comes down to selecting what foods we should consume.  This is a process that often fails to consider the importance of certain oils, seeds and foods that are high in “good” fat. Yes, there is such a thing. Clinical nutritionist and wellness coach Jessica Sepel explores the misconceptions surrounding these foods throughout her blog JS Health.

Keeping our followers in mind, The Clean Kitchen has extracted the information published via JS Health to provide a simple summary for our readers. Please check out the below list highlighting the “good” fats explored via Which Fats Are Good Fats.

Avocado: The monounsaturated fat actually helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise your HDL (good) cholesterol, and they’re a great source of B vitamins too. I love adding it to salads, gluten-free toast…pretty much everything!

Olive oil: It’s full of fatty acids and antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart disease. One of my go-to oils for homemade salad dressings.

Coconut oil: A true superfood. The saturated fat raise good cholesterol and can improve blood cholesterol, potentially lowering the risk of heart disease. I use coconut oil for just about everything, as it’s great for high-heat cooking.

Tahini: A paste made from sesame seeds, tahini is not only a good source of healthy fats but is also rich in minerals like magnesium and iron, and is a phenomenal source of calcium. I love adding tahini to sauces and even smoothies.

Raw nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds are packed with high quality omega 3s, -6s and -9s to reduce inflammation and promote cell growth. They’re a fantastic on-the-go snack, and also make a great crunchy topping for oats and yoghurt.

Flaxseed: The omega-3 essential fatty acids in flaxseed (or linseeds) have heart-healthy effects and are also a great source of micronutrients and dietary fiber. It’s great to add to baking (or morning pancakes), oats and smoothies.

Oily fish: Salmon is my favourite and is an amazing source of omega 3 fatty acids, quality protein and essential vitamins and amino acids. Try mackerel and trout, too.

Eggs: Truly the perfect food – as long as you eat the yolks! They contain 100% of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K found in an egg, and 90% of the calcium, iron, folate, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12.


As type 2 sufferers or if you have recently been diagnosed with pre-diabetes remember by merely incorporating a few of these substances into your daily routine, you could effectively pave the way towards a well-rounded diet.

Stay within the CLEAN loop for all things type 2 related!

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Stay Clean – HH

Planning Meals around Low GI.

The non-medicated management of type 2 is all about healthy choices. These choices may be as simple as going Low GI. Our previous post titled ‘Go Low GI’ highlighted the benefits of a well-rounded and low glycemic load diet. The Clean Kitchen will put this theory to practice via a selection of professionally approved recipes.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon

This recipe is a prime example of a sustaining breakfast that will keep you going until lunch. Serve with pumpernickel bread and a small green salad. With a preparation time of 10 minutes and a cooking time of 2 minutes, what could be easier?

Lunch: Barbecued chili mint lamb and tomato salad

Enjoy the benefits of a high protein lunch with this tasty lamb marinated in chili, mint and tomato. Preparation time is estimated at 20 minutes followed by a cooking time of 25 minutes. This recipe is packed with Low GI goodness.

Dinner: Chorizo, rice and bean bowl

This delicious dinner option is the definition of simple and nutritious. The chorizo adds the extra flavour you desire and the combination of the rice and beans provide a complete protein. The preparation and cooking time for this dish is 15 minutes each.


For additional professionally approved recipes click here.

Stay within the CLEAN loop for all things type 2 related!

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Stay Clean – HH

Go Low GI.

As you are now very much aware, diabetes is the world’s fastest growing chronic disease. Within Australia alone, over a million people have diagnosed type 2. What is alarming, however, is for every person diagnosed there is another that has the condition without any awareness. Today we would like to focus on the rise of pre-diabetes as a condition impacting an estimated two million Australians.

What is pre-diabetes? Simply put, this is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Non-medicated measurements may be taken to reduce the risk of developing both pre-diabetes and subsequently type 2. Incorporating a Low GI diet into your daily routine will improve blood glucose levels, reduce insulin resistance and improve blood cholesterol. These are fundamental factors for managing diabetes as well as reducing the risk of developing type 2 and pre-diabetes.

The Clean Kitchen has recruited the experts from the Glycemic Index Foundation (GIF) to shed some much needed light on the topic. The GIF is a not-for profit health promotion charity who provide the information and tools to improve people’s health through scientifically-backed low GI healthy eating principles.

Check out the Glycemic Index Foundation’s Top Tips to go Low GI:

  • Swap it:There are simple swaps you can make to reduce the GI of your meal – for example choosing grainy bread over white bread. Try to include at least one low GI food with every meal or snack (if you have them). Get started with our Simple Swaps tool on the left of this page.
  • Exercise regularly:Being physically active every day will help improve your blood glucose levels and general health. Weight bearing exercises such as walking will also help you build strong bones and strengthen your muscles so they burn fat more efficiently. Aim for 30 – 60 minutes of moderate paced exercise every day – ideally on top of an active lifestyle.
  • Look for the Symbol:To help make healthy low GI choices quick and easy when you’re in the supermarket, look for the GI Symbol – an easy to recognise on-pack logo that you can trust.


For a health professional fact sheet via the Glycemic Index Foundation click here

Stay within the CLEAN loop for all things type 2 related!

Check out Facebook and Twitter this week for all things type 2 related.

Share your health journey and keep in contact.

Stay Clean – HH

The People…Continued.

Communication is key. Let’s break the isolation barrier. Take the time to review the below story extracted from ‘Living with Diabetes’ and you too may find new inspiration to change your lifestyle.

Ian Westman

Former bank manager, living with type 2 diabetes


Ian Westman was watching a game of footy with one of his mates when the two blokes started talking about their health. “My friend was curious if my diabetes had already gone away,” laughs Ian who of course knows that he will live with type 2 diabetes for the rest of his life. There is no cure for diabetes.

The former bank manager from Oakleigh was 38-years young when he learned of his diagnosis. Although being a young and very active person, Ian was aware of his high risk of developing type 2 diabetes as it runs in his family. “It was a bit of time-bomb,” says Ian. His mum was keen to have him tested after he lost a lot of weight and was generally exhausted. “I wasn’t looking after myself as good as I could have at that time.”

Since his diagnosis in 1994, Ian has changed his diet and is very mindful of what he is eating. “I have cut the soft drinks altogether,” says Ian who loves walking his two dogs and aims to walk 10,000 steps every day. The main treatment for type 2 diabetes is healthy eating and regular physical activity. Next to making appropriate lifestyle changes, taking oral medications or administering insulin are important options in the management of type 2 diabetes.

“I feel that many people do not understand diabetes,” says Ian. “Especially the differences between type 1 and type 2 are not generally known or, in my case, that some people with type 2 are required to administer insulin too.” Ian is one of over 236,000 Australians (23%) who need insulin to manage their type 2 diabetes. He currently has two injections every day.

Stay within the CLEAN loop for all things type 2 related!

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Stay Clean – HH

The People…Continued

Isolation felt by type 2 sufferers has been identified as a key barrier impacting self-management. The stories published across Diabetes Australia are an excellent platform to learn from other peoples experiences. Central to this learning curve is the prevention of type 2 through structured lifestyle intervention. Did you know that type 2 can be prevented in up to 58 per cent of people at high risk?

Take the time to review the below story extracted from ‘Living with Diabetes’ and you too may find new inspiration to change your lifestyle.

Bev Friend

Management and business consultant, Life! champion


Bev Friend has never officially been accounted in the ‘280 a day’ figure – and she is very proud of it. The management and business consultant from Torquay was on the path of developing type 2 diabetes but successfully has turned this scenario around.

At least two million Australians have pre-diabetes and are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Not everybody can do what Bev has achieved but there is strong evidence from randomised controlled trials which show that type 2 diabetes can be prevented in up to 58 per cent of people at high risk, through structured lifestyle intervention.

A keen golfer and runner, Bev had always been very health conscious, even whilst working and raising 3 children. Last year, she unfortunately went through some emotionally difficult periods. These tough times sent her into a downward spiral and Bev started to drink more regularly to help relax and ease her stress. Bev’s blood sugar levels also increased and she and her GP were concerned that she was on the path to type 2 diabetes. “One of my closest friends has type 2 diabetes as well as my ex-husband. I’d seen the impact of it and I knew where I was heading.”

After a work function, Bev was driving home and heard a Life! program radio advertisement. She immediately pulled over, wrote the number down and called 13 RISK as soon as she got home. Bev signed up for the Telephone Health Coaching service with health coach Jenny.

“It was just fantastic. Jenny knew the sort of person I was – I work in a similar field in coaching professionals – and she could really click into my head space. Jenny was just terrific and reminded me of all the simple things to do.” Bev made some simple changes. Instead of going home to a couple of glasses of wine, cheese and biscuits every night, she switched to a low fat, low sugar hot chocolate for two nights a week.

“I did that for a month. The next month I didn’t have the hot chocolate and after three months I went off alcohol all together. My liver sent me love letters! Now I’m in a very healthy state. I only drink alcohol in moderation with friends and as soon as I get home I’ll go for a swim, sauna and a spa.”

Bev’s aim was to get back to a healthy weight range, a healthy BMI and lose 10cm from her waist. She achieved that and more losing 11 kilograms and 13cm from her waist. Today Bev is feeling fabulous. “I feel my whole way of life has improved – I’m back on track.”

Stay within the CLEAN loop for all things type 2 related!

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Stay Clean – HH

The People.

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is very much a reality. Were you aware that 85 – 90% of all cases are type 2 related?

Over the past few weeks we have explored lifestyle risk factors that should be modified. A poor diet and insufficient physical activity are two prime examples that contribute towards the progressive nature of the disease. Today, however, we would like to focus on the people. The collaborative nature of The Clean Kitchen provides a communicative platform for you to be heard. By sharing your story, you may in effect help a person who has recently been diagnosed or is at risk of being diagnosed. Isolation is a barrier to self-management and we would like to break this wall.

Diabetes Australia is the national body for people affected by all types of diabetes and those at risk. This resource is an excellent online platform that provides relevant and accurate information regarding the nature of diabetes.  We realise that our followers do not always have the time to navigate their way through a website, so we have utilised the network to extract a series of our favourite stories for you.  These are real stories from real people. The below experiences were published by Diabetes Australia and may be found under Living with Diabetes.

Vasantha Ragunathan

Health coach, living with type 2 diabetes


Vasantha Ragunathan was very upset when she learned that she has type 2 diabetes. “My sister was hospitalised with an extremely high blood glucose reading of 27,” remembers the health coach from Rosanna, “and within four years she had both her legs amputated above the knee.”

Blood glucose levels for people without diabetes generally range between 3.5–8.0mmol/L. However, when living with diabetes, maintaining those levels within the target range is not always easy. For over a decade, Vasantha has managed to stay in the target range through lifestyle changes alone which have helped her to feel fit and healthy. She says: “Don’t take any shortcuts when it comes to your health.”

Vasantha follows a strict and healthy diet and exercises regularly; she particularly enjoys walking, lifting weights and yoga. The mother of two adult sons is determined to have a good quality of life and believes that sufficient sleep and good habits are important factors in achieving this goal.

Having high blood glucose levels over a period of time can cause damage to the small and large blood vessels and the nerves. This can lead to many health complications which Vasantha is well aware of. She is a textbook example when it comes to following up with her medical team. She has her eyes checked yearly, sees her dentist and GP every six months and a podiatrist every eight weeks. She also checks her blood glucose levels at least three times a week.

Only three months ago, she followed her GP’s recommendation and started taking diabetes medication. “I didn’t like the idea,” says Vasantha. “I needed some time to accept that my body doesn’t produce enough insulin anymore.” Since starting medication, Vasantha has felt a positive effect on her health.

Stay within the CLEAN loop for all things type 2 related!

Check out Facebook and Twitter this week for all things type 2 related.

Share your health journey and keep in contact.

Stay Clean – HH

Fibre, Carbohydrates & Activity.

Due to the positive response The Clean Kitchen has received across our shared platforms, we have decided to publish an additional ‘diabetes recap’ article. Today we will examine the importance of fibre, carbohydrates and physical activity. This summary may be found via our friends at the Dietitians Association of Australia  through ‘Smart Eating For You’.

Type 2 management can be as simple as the following…


It may be helpful to increase the amount of fibre eaten. Fibre can make meals more filling and evidence suggests that soluble fibre (found in foods such as beans, fruit and oats) may help to control blood glucose levels. Try to choose high fibre breads and cereals, fruit and vegetables each day.


Foods containing carbohydrate include bread, rice, pasta, noodles, breakfast cereal, potato, corn, legumes, fruit, milk and yoghurt. It is important to include some of these foods with each meal. Some people with diabetes use ‘carbohydrate exchanges’ to work out how much carbohydrate to eat and when to eat it. The carbohydrate-containing foods that provide the best blood glucose level control are those that are slowly digested and absorbed into the blood stream. These are foods with a low glycaemic index (GI).

It is important to include regular meals each day. Skipping meals can affect blood glucose levels and leave you feeling unwell. For more information on low carbohydrate diets and diabetes, see our hot topic.

Keep Active

Regular physical activity is also important in managing diabetes. Try to be active each day.

Stay within the CLEAN loop for all things type 2 related.

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Stay clean – HH