HEALTH & FITNESS
Words: Hannele Steyn
Choose your protein wisely
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Choose your protein wisely Sports scientist Professor Tim Noakes has created quite a stir with his new high fat, high protein and low carb eating plan. Whether you agree with him or not, we know that protein is an important part of our every day food and the recommended daily amount should be 1,5-2 grams of protein per kilogramme body weight. Yes, you need carbohydrates for energy,
but what feeds your muscles? What helps your muscles to recover and how are carbohydrates transported into the blood? The answer to all of these questions is protein!
Now when it comes to fat, there are different kinds of fats and I believe that if you want to follow the high fat option, you should still choose healthy fats, such as Omega 3 (fish, flax seed, etc) and medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), like coconut oil, to name a few. Just be mindful that there is always hidden fat in the fibres of animal protein, so you need to make sure you choose the leaner options, like game, skinless chicken, and lean beef.
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So let's look at why we should be aware of what proteins to buy because the quality of meats available in South Africa is not all equal. For example, you get organic, free range, battery, grain fed, animals injected with hormones, and so on. We know that organic and hormone free are the best options, but how do we know what we buy is real thing. For example, free range doesn’t necessarily mean organic or cows roaming freely over hectares of grassy meadows. Free range can mean that they have a certain amount of space to walk around in, but still get fed by the farmer on whatever he chooses. On the organic side, it must be certified because there have been a few 'organic' suppliers who've been caught out! Just to add fuel to the mix, there is still the ongoing debate whether GMO (genetically modified) is bad or good. The good news is that one type of meat you can be assured is low in bad fat, high in protein, and hormone free is our local ostrich meat. As the leading ostrich meat producers in the world, nearly all birds are reared in a free-range system bearing succulent, chemical-free Karoo vegetation. No antibiotics or growth hormones are used, as all producers have to abide by very strict rearing rules. Ostrich meat is also an excellent choice for the weight conscious, and aren’t all of our crazy adventurers and sportspeople very aware of that?
Additional benefits that sportspeople can get from eating ostrich meat are: • Ostrich steak is low in collagen, thus making it more digestible. This means you can eat it closer to the start of a race or training session. • It is high in a vital nutrient known as biologically available iron, which is important for carrying oxygen to the muscle cells - and that is something we all want loads of, more oxygen! • It tastes delicious and should be eaten medium (pink) to slightly rare. It goes well with any sauce of your choice (now this doesn’t mean a full-fat cheese sauce), but a sauce made from berries or a balsamic-infused sauce goes best with ostrich. • Last, but most importantly, ostrich tastes great with red wine! Antioxidants, here we come!
To substantiate my point about the benefits of ostrich further, the following statistics compare ostrich to other popular meat choices: • Ostrich: 1,4 g of fat per 100 g meat, 377 kJ energy, and 22 g protein • Chicken (no skin): 4 g fat per 100 g meat, 640 kJ energy, and 28 g protein • Beef (lean): 8 g fat per 100 g meat, 800 kJ energy, and 25 g protein • Pork (lean): 8 g fat per 100 g meat, 815 kJ energy, and 30 g protein • Fish (white): 1,3 g fat per 100g meat, 440 kJ energy, and 23 g protein • Fish (fatty): 13 g fat per 100 g meat, 820 kJ energy, and 20 g protein • Mutton chops (with fat): 16 g fat per 100 g meat, 1,046 kJ energy, and 16 g protein
And something interesting to hopefully put you off these options forever: • Polony: 27 g fat per 100 g meat, 1,294 kJ energy, and 11 g protein • Sausages: 34 g fat per 100 g meat, 1,706 kJ energy, and 23 g protein The total fat, especially the total saturated fat, found in processed meat is scary to say the least, and research strongly indicates that nitrates and other substances used in the manufacturing of processed meats to be potentially carcinogen (any substance that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer). So the next time you pop down to shops, look out for ostrich products bearing the Klein Karoo International stamp and you will be guaranteed of excellent quality!
Never-to-fail ostrich recipe a la Hannele (ok, you don’t have to add the Passion4Wholeness muesli with this one):
• In a pan, sauté some leeks in balsamic vinegar, soya sauce, good red wine, garlic, chillies to taste, a teaspoon of honey, whole grain mustard, and garlic to taste. • Reduce while you lightly baste the ostrich fillets with a little grapeseed or olive oil, and season with freshly ground black pepper if you wish. Only add salt to taste before serving. • Sear and cook on a hot griddle pan or under a pre-heated grill for 5 minutes on each side or until done to taste. Turn frequently. • Remove and let the fillets rest for 10 minutes, and then cut into thin slices. • When your leeks are caramelised and you have a lovely dark red sauce, drizzle it over the slices or toss the slices in the hot sauce to warm up. • Serve with loads of steamed veggies and a big salad, and enjoy a glass of that good red wine. •
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home-made muesli An all raw, wheat free, balanced breakfast to give you a sustained energy level. Contains, protein, carbohydrates and essential fats. Diabetic friendly, no trans fats and no preservatives. Simply add milk, yoghurt, juice or water and enjoy!
oats porridge with a twist
A unique twist on oats as you know it! Cook it like ordinary oats, but expect a whole new taste sensation and a whole lot of twists. Contains protein, carbohydrates and essential fats to give you a sustained energy level. Diabetic friendly, wheat free, no trans fats and no preservatives
A balanced meal, conveniently packed to have it anywhere at any time. Full of goodness, wheat free and a source of protein. Comes in a light to carry bag-bowl which you simply zip open, take out the spoon, add your liquid preference, stir and enjoy! Excellent for training, camping, school kids, omnivores, carnivores, herbivores and any person or animal, on-the-go
Developed by Hannele Steyn,
BSc (Microbiology/ Genetics), Triathlon World Champion, winner of Cape Epic 2005 and Springbok colours in 5 sports
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