Food News: Milo now with 30% less added sugar

In response to the changing nutritional needs of families, after two years in development, Nestle Australia has launched a new version of Milo – Milo 30% Less Added Sugar.

Source: Medianet.com.au

Milo was originally designed as a nutritious drink for undernourished children during the Depression, delivering added vitamins and minerals in a format children enjoyed,” says Nestle General Manager, Andrew McIver. “With parents increasingly concerned about added sugar we’ve created an option that is true to the Milo heritage but delivers less added sugar.”

It has been said, to maintain the look, taste and behaviour that we’ve come to expect from the 85-year-old family favourite, Milo 30% Less Added Sugar has remained true to the original product with the same core ingredients (malt barley, milk powder and cocoa), just without the cane sugar. The cane sugar has been replaced with stevia for sweetness.

“From the beginning, our focus was on creating a product that both tastes and behaves like original Milo,” explains McIver. “That means not just keeping the same core ingredients but also making sure it looks the same, tastes great and has crunchy bits on top.”

The new Milo 30% Less Added Sugar Is now available in major supermarkets at RRP $6.99.

Source: Medianet.com.au


A word about ‘less added sugar’:

According to FSANZ for a product to make the claim ‘% less than’ or ‘reduced’ it must ‘contain at least 25 per cent less sugar than the original product’. Milo meets this claim with its new product.

A word of caution though, while there is less sugar in the new product, it still contains 3.5g added sugar per 20g serve and 17.4g added sugar per 100g.

The original Milo has 6.3g added sugar per 20g serve and 31.3g added sugar per 100g.

Remember, the target when choosing products is to aim for less than 10g added sugar per 100g where possible.

So, while Milo’s new offering fares better than the original it’s still a good idea to enjoy this as a treat.

Or if you’re an athlete who has no issue tolerating lactose or milk products this can be a recovery drink option after training.

NB: The protein content of Milo 30% Less Added Sugar is:

9.8g per 20g serve with 200ml Skim Milk and 10g per 20g serve with 200ml Reduced Fat Milk.

How To: Nail Your Race Day Nutrition

We’re just days away from the big day – IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship Cairns, with athletes starting to descend on the tropical city. As athletes eagerly await race day, among the hustle and bustle, and the excitement that race week brings, it’s important to think about your race day nutrition.

After all, you’ve come this far – you’ve done the training, made the sacrifices, spent the big bucks – so undoing all the good work with a poorly prepared nutrition plan isn’t a great idea.

For those who read my blog, in my last post, I covered my top nutrition tips for nailing race week nutrition.

In today’s post, we’re talking all things race day!

Image: Shutterstock.com

Here are my top tips for nailing your race day nutrition!

Don’t try anything new …

As cliché as it may sound – don’t try anything new on race day! Race day is not the time to be experimenting with any new nutrition plan or gel, bar or electrolyte drink. By now you should have practised your nutrition and hydration plan in training, and it should be pretty dialled. For best results on race day, make sure you stick to your plan!

Breakfast

The key here – you should have your breakfast plan dialled in as you should your race day nutrition plan. Stick with what works, and you’ll have a great start to your race on Sunday.

What you eat and drink on the morning of the race will depend on a few factors, including:

  • What you had the night before – did you have a good carb-based dinner? Did you have a top-up snack before bed? Did you drink enough fluid?
  • Your start time – remember the longer you have before the race, the more you can eat because you will have more time to digest. If you’re pressed for time or you’re just not feeling hungry (or you’re feeling queasy due to nerves), you may want to consider a smaller breakfast, e.g. toast with vegemite/peanut butter or a small bowl of porridge with a banana, and then have a top up snack as you set up your transition or as you walk towards to swim start.
  • Your digestion – are you someone who suffers from any gut issues? Are you someone who spends the better part of race morning on the toilet because of gut issues? Think about your food choices and how much your planning to eat. Lower fibre options (even looking at possibly low FODMAP options) could be the winner here, and perhaps a small-moderate breakfast with a top up snack later in the morning.
  • Liquid meals – these are easier and quicker to digest and may be better tolerated than a solid breakfast for some athletes. Remember: breakfast is your fuel top up. By the time race morning rolls around your stores should be reasonably well loaded.
  • Make sure your pre-race meal is low in fibre and low in fat – fibre and fat will slow down the rate of digestion, may leave you feeling over full, bloated and sluggish and may cause gut issues for some athletes. Including some protein with your breakfast, e.g. a yoghurt, will help with keeping hunger at bay.
Image: Shutterstock.com

Bike nutrition

Your nutrition clock starts the moment you get on the bike. Aim for roughly one gel every 30 minutes with water (give and take depending on your race day plan). The bike is where you can consider solids such as bars, as well, as it’s easier to digest food on the bike compared to the run. Some athletes will have a combination of gels, blocks and bars on the bike based on their individual plan.

Logistics

Consider the logistics of your chosen race day nutrition. How are you going to hold your nutrition? Do you have gel flasks? If not, have you considered the packaging? Can you open your gel or bar or block with ease, while you’re climbing, descending or turning? If you’re planning on eating a bar during the bike, have you considered cutting it up to bite-sized pieces for ease of consumption while you’re in motion?

Hydration

Hydration – what are you going to drink? Water, electrolytes, sports drink or a combination of all three? How are you going to top up electrolytes or sports drinks during the race? How will you carry electrolyte tabs? What’s worked in the past for me is dedicating my front water bottle to electrolyte tabs and having spare tabs in a plastic pocket, in my bento box. Also, consider how many bottles you’re going to carry. Do you have enough bottle cages to carry the amount you want/need? Will you be completely self-sufficient here or will you rely on on-course hydration?

Image: Shutterstock.com

Remember: when it comes to hydration, you need to go into the race hydrated. The race is just a rolling top up.

Special Needs

This one is for the guys and gals racing the full. If race day is super-hot, consider freezing a couple of bottles of sports drink and leave them in your special needs. Then by the time you access your bottles during the bike, the bottles should have defrosted enough to give you a refreshing, icy cold drink. There’s nothing worse than lukewarm fluids after a while.  

On the Run

A trick I use on the run (it’s one I learnt from a good friend of mine) is to suck on a few Haribo Gummy Bears. Yes, I still have gels with water on the run. But I run with a cheek full of gummy bears. It’s like drip-feeding carbs as I go. So far, it has worked a treat! 🙂

If all else fails, think: Point One

Most of all refer to the first point – do not try anything new on race day! Race day nutrition plans are very individual, and hopefully, you will have yours sorted and dialled. Have a great race! Cairns is a great one!


Next up, how to nail recovery.

Product Review: Magnum Dairy Free Almond

My world changed the day Magnum® brought out its new dairy-free range. I’ve been dairy-free (well, mostly vegan really) since January 2018 because of serious issues with chronic eczema.

Sadly, this has meant I’ve had to kiss ice-cream goodbye, while at the same time overindulging on all things, sorbet. Because #dairyfree.

But I’m a real ice-cream kinda gal! So, when Magnum® brought out its new range – HOLA! I almost squealed when perusing the frozen section of my local Coles.    

So, I decided to take a little look at how this bad-boy stacks up nutritionally.

Although, ahem! It’s ice-cream – not the time to get too carried away with being ‘Lil Miss Healthy’! Amirite?!

Nevertheless, let’s take a peek.

Gosh, darn it! How good are my product shots! 😉

First up, the ingredients list:

Water, sugar, cocoa components^ (15%) (cocoa butter, cocoa mass), coconut oil, almond (5%), glucose, glucose/fructose syrup, pea protein, emulsifiers (sunflower lecithin, E471), Stabilisers (E412, E410, E407 (contains wheat)), flavours, salt, vegetable oil, colour (E160a).

^100% Cocoa components from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms. Warnings: Contains tree nuts (almonds) and gluten-containing cereals (wheat). May contain other tree nuts.

OK, firstly sugar (bah, bah, bahhh *insert dramatic music*). The second-listed ingredient. So, yup! Ice-cream – high in sugar. Who knew? *insert sarcasm*!

I do like that it contains coconut oil – it does give it a slightly unique coconutty taste compared to the regular variety.

Also, cocoa from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms – that’s pretty cool. Quality and sustainability. I like it.

Next, the NIP:

Servings per package: 3 Average serving size: 72g

Energy

  • 1040kJ (248cal) per serve; 1440kJ (345cal) per 100g

Holy mother! I must remember this when I’m powering through my second Magnum® in the space of 30-minutes. That’s almost as much energy as some ready-made meals on the market.

Protein

  • 2.0g per serve; 2.7g per 100g

No high protein claims here!

Fat

  • Total = 15.9g per serve; 22.1g per 100g
  • Saturated = 9.8g per serve; 13.6g per 100g

Yikes! The recommendation here is no more than 10g total fat/100g.

Remember: ‘tis a TREAT, yo!

And saturated fat? We-h-ell … the guidelines say less than 3g saturated fats/100g. BUT to be fair, coconut oil IS listed as the third ingredient …

Carbohydrates

  • Total = 23.2g per serve; 32.3g per 100g
  • Added sugars = 18.9g per serve; 26.3g per 100g

Let’s look at the added sugar first. ‘Tis a wee bit high! Remember, the WHO recommends limiting this bad boy to no more than 5-10% of our total daily energy intake… so, if you’re having three of these in one sitting? Mmm … time to stop. Also, try to aim for less than 10g sugar/100g where you can. But back to my previous comment … T.R.E.A.T!

Sodium

  • 30mg per serve; 40mg per 100g

Salt, dear friends, is not the issue with this bad (yet, so very delicious) boy! We are all (*cough*) sweet in the salt department …!

Overall …

Don’t get your knickers in a twist health-conscience ladies and gents – this is a TREAT. A delicious, creamy, vegan-friendly (in fact … it’s vegan CERTIFIED), dairy-free ice-creamy treat. Oh, to be able to have that sweet, sweet and oh so moreish taste of a Magnum® again.

Thank you, ice-cream creators at Magnum®, thank you!

How to: Nail Your Race-Week Nutrition

With just over a week until IRONMAN Cairns here are some quick tips for those racing, to help you nail your race-week nutrition.

Image: Shutterstock.com

NB: Of course, everyone is different and nutrition plans are very individual; these are some general tips and tricks.

The Golden Rule –

Don’t Try Anything New Leading into Race Day!

The aim of race-week nutrition is getting to the start line well fuelled, hydrated and rearing to go! You want to be in the best shape possible!

Carbs

Typically, two to three days out from the race, your aim will be to up your intake of carbohydrates. This is to make sure your glycogen stores (aka your fuel stores) are full so you’re ready to go on race morning!

BUT don’t go overboard here as are glycogen stores are not bottomless pits.

NB: “Carbohydrates store water with them so upping your intake of carbs might leave you feeling bloated and heavy. The aim is to strike a balance between fueling yet feeling good.” – Simone Austin, Advanced Sports Dietitian, Eat Like An Athlete – Boost Your Performance And Energy Through Nutrition

Fibre

As race day gets closer, consider reducing your intake of fibre. High fibre foods are digested more slowly, can leave you feeling really full (particularly when trying to up your carb intake to load the fuel stores) and can lead to gut issues at the start of the race.

Opt for lower fibre food options leading into the race.

For those with gut issues during a race, it might be worth considering switching to low FODMAP options leading in. Speak with a dietitian about this one!

Fatty Food

Avoid eating too many fatty-foods (aka a big bowl of fried, fatty chips) leading into the race. Some fat is ok (e.g. some avocado with your breakfast) but a lot may cause issues. Fatty foods are typically slow/hard to digest and can leave you feeling tired. Plus, they may also lead to gut issues so best to limit these leading into a race.

Hydration

Leading into a big race is not the time to forget your fluid! You want to start your race well hydrated. But again, you don’t need to go overboard with this one as you may find you’re spending your pre-race days running to and from the toilet!

  • Sip on fluids across each day
  • Alternate between water and electrolytes/sports drinks
  • Sports drinks that contain carbs (e.g. Gatorade) can help with carb intake while also aiding hydration
  • Use your pee colour as a guide of hydration status (we’re aiming for lemonade here!)

Familiar is Best

Eat food you’re familiar with (that you know you can tolerate) – race week is NOT the time to be trying anything new.

Do your Research

If you’re travelling or if you’ve never been to Cairns do your research and find out what food options are available and where the supermarket (Coles/Woolies/Aldi etc.) is.

If you’re an IRONMAN veteran, what are some of your nutrition go-to’s during race week? I’d love to hear from you!


In my next post I’ll be sharing tips and tricks on nailing race day!

How to: Read a Food Label – the practical guide

In my last post (click here for a recap) I discussed the ins and outs of reading a food label.

It’s all well and good to know the theory but how do you translate that info into practice?

I’m here to help 🙂 Let’s go through one of my fave go-to pre-training breakfast cereals –

Sanitarium Weet-Bix Gluten-Free Breakfast Cereal

First up, the ingredients list:

Wholegrain Sorghum (96%), Golden Syrup, Salt, Vitamins (E, Niacin, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folic Acid).

Even though sugar (Golden Syrup) and salt are listed in the first four ingredients, this cereal is 96 per cent wholegrain, so the rest of the ingredients make up the rest of the product or four per cent. So, it should be low in sugar and salt. But let’s check to be sure 🙂

  • Protein

3.7g per serve – for a product to be a good source of protein it needs to contain at least 5g protein per serve. So, this cereal isn’t a ‘source’ of protein as such. But it doesn’t pretend to be!

  • Total Fat

3.6g per 100g – the guidelines recommend <10g per 100g, so we’re good!

  • Saturated Fat

0.6g per 100g – the guidelines recommend <3g per 100g, so, again, we’re good!

  • Added Sugar

2.2g per 100g – the recommendation is <10g sugar per 100g, good to go!

A little note about the claims …

This cereal makes a claim on the label to be ‘Low Sugar’. But is it?

At 2.2g sugar per 100g this cereal meets the ‘low sugar’ claim!

The FSANZ (Food Standards Australia New Zealand) state that for a product to be ‘low sugar’ it must contain no more that 5g sugar per 100g for solid food.

A little more about sugar and also the total carbs…

In yesterday’s post, we touched on the importance of considering serving size to take a look at how much you will be actually eating.

When it comes to added sugar, and total carbs perhaps, in this case, it’s a good idea to consider the serving so know how much you’re eating!

Remember, the WHO guidelines recommend we limit our total daily added sugar intake to between 5-10% of our daily energy (kJ) intake. This is 24-47g added sugar per day.

How does this cereal stack up?

One serve (30g or two ‘bix’) provides 0.7g added sugar! LOW! We’re still good. It also provides 20.9g total carbohydrates. Now, for those thinking this level of carbs is a little cray (!) it’s really not that much. In fact, it’s only 1.4 serves of carbohydrates (where one serve is 15g).

  • This brings me to the dietary fibre…

Interestingly, despite being predominantly made of whole grains, this cereal only has 2.0g dietary fibre per serve. Ideally, it’s a good idea to choose a cereal that has at least 4g fibre per serve.

NB: This cereal claims to be a ‘source of fibre’ on its sleeve/packaging. This claim is met as the FSANZ criteria for a product to be a ‘source of fibre’ is: ‘a serving of the food contains at least 2g dietary fibre’.

  • Sodium

233mg per 100g – this is less than 400mg per 100g so we’re good to go as far as salt goes!

Overall …

This cereal stacks up pretty well and is a great option for breakfast, particularly before a long training session on the weekend. It’s also great for those with an intolerance to gluten, are on the FODMAP diet or who have coeliac disease.

If you’ve started reading labels, how have you found it? If you find it a little tricky to start, remember – overtime it’ll get easier. Practice makes perfect! 🙂

How to: Read a Food Label


Food labels are there to tell you what’s in a product. They can help you make healthier choices when choosing products at the supermarket.

Image: Shutterstock.com

But making healthy choices – and choosing the healthiest food product – can be a little daunting when you’re faced with confusing tables, columns and numbers, and claims.

Here’s how to do it …

What you’ll typically find on a food label

  • Name of the product and brand
  • Nutrition claims
  • The use-by date
  • Weight
  • Allergy information – warnings about the presence of allergens such as gluten, dairy, milk, nuts etc.  
  • Storage instructions
  • Cooking instructions as required
  • Country of origin
  • The Nutrition Information Panel (NIP)
  • The ingredients list

The ingredients list

The ingredients list describes what is in the product – it’s like the recipe.  The ingredients in a product are listed from largest to least amount by weight. So, if salt (sodium), sugar or fat are listed in the first four ingredients, the product is going to be high in added salt, sugar, fat.

But it’s not as straightforward as looking out for the words ‘salt’, ‘sugar’ and ‘fat’ when reading a label. There are other words used to mean the same thing. Sneaky!

Other names for sugar

Look for words that end in -ose! 🙂

Dextrose, fructose, glucose, golden syrup, honey, maple syrup, sucrose, malt, maltose, lactose, brown sugar, caster sugar, rice malt syrup, coconut sugar, and raw sugar.

Other names for fat

Beef fat, butter, cream, coconut oil/cream/milk, copha, hydrogenated oils, margarine, milk solids, chocolate, ghee, vegetable oil, dripping, lard, oil, sour cream, and vegetable shortening.  

Other names for salt

Baking powder, celery salt, garlic salt, meat/yeast extract, monosodium glutamate (MSG), onion salt, rock salt, sea salt, sodium ascorbate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium nitrate/nitrite, stock cubes, and vegetable salt.

Understanding nutritional claims

Food labels may also display different nutrition claims, which may sometimes be misleading. So, it’s a good idea to know what they mean. But when in doubt, don’t just go by what the product claims – make sure you always consult the NIP and the ingredients list as well.

Some common nutrition claims are:

  • Low fat – for a product to be low fat, it must contain no more than 3g fat per 100g or 1.5g/100ml for liquid.  
  • Reduced fat/salt – the product contains at least 25% less fat/salt than in the same amount of the original product.
  • Reduced energy/Light/Lite – the product contains at least 25% less energy than in the same amount of the original product. Always check the NIP because ‘light/lite’ could actually be referring to the colour/texture of the product.   
  • Diet – the average energy content of the food is no more than about 80kJ/100ml for liquid food or about 171kJ/100g for solid food, or the food contains at least 40% less energy than in the same amount of the original product. Also, the food product must be artificially sweetened.
  • No added salt/sugar – the food product contains no added salt or sodium compound/sugars (honey, malt or malt extracts, and fruit juice); no added salt/sugar is added to the food during production.

NB: No added sugar means no table sugar (or sucrose) has been added to the product. It does not mean that the product is low in sugar! Make sure you check the labels!

“For example, some yoghurts are sweetened with fruit juice concentrates, which is essentially the same as adding sugar.”Simone Austin, Advanced Sports Dietitian, ‘Eat Like An Athlete – Boost Your Performance And Energy Through Nutrition’, page 196.

But don’t just go by what the product claims!

Look at the numbers and use this guide to interpret the information. This will let you make the best possible choice for your health!

How to read the NIP

Knowing how to interpret the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP) and ingredients list can help you make healthier choices when choosing between similar products in the supermarket.

The NIP can be a little daunting and confusing, but with a little practice using this to compare products will be the best thing since, well… sliced bread.

Serving Size vs Per 100g Serve

There are two columns in the NIP – the per serve column and the per 100g column.

Use the per 100g column when you’re comparing the nutritional information of similar products, such as packaged soups, bread, breakfast cereals or snack items.

Different brands have different serving sizes, so the per 100g column helps to compare the nutritional information based on a 100g serve – like with like kinda thing! 🙂

Serving Size

When you’re trying to figure out how much you will actually eat on purchasing the product, use the Per Serve column.

But be mindful to check the recommended portion size; some products will say that the product is two serves when in fact it can be easily enjoyed in one sitting.

Protein

For a food product to be a good source of protein it should contain at least 5g of protein per serve.

Total Fat

In general, choose foods that have less than 10g fat per 100g.

For milk, yoghurt and ice-cream aim for less than 2g per 100g. For cheese, aim for less than 15g per 100g.

Saturated Fat

You will find saturated fat listed under total fat. Aim for less than 3g per 100g.

Sugar

This is a tricky one and can be a cause for confusion.

Sugar (listed underneath the total carbohydrates) on a food label typically refers to the ‘added’ sugar in the product, not the sugar naturally found in fruit, veggies and milk!

In general, aim for less than 10g sugar per 100g. But there are a couple of exceptions:

  • FRUIT: If the product has a considerable amount of fruit in it, aim for less than 20g sugar per 100g.
  • YOGHURT: A good guide for yoghurts that are flavoured with fruit is less than 12g sugar per 100g.

If it’s more than this, see if ‘sugar’ is listed in the first four items on the ingredients. If it is then chances are the product is high in added sugar and is probably best as a real treat food – or left on the shelf.

A little more on sugar, sugar!

For health, it’s important to cut down your intake of added sugar as much as possible. This is the sugar that is sometimes referred to as ‘free sugar’ and is the sugar that is added to food during processing.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends we limit our added sugar intake to no more than 10% of our total energy (kJ) intake (preferably 5% for extra health benefits).

So, if you’re consuming 8000kJ on average, this means limiting your intake of sugar to 47 grams, which is about 12 teaspoons! And ideally, it means cutting down to 24g or 6 teaspoons per day.

Completely cutting out sugar is unnecessary!

But we should all limit it as much as possible – even those of us who are active.

Dietary Fibre

When it comes to breads and cereals, typically, you want to be choosing food that is high in dietary fibre (ahem, gut health!). Although, yes, if you’re an athlete there will be times when you’ll want to opt for a low fibre option such as before a race or major event (because well – who wants to spend race morning on the port-a-loo!).

When choosing your breakfast cereal or beard, try to aim for at least 4g fibre per serve (or 8+ grams per 100g). Anything less than this is considered low in fibre.

Sodium (salt)

Ideally, aim for less than 120mg per 100g (this is best!) but food with less than 400mg per 100g is OK for general health. Anything more than 400mg per 100g is considered high salt!

Remember though, salt requirements are very individual, particularly if you’re an athlete who is training a lot and sweating buckets! The guidelines above are based on a general person’s requirements – they’re not specific to athletes.

In my next post, I’ll go through a food product to show you how reading a food label comes together in the everyday! 🙂

Want to know more about how to read food labels? Get in touch! I’d love to help.


References: 

‘Eat Like An Athlete – Boost Your Performance And Energy Through Nutrition.’ Simone Austin, Advanced Sports Dietitian. (c) Simone Austin 2019. Published by in 2019 by Hardie Grant Books.

‘How to Understand Food Labels’ – eatforhealth.gov.au accessed 05/03/2019. 

‘Reading Food Labels’ – health.qld.gov.au accessed 05/03/2019. 

Australia New Zealand Food Standard Code – Schedule 4 – Nutrition, health and related claims. Authorised Version F2017C00711 registered 08/09/2017.