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Hi <<First Name>>,
In this edition of our dietitian’s e-newsletter we bring you practical health tips so you can live your best life:

  • Is quinoa or couscous better?
  • Gut Health Cookshop for your whole body – only few seats remaining
  • The arthritis-red meat connection
  • Chronobiology: The importance of having your body clocks in sync
  • Free recipe: mini Mediterranean pizzas
  • GluteGuard – natural supplement to digest traces of gluten

Quinoa or Couscous. Which is Better?

Couscous…quinoa… you’ve probably heard of them. You may have even tasted them or seen them sold in supermarkets. Although they can easily be swapped in dishes, is their nutritional profile equivalent? And which one is better? Dietitian Aimee Van Der Veer investigates.
What is the difference?

Despite the common belief that couscous is a wholegrain, it is more accurately classified as a type of pasta, being made of semolina flour from durum wheat and water. There are three different types of couscous: Moroccan, Israeli and pearl couscous. Moroccan is the most commonly used in western countries like Australia. It’s usually pre-steamed and dried before packaging, making it an “instant” variety for the home kitchen. For the purpose of comparison in this article, further reference to couscous will refer to the Moroccan variety.
Quinoa is actually a seed from the amaranth family, although it is nutritionally more similar and occupies a similar role in dishes as true wholegrains.
How do they compare nutritionally?

Nutrient Couscous (Moroccan) Quinoa
Energy (kJ) 1530 kJ 1610 kJ
Protein (g) 12 g 14 g
Fibre (g) 4 g 7 g
Iron* (mg) 1.9 mg 3.9 mg
Values are based on per 100 g of uncooked product from the labels of 2 commonly used brands in the supermarket.
*Iron value is based on per 100 g of uncooked product and an average of brands.

Couscous, being more similar to white pasta, is usually a refined product with a lower content of nutrients like fibre and micronutrients like iron. On the otherhand, quinoa is minimally processed and therefore retains higher amounts of nutrients. Quinoa is slightly higher in protein and contains all essential amino acids (the ones our bodies need but can’t make). As quinoa has almost double the amount of fibre than couscous, it will keep you feeling full for longer. Quinoa also has a lower glycemic index (GI) (GI=50) than couscous (GI=65), meaning it will result in a slower rise in your blood glucose after eating.
How do I use them?

Instant Morrocan couscous is prepared by the absorption method, using one part water to one part couscous. Simply pour boiling water over this type of couscous, cover it and allow to hydrate for 5 minutes. Then run a fork through to separate the “grains” and serve.
Quinoa takes a little longer to cook and it should be rinsed before cooking to remove any natural residue that can cause bitterness. However, it does not take much more effort. Quinoa is cooked by the absorption method, using two parts water to one part quinoa (or slightly less water, depending on your heat source). Simply place the water and quinoa in a saucepan on the stove and simmer for 15 minutes or until the liquid is just absorbed. (We also like to cook it using a rice cooker – try 2 rice cooker cups with water up to level 2 marked up in the cooker). When cooked and stored properly in an airtight container, quinoa will last up to 7 days in the fridge - a handy time saver for busy weeks!
You can easily substitute quinoa into any recipe that calls for couscous. Common ways to use quinoa include: alongside curries or in salads; tabouli; fillings; and to extend burger patties.
Are they both suitable for my diet?

Another positive for team quinoa is that it is naturally gluten free and can be eaten safely, even by people with Coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance. It is also a suitable food to include on a low FODMAPs diet (for irritable bowel syndrome). Couscous, on the other hand, is not gluten free and high in FODMAPs. But if you don’t have those considerations, it’s fine to use.
Should I ban couscous?

Although quinoa is nutritionally superior than couscous, there is one way you can choose a healthier version of couscous when shopping - opt for the wholemeal variety, which will at least provide a little more fibre. When choosing quinoa, while the white variety is most neutral in flavour, don’t forget to also try the tri-coloured quinoa or rotate between white, black, and red quinoa. This will help you achieve greater dietary variety – so important for a healthy microbiome.
I don’t like quinoa, what else could I use?

Other healthy grain alternatives (or nutritionally similar foods) include brown, red or black rice, brown rice and quinoa mix, barley, freekeh, bulgur or buckwheat. As you probably already know, we love to use all of them across different dishes. Variety is the spice of life and enables better health!


“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
-Vince Lombardi

What’s Cooking – Gut Health - The Inside Story of Your Most Under-rated Organ with Dr Sue Radd

We have just a few spots left for our exciting in-person cookshop coming up in October! Were you thinking of coming? If so, you better “put your skates on” and call us immediately as we’d hate for you to miss out.

What we will cover:
  • ·Are you feeding your microbiome correctly for good health?
  • The gut microbiome has now been linked to more than 105 diseases and disorders so this cookshop is important for everyone
  • Diet is the number 1 influencer of your microbiome and can help re-shape it
  • After each meal and snack there is signaling going on between your gut microbiome and almost every part of your body – including your immune system
  • Learn the difference between probiotics, prebiotics and postbiotics
  • Discover why natural fibres from plant foods and fermented foods are keys to a healthy microbiome – and your best health!
The whole family can benefit from the lessons you will glean at this event. You will hear the latest evidence-based nutrition research, which may just challenge how you feed yourself in future!

Enjoy a delicious tasting menu throughout the evening and take home recipes and handouts.

When: Tuesday, 11th October 2022, 6.00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where:  Nutrition & Wellbeing Clinic, Suite 10, 80 Cecil Ave, Castle Hill NSW 2154
Cost: $140 (includes tasting plates, recipes and more)
Find out more about our award winning cookshops here:

Call our friendly receptionists TODAY on 9899 5208 to book in. Leave a message if the clinic is unattended and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Remember, the last few seats won’t last much longer!


Food Matters – The Arthritis-red Meat Connection

With the weather looking to warm up, you might be tempted to get that barbecue going. Not so fast - if you enjoy slabs of meat and are prone to inflammation. You could always switch to more fish or even try marinated tofu. Read what Dr Sue Radd says here about the arthritis-red meat connection:

Food In Focus with Dr Sue Radd – Chronobiology: The Importance of Having Your Body Clocks in Sync for Weight Control and Optimal Health

Are you eating late into the night? Is your weight a constant struggle? It’s not just what you eat but when you eat it that affects your circadian rhythm. Hear some tips that can help you re-sync your body clocks for better weight control and health:
Recipe – Mini Mediterranean Pizzas

Do you want to make more fast food at home and save some money? Something the kids will also love? Try a simple pizza using pita bread. For a dairy free version, simply swap with vegan cheese or sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Product Review – GluteGuard

If you have Coeliac Disease and need to follow a strict gluten free diet, this product may well change your life when eating out.

What is it?

GluteGuard is a natural enzyme supplement from papaya (in tablet form) designed to take when you are eating out as it can digest traces of gluten.

But it does not replace a gluten free meal! You still need to order gluten free dishes.

Why take it?

Testing has shown that GluteGuard helps reduce the occurrence of symptoms of medically diagnosed gluten sensitivity caused by accidental gluten intake.

So, it can help lower your stress levels, as traces of gluten may still be found in some gluten free dishes that you order when eating out.

People say it helps reduce their anxiety around those gluten free meals that they didn’t make themselves.

When to take it?

Take 1 tablet immediately before the meal when eating out.

GluteGuard is also great for when you are travelling, particularly in foreign countries! Don’t leave home without it.

Why we like it

Apart from what’s been mentioned above, and that it’s an Australian product, GluteGuard may also be useful for those people who appear to be having a gluten free diet but are still suffering from symptoms that may occur due to trace contamination of foods with gluten - even at home.

Cost: around $29.95 for a pack of 30. So, that’s around $1 per tablet. Good value we think, to be able to buy some peace of mind.
For more information and to purchase online see:

You can also buy GluteGuard from selected pharmacies
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