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Saffron Nutrition

~ Nutrition = Life & Life = Nutrition ~

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Danger products and solution

Being a chef for so long I haven’t really looked into the dynamics of food sources in nutrition value as I do today. I find alot really mind opening and will bring some topics forward.

These are some of the things that may cause problems followed by helpful tips that we can aim for:


Damaging products and potential side effect

1. GMO – Genetically modified organisms- Products foods possibly have alot of additives in them and some high in sodium, some are unnatural; soy milk, tofu, farmed salmon higher mercury levels as compared to wild natural salmon, “Enviropig” taking genes from mice and E. coli bacteria inserting it into pigs, and much more.  To date there is more environmental health concerns involved with GMO than with human health, however we have alot less essential micronutrients and higher macronutrient density in these foods, some can spoil without leaving trace of being spoiled consumed and getting sick may potentially happen.

2. MSG - Mono sodium glutamate or sodium glutamate is high in salt and enhancers food flavors, example; Asian foods, many store-bought sauces BBQ, tomato sauce, packet chips and much more. Too much salt with high levels of sodium can cause heart problems, strokes, migraines and other medical problems with high usage. In Australia the recommended AI (average intake) for adults with salt is around 460-920 mg/day = 1gram – 2 ½g = 1 teaspoon equals 6 grams, to simplify the AI is around less than 1/3 of a teaspoon of salt per day.

3. Herbicide – Toxic Chemicals designed to kill plants (weeds) that may threaten crop yield, used to improve crop quantity and yield. May cause cancer and lung problems if inhaled, skin problems, nose bleeding and also can affect the environment, making crop less available for animals, birds, damaging to the land, damaging to insects, air. GBH (glyphosate-based herbicide) is known to cause many health problems and WHO (world health organisation) has declared glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

4. Pesticides -Toxic Chemicals designed to kill organisms in plants. May cause Cancer, endocrine complications, infertility and sterility, Brain damage, Birth defects, respiratory disorders, organ failure, skin irritation, allergic sensitisation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, endocrine disorders, anxiety, depression, and much more.

5. Additives/preservatives – Chemicals added to foods to keep them fresh, enhance their colour, flavor, and or texture. Including; food colourings, flavor enhancers (such as MSG), and a range of preservatives. Some of the common food additives/preservatives that may cause problems include; flavor enhancers MSG 621, food colourings; tartrazine 102, yellow 2G107, sunset yellow FCF110, Cochineal 120, Preservatives; benzoates 210, 211, 212, 213, nitrates 249, 250, 251, 252, sulphites 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, and 228, Artificial sweetener aspartame 951. Some on hypersensitivity reactions that may happen include: digestive disorders (diarrhoea), Nervous disorders (hyperactivity, insomnia, irritability), Respiratory problems (asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis), skin problems (hives, itching, rashes, swelling).   

6. Food handling - Methods which anyone uses to; handle food, cook, reheat, store, process, stock control, temperature monitor, order, working with food at work or home. Incorrect food handling can lead too; contamination, bacteria multiplying, germs, disease, and environmental problems.

7. Water - The main source of life for everything that is living, can be contaminated, this can lead to many sicknesses in human, animal care, crop care, and the environment, potentially leading to sickness and or death.   


Some helpful tips to tackle the above

1. GMO - Reduce the amount of GMO products, if your body has some sort of reaction to a product don't use it again, read labels, follow last use by date and storing methods. Always remember if you do have a reaction it might be a good idea to investigate it with a doctor or a health care practitioner.

  • Elimination diets, introduction diets, individual care diets, and detoxification plans can all be on the table as a point of tackling any type of food reaction that may be happening. Important to note, in some cases we are able to rebuild our immune system and reconnect through gut, brain axis, in doing so we can build our threshold higher and maybe even in some cases resolve certain complications.     


2. MSG - Reduce the amount of intake on your body, read the nutritional panels and look for hidden MSG and their coding, check to see the actual content of how much MSG is added and translate that to a preservative salt.

  • Follow the AI suggested by Australian guidelines for sodium by adding up for one week a day by day intake to visualise the actual intake versus the AI recommendation, once this is done you can adjust in a smoother way with knowledge of what direction to take.
  • With understanding the food nutritional panel labels It is advised that we consume (Sodium) less than 400mg per 100g, and less than 120mg per 100g for best outcomes.  


3,4. Herbicide/Pesticides - Organic is the answer can be expansive solves all those issues, make sure to wash all F&V prior to usage and check for bugs holes etc'.

  • Always read last use by date, country of origin, follow some sort of check method to make it easier and not a hard task and or try create a balance with organic, if it is to expansive to meet your needs you can even consider some frozen fruit and vegetables, just have a read of the processing or any information you can get on the back with the nutritional panel ensuring you still get good compounds.
  • Helpful tip for fruit- Fill sink with cold water and add 1 glass of vinegar, mix/place in fruit and soak for 10 minutes, this will clean your fruit and will help with shelf life of some fruit even more.


5. Additives/preservatives - Reduce the intake by reading labels any word you can’t pronounce may be an additive type, follow the codes; MSG 621, tartrazine 102, yellow 2G107, sunset yellow FCF110, Cochineal 120, benzoates 210 - 213, nitrates 249- 252, sulphites 220 - 225, and 228, Artificial sweetener aspartame 951. don’t have too much, example don’t drink 4 cans of red bull, or don’t eat a box of fruit loops, or don’t eat a whole rainbow cake, all in one day.


6. Food handling - Any time you handle food wash hands before and after, don't be sick working with food, store correctly in air tight containers avoid BPA (fridge, freezer, etc.'). Cook correctly remember your CCP (critical control points) like temperature above 5-65 anything in between is in the danger zone, cool down reheat fast no more than 2 hours left out to cool down then fridge, thaw food in fridge not on bench, use colour coded boards for your foods if u can, don't cross your foods in storage ie shelf per item cooked meat then raw meat, read last use by date and label your own when possible and needed to keep record follow the 9 protective tips by the health department.  


  • BPA (Bisphenol A) this is a chemical used in the lining of some food and beverage packaging to protect food from contamination and extend shelf life. It’s also used in non-food products, these chemical leeches into contact with foods or beverage over a period of time and can cause health concerns.


8. Water - Try make sure it is clean and filtered, make sure there is no faeces or chemical contamination to the water, look at the environment the water has come from, don't drink water from taps or have ice cubes in countries known to have bad water irrigation systems, if you are concerned you can buy H2O as an option, always remember to stay hydrated.

  • The recommended AI per day of fluids which include plain water, milk and other drinks for boys/girls 1-3 yr 1.0 L/day (4 cups), 4-8 yr 1.2 L/day (5 cups), boys 9-13 yr 1.6 L/day (6 cups), boys 14-18 yr 1.9 L/day (7-8 cups), girls 9-13 yr 1.4 L/day (5-6 cups), 14-18 yr 1.6 L/day (6 cups), adults Men 19 - > 70 yr 2.6 L/day (10 cups), Women 19- > 70 yr 2.1 L/day (8 cups), pregnancy/Lactation 14-18 yr 1.8 L/day (7 cups) 19-50 yr 2.3 L/day (9 cups).








Additives preservatives. (2017). Better Health Channel. Food additives. Retrieved from  

BPA. (2015). Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Bisphenol A (BPA). Retrieved from

Food handling. (2018). Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Health and hygiene responsibilities of food handlers. Retrieved from

Food handling. (2010). The Department of Health. 9 Protecting food from contamination. Retrieved from

Food labels. (2018). Eat for Health. How to understand food labels. Retrieved from

GMO. (2001). Parliament of Australia. Genetically Modified Governance Issues. Retrieved from

Herbicides. (2018). Livestrong. Side effects of Herbicides. Retrieved from

MSG. (2017). Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. Sodium. Retrieved from  

Myers, J. P., Antoniou, M. N., Blumberg, B., Carroll, L., Colborn, T., Everett, L. G., … Benbrook, C. M. (2016). Concerns over use of glyphosate-based herbicides and risks associated with exposures: a consensus statement. Environmental Health, 15, 19.

Pesticide. (2017). Pesticide Action Network UK. Impacts of pesticides on health. Retrieved from

Water. (2014). Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. Sodium. Retrieved from


The following are breakdowns of Macronutrients and Micronutrients with a very short brief over some with importance:


Protein- (1g = 17kj) Complex molecules found in cells of all living things. They are best found in our muscle mass and critical components of all tissues of the human body, including; bones, blood, and hormones. Proteins are found to function in; metabolism, immunity, nutrient transport and they can provide energy in certain circumstances. The building blocks of proteins are Amino Acids some are essential and some are not as they can be synthesised by the body through measurements, the essential one's are important to maintain a healthy dynamic, and therefore we will look at the foods that provide us these essential amino acids.

Foods that contain all essential amino acids and are known as complete proteins include; red meat, pork, game, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, soy products, quinoa, and soybeans (soy milk, tempeh, tofu, miso, edamame), another way to achieve complete protein requirements is by combining foods together, additional foods that contain protein can be: chickpeas, lentils, beans, almonds, walnuts, seeds, goji berries, brazil nuts, figs, kale, broccoli, avocado, and Spirulina.


  • caution for vegans and general, spirulina and tempeh contain mainly B12 which is analogue a form of B12 the body cannot use as B12, and blocks the absorption of other B12 foods at the same time, therefore advised to separate from B12 consumption and pay attention to your B12 levels.
  • Staying away from processed meats and deli goods can be of good benefits as these are usually high in nitrites, sulphites and other additives and preservatives, they usually also are low nutrient dense and have been found to lead to health complications over periods of time.
  • Having a lot of red meat or any animal with more than 2 legs can be heavy on our digestive tract, with consumption in our body taking longer to digest this may lead to constipation, bloating, or other digestive issues, having these in moderation is the key and all fish products are great sources as well as chicken or turkey.


Fibre- (1g = 8kj) In order to understand fibre further we will take a look at the various types of fibre;

soluble fibre- includes pectins, gums and mucilage, which are found mainly in planet cells. One of it major role is to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, help with constipation, help maintain blood sugar levels, and help delay the absorption of sugar from the intestines. Good sources include; fruits, vegetables, oat bran, barley, seed husks, flaxseed, psyllium, dried beans, lentils, peas, soy milk, and soy products.

Insoluble fibre- includes cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin, making up part of the structural plant cell walls. One of the major roles is to add bulk to stools, prevent constipation, and associated problems like haemorrhoids. Good sources include; wheat bran, corn bran, rice bran, skins of fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, dried beans and wholegrain foods.

Both types are beneficial for us, and most plants contain a mixture of both, with understanding fibre, Nutrient relevant values Australia has come up with an AI (average intake) that should be acquired in general, for adult Men 30g/day and Women 25g/day.


  • For those that want to lose weight or following diet plans it is helpful to note that high fibre diets help protect against weight gain, as high-fibre foods have lower-energy density, which means they provide less energy (Kj or Kcal). They are bulky and filling, soluble fibre slows down the emptying of the stomach and the transit time of food through the digestive system, it also delays the absorption of sugars helping maintain lower blood sugar levels and prevent a rapid rise in blood insulin levels linked to obesity and diabetes.

Carbohydrates- (1g = 17kj) Comes from the chemical composition of sugar units- carbon and hydrogen. Containing chemistry elements of; Carbon (C), Hydrogen (H), Oxygen (O).

CHO breaks into three departments; simple CHO, complex starchy CHO and complex fibrous CHO. The primary role for CHO is to provide energy to fuel cells, particularly the brain as it requires glucose for its metabolism.  

Simple sugars -  The simplest form of carbohydrate is glucose. Simple sugars that are found in foods include sucrose (table sugar), fructose (found in fruit), and lactose (found in milk). Not all simple carbs are bad. Natural simple carbs in fruit and milk are perfectly fine and healthy.

Complex starchy CHO-  Include whole grains, peas and beans, which are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. The problem is often they are refined. Machinery is used to remove the high fibre parts (the bran and germ) from the grain. Once refined it loses it complex structure and all its health benefit properties. Example; white rice, white flour, white bread, sugary cereals, and pasta, noodles and pretty much anything made from white flour and more.

Complex fibrous CHO- Fibrous carbs are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, other nutrients and tend to be green vegetables, they are also full of fiber, very good for the digestive system as colon cleansers, and essential for keeping our colon clean and healthy. They are also low on calories and impossible to overeat on green vegetables, some are so low they contain less calories than it is required to eat them like celery.  



  • Complex CHO such as vegetables are superior food source, if weight loss is your goal, or if you are CHO sensitive.
  • The best time for you to ingest fruit is before and after workouts or physical activity.
  • Staying away from refined CHO is best for our health, equally as important of staying away from sugar. Sticking to unrefined complex CHO is great as they still contain the bran and germ thus giving us nutritional benefits examples include: whole-grain rice, wholemeal bread, porridge oats and whole-wheat pasta.
  • Brown and or green is good, white is bad apart for cauliflower and some potatoes.
  • There is no established recommended intake for CHO other than for babies with AI 0-6-month 60g/day and 7-12-month 95g/day, as it is essential in these times to fuel the babies brain for proper development and 60% of the brain is fuelled on energy intake.

Lipids – Fats- (1g = 37kj) Being part of the most concentrated form of energy in the body, they also aid fat-soluble vitamins absorption (A, D, E, K), and they are vital for production of other compounds; cell membranes, hormones, and eicosanoids. Some types include:

Cholesterol- Intake of dietary saturated fat and trans fat is converted by the liver into cholesterol, and transported by either HDL the “good cholesterol” LDL the “bad cholesterol” high amounts of HDL slow down the development of cardiovascular disease, where LDL can potentially build up in the arteries, clog them up against there wall, leading atherosclerosis which greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. The way the liver decides the fate of the cholesterol can depend on the individual body composition, diets, or other. Some would say avoidance is the key however we need to note that cholesterol takes role in making; Vitamin D, Bile, cell membranes, sex hormones, steroid hormones. Sources include: full fat cheese, milk, cream, yoghurt, meat products, fatty meat, lard, dripping, ghee, butter, coconut cream, etc.  

Phytosterols- derive from plant sterols and plant stanols, relating to plant cholesterol. Phytosterols interfere with the intestinal absorption of dietary cholesterol and may aid by lowering blood cholesterol levels, or facilitate the excretion of biliary cholesterol in the stools. Sources includes; whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and high concentration levels in vegetable oil.  

Essential Fatty AcidsPolyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), include essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6, which cannot be made by the body.

omega 6 (most common fatty acid) is made from Linoleic acid (LA) found in food such as seed oils, eg sunflower, safflower and corn, omega 6 can produce arachidonic acid which is conditionally essential fatty acid, found in cell membrane and important for cell signalling. Another linked essential fatty acid is Arachidonic Acid (AA) significant because it is a direct precursor to inflammatory eicosanoids, sourced directly from animal fats, or produced in the body from Omega 6 fatty acids.

Omega 3 is made from Alpha Linolenic acid (ALA / LNA), and converts to EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which are important for eyes, brain, and heart. Foods rich in omega 3 include: legumes, walnuts, salmon, sardines, chia seed, mackerel, flaxseed, soybeans, broccoli, leafy greens, berries. These long chain fatty acids act as precursors for some longer, more highly unsaturated fatty acids and compounds – the eicosanoids which are short lived and good for smooth muscle contraction, blood clotting, immune responses, and inflammation.


  • Limit trans fat to under <1g per day or less than 1% of energy in total over a day intake.
  • Good spread is Butter, as it contains natural saturated fat, rich in fat soluble vitamins, rich in LA, associated with lower risk of obesity, and aids other nutrients, just don't go overboard to much can be harmful.
  • Try using soft butter trans fat free spreads, the softer the butter or creamier the less chances of containing trans fats, and less saturated.
  • Good oils for usage; flaxseed oil, avocado oil, , safflower oil, coconut oil, almond oil, bran oil, or combining oils making your own texture with herbs, and extra virgin olive oil.  

Micronutrients – Essentially these are vitamins and minerals, which are all needed in certain levels however in micrograms or milligrams quantity, eating a healthy diet will ensure all levels are met sufficiently, when deficiency is evident or there is a health concern further investigation may be required to get to the root of the problem, If you would like to know more further information over the vast nutrients we conduct in the human body, feel free to either ask or you can visit NRV website below for detailed nutrient requirements. As this is a deep field and involved it is best to see a health care professional (nutritionist, naturopath, herbalist, dieticians) for help over the perfect individual macro and micro nutrient balance.  





Fibre. (2017). Fibre in Food. Better Health Channel. Retrieved from

Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. Retrieved from

Protein. (2015). Dietary Protein. Medline Plus. Retrieved from

Adam Saffron

Phone: 0421 298 979




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