Episode 105 - Unravelling the Truth About Food Labels and The Nutrient Quality of Our Food with Dr Hayley Dickinson

Unravelling the Truth About Food Labels and The Nutrient Quality of Our Food with Dr Hayley Dickinson

Introducing you to the Doc! Aka Dr Hayley Dickinson, founder of Eat for You, Australia’s ONLY nutrient-tested snack bars.

Dr Hayley passionately shares her wealth of knowledge around the nutrient quality of our food and what we can do to ensure we’re getting everything we need to optimise our health.

She highlights the hard reality around the challenges of food labelling, how the nutrition information panel is developed and the unreliability of counting calories due to variations in food content.

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Episode Transcription

Episode 105: Unravelling the Truth About Food Labels and The Nutrient Quality of Our Food with Dr Hayley Dickinson

Taryn Richardson  00:00

Joining me on the podcast today is Dr. Hayley Dickinson. She is the founder of an Australian based snack company called Eat for You. And it is Australia's only nutrient tested, batch tested food product and I'll get her to explain exactly what that means in the episode. She has a background in science with a Bachelor of Science, did her honors, and also a background in research - doing her PhD in reproductive stress during pregnancy and how it impacts on the baby.

Taryn Richardson  00:31

Now, I talk a lot about the gray area that is food labeling and the nutrition information panel and like to equip my athletes with understanding what on earth they mean, what you're looking at. And one of the reasons also why I don't find tracking calories that useful. But it's nice to hear from a different perspective from the doc, from someone who is all over the research in this space and food labeling laws in Australia. And this honestly, you'll know really quickly that this is her happy place. She's a fast talker. She's very passionate about changing our entire food landscape globally. So strap yourself in and let's dive into food as we know her with the Doc.

Taryn Richardson  1:16

Welcome to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast. The show designed to serve you up evidence-based sports nutrition advice from the experts. Hi, I'm your host Taryn, Accredited Practicing Dietitian, Advanced Sports Dietitian and founder of Dietitian Approved. Listen as I break down the latest evidence to give you practical, easy-to-digest strategies to train hard, recover faster and perform at your best. You have so much potential, and I want to help you unlock that with the power of nutrition. Let's get into it.

Taryn Richardson  01:54

Welcome to the podcast Dr. Hayley! Woohoo!

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  01:58

Hey mate, how are you going?

Taryn Richardson  02:00

I'm so good. I'm so excited to talk with you today even just for my own knowledge and benefit. Feel like we should have caught up for a coffee first. But I think I've found somebody that rivals, potentially even beats my absolute love of food and science and is more of a food nerd than me. What do you reckon? 

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  02:18

That's a massive call mate. You are fairly extreme in the nerd end of town. 

Taryn Richardson  02:23

Oh, thanks.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  02:23

I don't know mate but I do love it. I do love it a fair bit.

Taryn Richardson  02:26

Yeah, so you've done the same sort of degree as me a Bachelor of Science. Mine was specifically in Nutrition and Dietetics and you've gone further in the nerd space and done a PhD. But what I wanted to get you on today to talk about and really dive into is the nutrition information panel because you're somebody that is as passionate about educating people how to read these things and what they actually mean, potentially more than me.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  02:51

But I do love an nip. But you know, that was not my research, that was not my background. You know, I did a Bachelor of Science and that was just a straight bachelor. And I did that because I did not know what I wanted to do. And my parents were like, we've got to do something. You know, we didn't just send you to school for all of these years to have you just, you know, pick up a trade which is actually probably fundamentally what I really wanted to do. Anyway, so I did science and I fell in love with physiology. So it took me a couple of years to really find my feet over there. But then yeah, I did. I did an honours degree in Reproductive Physiology and then I did do my PhD. So you're right, did spend a lot of time there nerding out at Monash.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  03:23

I did that for a long time. After I finished my PhD, I was there for about 15 years. I ran a lab in pregnancy and women's health and you know, we were really looking at trying to optimise that pregnancy environment. But I don't need to tell the sad story but I left academia, ghosted my academic career and then I just fell in love with food. And one of the things I think that I got to food was because we were working in pregnancy. And you know, as a researcher, you kind of end up getting right down into the niche, right into the nitty gritty of individual proteins or whatever. And I was like, this just doesn't feel right. This just doesn't feel enough. Because if we don't know what people are eating and if people aren't eating those fundamental things that we know they need to get into optimize their health, it doesn't matter what we do in that pregnancy environment because the core, the foundation just isn't there. So I started to ask more and more questions about food. And then I don't know why I did it. I thought, you know what? I'm gonna start a food company.

Taryn Richardson  04:14

Just because you didn't have enough going on.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  04:16

It's wild, really. I still look back and go, why did you do that? You could have done so many other things. But I think I've always been that kind of guy who says, well, I don't know enough about that. So I'm going to jump in there and see what I can learn. And when I get in there, you learn some stuff that can be a little bit scary. And I think that's one of the things about the nutrition information panel for me is that it's not what it's touting to be. I mean, presumably, as a dietitian, you rely on that and you get your clients to look at it and go, these are the, you know, this is the protein you're going to get from that, the end you're going to get from that. It might shock you to know that rarely is the nutrition information panel actually reflective of the food in the packet. Probably doesn't shock you mate but it might shock others.

Taryn Richardson  04:57

No, didn't shock me. Also probably doesn't shock the listeners if they've been listening for a while because I do talk about that variation and why I don't think counting calories is that useful because what's on the label could be 20% either direction on what's actually in the packet. So that is why you're here so we can nerd up and talk about that and get a bit more practical too so that people can actually understand that because counting calories and thinking that what you put in your mouth is exactly what it says is very much a gray zone. So you went from academia, got burnt out, got so sick of all that sort of thing, and you started a food company, and you're the founder of Eat for You which is the only batch tested snack company here in Australia. So please tell me what on earth that means and why you're so passionate about batch testing products.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  05:48

You know, it's one of those things that I wish we weren't. I wish we weren't the only batch nutrient tested snack company. But for now we are and no one has challenged me on that claim and I look forward to the day when someone says, "Hey, actually, you're not the only one. We're doing it, too." Because that will be an absolute celebration day for me. But we did. So I started Eat for You. It actually started as Eat for Baby. And I really wanted to make food that was of a known nutrient content and quality for women on their pregnancy journey. That was a difficult brand to sell. A lot of people tended to think that we were selling baby food.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  06:16

So we pretty quickly pivoted to Eat for You. The food was not specific to the pregnancy environment. It was just that there were things about the foods that were really important to me for that sort of stage of life where there are, you know, there's an increase in nutrient requirement during that period and then there's also this sort of extra vulnerability. And it's one of those things that we don't really have a great understanding on either, kind of what's going on with your maternal immune system, right? Like it's changed because it's receiving a partially foreign body. But to say that it's compromised or deficient, I don't necessarily agree with that. I think that would be a really dangerous evolutionary play to make a woman who's, you know, trying to grow the population more vulnerable to things. So it's just a different environment. 

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  07:02

And so of course with food, you know, you want to be extra careful with things like listeria and salmonella, and E. coli and stuff like that. So when we were developing Eat for Baby/Eat for You, we introduced those things as standard for us. So every single batch of our food is tested. First, obviously in the recipe development stage to kind of know that we're getting the sorts of nutrients that we hope and expect to be providing in our food. And if we're not, that's when we then start to do a little dance around who our ingredients suppliers are. And we start to have a better, more direct conversation with them and find people who are really honouring the nutrient integrity of their soil because that's essentially how it ends up in our food. If the soil is deficient, you're never going to get it in your food.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  07:39

And then once we're happy with the ingredients source that we've got them, we'll do a batch test. And so every single time we make our food, we retest the nutrition information panel. And we do that bacteria and sort of microorganism tests every time, too. And there are things that everybody has to do and I feel reasonably confident that most food producers do those things. But it's actually rarely in the actual food that you're required to test for the microorganisms. It's actually just in your manufacturing site where you got to do, you know, bench tests and stuff like that. So, for me, I just wanted a little bit more. I wanted to feel really confident that if I was recommending this stuff to people, that they were going to be safe consuming it.

Taryn Richardson  08:15

I really resonate with your overachiever, high achiever mentality to make the best snack food in the world. I love it.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  08:22

That's what people deserve, right? That's what everyone should be getting from their food. I feel like what I'm offering is actually nothing extraordinary. It should just be the baseline. It should be what all of our food is. But it just is just not the reality.

Taryn Richardson  08:32

Yeah, so talk to me about how a nutrition information panel is actually developed because that'll help answer those questions around why you are so passionate about doing that for every single batch.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  08:45

So there's the energy, protein, sugars, fats, sodium. You need to provide the per servebquantity of those thingsband the per 100 gram or 100 mil serve. But there are actually databases of food products that food producers can access. And so, basically what food producers do is just punch in the ingredients that are in their recipe and the amounts and then this database will just drop out a standard nutrition information panel. And that is the requirement. That is okay. That falls within the Food Standards Guidelines. To my mind, that just stinks of a lack of integrity because there are so many things that impact the nutrients in our food - time from harvest, to getting to the manufacturer, the processing, all of that kind of stuff. So it just did not feel honourable to meet and use that to rely on that. So obviously that's where we go first because you know, we don't always know what the expected nutrient content of all of our food is.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  09:38

So we go there first and get a bit of a rough idea, tweak our recipe to kind of go, we actually want more vitamin E in that product so let's push up our sunflower seeds, that sort of thing. But then what you actually see on our packaging is something that comes from a recipe development phase. Because one of the tricky things with packaging, obviously is that you print your packaging before you make your food. So I understand the challenge for food producers in having a nutrition information panel that accurately reflects the food in your packet, but we've overcome that because there's a beautiful little QR code on our packet. So when you scan that QR code, it takes you to my website and it tells you exactly what the nutrition information panel is for the exact product that is sitting in that wrapper. And we go well beyond what you have to have, so you know, I listed like eight things that have to be on the NIP. But we include minerals and vitamins and stuff as well. Not all of them because not all foods have all of the minerals and vitamins but those ones where we would expect for you to get a reasonable amount from the ingredients that we've used, they get tested as well.

Taryn Richardson  10:39

Ah, so exciting! How good is technology? And it would be so good if every food that had that available. And you know, maybe one day it will. You are the person paving the way for that sort of stuff. But I think it's very important to understand that what is on a label is not necessarily what's in a product unless you are batch testing every single food. So can you explain to me how you actually do that. So you make a new batch of bars, how do you test the nutrient quality or quantity of that batch?

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  11:10

So we send it away. So we get independent labs to do that analysis for us. And there are several different companies that offer that. We just choose one that's reliable, basically and we get great data back. And you know, I can't control it, right? Once I've made that batch of food, I'm in. Unless there is a micro organism issue, which obviously is a no brainer, you don't sell food that's not safe. But from a nutrition perspective...

Taryn Richardson  11:34

People do. 

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  11:35

People do, people do and they shouldn't. They really shouldn't. But from a nutrition perspective, I'm not going to pull a range, pull up product line because I didn't hit my selenium target, for example but I'm definitely going to tell you the truth. I'm definitely going to tell you that despite there being enough personal notes in here to theoretically give you your daily selenium requirement, we didn't get there this time. I tried to mitigate that and that actually hasn't happened to us yet because we do that early testing as well just to make sure that the ingredients have got it. But it takes us about two weeks from production to getting those results. So there's that hold time where we sort of have a batch ready to go, but we can't go.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  12:11

And one of the things that we really notice, you know, the macros don't shift that much for us so far, but we do sometimes see a shift in the protein-carb ratio. So you know, our carbs have come down or protein or go up and vice versa. But where I do see a fair amount of change is in the mineral composition and one that I talk a lot about because it's literally been an example where we've had none to the full recommended daily intake of is selenium, which many of us are told to get it from your Brazil nuts - and that's what we used in our product, in our hero bar. But when we were sampling Brazil nuts to try and find the best one, some of them had none.

Taryn Richardson  12:48


Dr. Hayley Dickinson  12:49

But basically undetectable levels of selenium. And even though they did have some, you know, the recommendation's two per day to meet your daily selenium needs. Some of them you needed to eat 21 twenty one to hit your daily selenium target. And that's a lot and Brazil nuts actually aren't that delicious. They're not, they're quite bitter. 

Taryn Richardson  13:03


Dr. Hayley Dickinson  13:04

Eating twenty one's a lot. But this is where I think what we're talking about is really important because if you would eat twenty one Brazil nuts where the selenium content was high, like the Brazil nuts I ended up using, then you'd be reaching the upper limit, of safety of selenium. And so this is where not really knowing the nutrient content of our food. It's super fun but it's also actually critical for optimisation of human health that we know that stuff. Because you know, iron is another great example where for some people, too much iron is incredibly dangerous for them, right? You know that people with...

Taryn Richardson  13:39


Dr. Hayley Dickinson  13:40

Thank you very much. Hemochromatosis. I was gonna say hypochromatosis. I'm like, no, that's not it.

Taryn Richardson  13:44

I got you.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  13:46

Thank you. So they need to know, right? They absolutely need to know that if they're eating a food that's containing iron, they need to know how much is there. And so, you know, selenium is another one of those, there's that safe upper limit for a reason. That's the game for me at the moment. It's about making sure you get enough because what I am finding is that you're more likely to get foods with lower levels than you are with higher levels. And I think there's a much bigger conversation in that that's what's going on in our farming, what's going on in our soils, what's going on in our processing that is sucking the nutrients out of our food.

Taryn Richardson  14:18

It's almost a bit overwhelming, isn't it? Like how do we know what on earth we're putting in our mouth then? Like, what's the next step for us to understand if we're meeting our requirements on a day to day basis or if there's anything that we could be doing or should be doing? Because we're talking to triathletes here and everyone wants to be perfect and do all the things right. If we can't trust a nutrition information panel, why would we track our calories? And then how do we know if we're getting all the nutrients we need on a day to day basis?

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  14:50

We don't. We truly don't. It's a devastating reality and it's one that we don't talk about very often. You know, we'll sit there and say these are the foods that you should be eating but the reality is we actually don't know whether you're getting what you should be getting. There's very little science out there around nutrient content of our food. And most of it is not coming from independent people, most of it is coming from organisations or people who have a vested interest in you eating a particular food or from a particular farming type. Probably the simplest thing to do is grow what you can, because then, you know, you essentially get to control that environment. And I know that's not a reality for lots of people but it's not hard to stick some leafy green seeds in a pot of soil, just about anyone can grow leafy greens. 

Taryn Richardson  15:37

I don't know if I can.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  15:39

That's the reason you could.

Taryn Richardson  15:43

I can grow herbs successfully as long as I keep on top of the water in summer and that is about it to be honest. We've got too many possums that eat at all. 

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  15:51

Herbs are a good start.

Taryn Richardson  15:52


Dr. Hayley Dickinson  15:52

But it is a much bigger conversation. And the reality is it's not for the day to day punter to get on top of this because that's my end game, right? That's the utopia for me where everyone is living on the land in these beautiful, rich, urban garden spreads, right? Where we're sharing amongst our community, we're growing the food, we can see where it's been growing, we know the person who's growing it. And I know that that's where I'll end up, that is my end game. But I know that's not a reality for everybody else. So we need to talk about it, we need to have the conversations that you and I are having right now, we need to back brands that are being brave enough to ask the question. Like, it scares the shit out of me every time we run a batch nutrient test because whilst there's that hope. And I've done all of the due diligence I could along the way, there is still the reality that I might get a result that says that there is basically nothing other than the macros in my product. But we have to be brave enough to do that because that's the only way that we're going to go, holy shit, the ingredients that we are accessing, they don't have the nutrients in them. Then it's a bigger conversation.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  16:53

And look, I think our farming is a little bit upside down. You know, we use certified organic ingredients and that's mostly from a "what's not in it perspective", rather than a "what is in it perspective". But you know, there's some beautiful new agricultural practices, like regenerative agriculture where it's really about rebuilding the soil. I think we've just treated the land a bit shit for probably too long. And it can be pretty straightforward, I think. You know, my brother, he's the king of compost, right? So everything is about just putting trimmings, food scraps back in the soil, that's literally all it is. It's a really simple process.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  17:32

And then you get the microbial richness coming back into the soil and then that's what moves the minerals and things into the food. You know, we often think the soil is deficient in the mineral but it's often more the case that the soil is deficient in the microbes that are required to transport those things up into the plant and get it into their fruit and seeds and whatnot. So it is a bigger conversation. And I feel a bit shit actually sometimes doing what we're doing, because I'm like, I actually don't have a solution for you. I've identified a ginormous problem but how do we solve it? And the scariest thing for me is that the tendency towards solving is stick a synthetic supplement in there.

Taryn Richardson  18:10

That was my next question for you. You jumped the gun. So I was going to play devil's advocate a little bit because I can really hear your passion and your drive and you are but one person but it needs to be a global shift. And so there will be people listening that are like, well, if the food I'm eating is deficient, should I just take a multivitamin? And so what's the Doc's opinion on that?

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  18:31

Breaks my heart, but I can see why you would go that way. It makes total sense to go that way because a supplement is a known quantity, right? But that's what we say about our food, it's real food with the nutritional reliability of a supplement. And it's not hard to do what I'm doing. It's scary but it is not difficult, right? I literally, as the batch is being made, we pull out bars across the run. So obviously I don't just want to measure the quantity in my bars at the start of my run on my end, I want to do it across the run. So bars are randomly taken across the run and then sent off to the labs and they put together and you know, they do all of their beautiful work to pull out those individual vitamins and minerals. There is nothing stopping any other brand from doing that.

Taryn Richardson  19:08

What is the cost to do that?

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  19:09

Actually doesn't cost me that much money. It costs me a lot of money when my batches are small, obviously. You know, so it's about between $1,000 - $2,000 per run depending on what I'm testing. Vitamins are very expensive to test, minerals not so much. And the standard NIP is really not a lot of money about $250 to run a NIP, but that stops the sodium so that doesn't give you all the other things.

Taryn Richardson  19:28


Dr. Hayley Dickinson  19:29

I don't know why more brands aren't doing it. You know, and I speak to other people in business about this and they say, look, at the end of the day, it's a dollars and cents game H. And if they can save 25 cents on a product, they're gonna save 25 cents on a product because people don't give a sh*t. I beg to differ, I think people do give a sh*t. I don't think they know what to do. I think they know what to do about it. So I would love to see more brands go, you know, yeah we're going to do this. And it could look pretty ugly for us at the beginning. But we've got to back those brands because without the information, without knowing that that's happening, then we're just swimming our way towards a really deficient nutritional environment. And imagine the legacy we're leaving our small people, the nutritional quality of our food is diminishing. I see it, I see the data.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  20:14

So, I mean, that's why I'm here, right? Because I have an 11 year old and I'll be damned if she has to rely on synthetic supplements to get the nutrients she needs, right? And so when we first started making bars, that was the offer on the table from a lot of the manufacturing partners that we spoke with. They're like, let us know your nutritional targets and we'll just throw in x, y, and zed to get you there. And I remember going...

Taryn Richardson  20:36


Dr. Hayley Dickinson  20:37


Taryn Richardson  20:38

You're crazy.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  20:40

I was like, no. No, we'll do it with food. Like, well, I was like, if I cannot make food that is nutritious, then I'm in the wrong place. And I've got to take a step back and I've got to go back and I've got to go towards the soil. I've got to spend more time there because we've got to fix it somehow. I don't know why I choose to take on ginormous things.

Taryn Richardson  21:02

Getting a bit stressed listening to all this because it's such a big problem. And like, how do we fix it? It's completely global change. And we started talking about the nutrition information panel.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  21:13

That's sort of the review point, right? But if we're not updating our NIPs, then we're kind of just hiding behind old data, right? So we've got to get fresh data. But there are people doing awesome things, like the Farmer's Footprint. I don't know if you follow them, Blair Beattie is kind of their director here in Australia but they're a global movement. And it's all about giving farmers support to get more nutrients back in their soil. I mean, we just keep blaming the farmers, right? You've been using pesticides for too long, you've been monocropping for too long, you know, just all of these things, right? You're just chasing the dollar, whichever crops are going to give you the most money, blah, blah, blah. I think that's horsesh*t. I think they're just doing the best they can. 

Taryn Richardson  21:52


Dr. Hayley Dickinson  21:55

And just support their families, right? And keep their businesses going so they 100% need our support to completely change the way they're doing farming. But that's how it has to happen. And there is that grassroots program happening and it's beautiful. And so we're deeply connected in with Farmer's Footprint now and we're kind of moving towards having those conversations with other brands and say, let's do this. Let's just get on board, let's back each other as we start asking the scary as heck questions. But then we start partnering with farmers who are producing ingredients that are rich in nutrients because that's all it has to happen. We just need to be getting ingredients from where the nutrients are in the soil. I mean, I've got Brazil nuts, like there's about two in our bar and you get 114% of your daily requirement with selenium.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  22:37

So that's perfect, right? That's a beautiful thing. You don't need to take a selenium supplement. That bar has got it and I've tested it. So we just need more and more of those things. I believe we can change it. I believe I'm having the conversations with other people who believe in it enough that we can and that we will. Maybe not for us but for our smalls for sure.

Taryn Richardson  22:58

Yeah, that's kind of exciting.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  22:59

Yeah, I think so. But synthetic supplements scares the pants off me, aside from the fact that they don't necessarily behave the same way as the food source of that vitamin or mineral. We just don't understand enough about them. And food gives us so much more than just the macros and the vitamins and the minerals, things that we just don't understand. I think that if we are relying on those, I think it will be incomplete. And I reckon we'll start to really struggle.

Taryn Richardson  23:28

Yeah, we don't really know, do we? How long have we been using multivitamins for? Not forever.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  23:33

Not forever.

Taryn Richardson  23:34

Not forever. And I know that there'll be people listening going, this is just like, so overwhelming, I'm just gonna take multi. Because I need all the things that I need. But we don't actually know that what you're getting is what you're getting. And then your body does with it, what it should do to convert it to its active form, or whatever it is that you need to get from that. Plus, like you mentioned, all the phytochemicals and things that are in food and those other interactions that we just don't even know about yet. I'm very passionate about food first. And I believe really strongly like you that we can get everything that we need from food. We don't have to take pills and potions to get there.

Taryn Richardson  24:11

But we need more people like you Doc shaping the way that we think about food but also test food. But I think it's really important for people to understand that what's on the nutrition information panel is not necessarily what's in a food, which I do talk about a lot. Because a lot of people do count calories and track those sorts of things and want to check things like iron but we just don't know. And so it's great to see somebody that is creating a product that is a known value so that we can get everything that we need. We just need more of you. Can we clone you into like 600,000 people?

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  24:45

We just need a few more brands, mate. We just need a few more brands doing it. It's not that hard. And you know, what I would love to see it happen before me. You know, ideally, this nutrient analysis happens at the very beginning, so at harvest. We start to get much braver about things and we go, right, we're going to measure at harvest, we're going to measure at the point that we normally you know, because a lot of our food is stored. Love it or hate it, it's the reality. So let's measure at harvest, let's measure at the point where it comes out of storage and then gets sold to consumers, what do we lose in that processing time, because that's the reality. It doesn't really matter if you've to harvest because if you're not eating it for six months, then it's going to definitely have changed.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  25:24

And that's one of the other things we play around is we'll do another analysis at 6 months and another analysis at 12 months of being in the packet just to kind of get a feel for how things are looking. And things hold up pretty well. Vitamins are the only thing that sort of slides because of course, they're much more vulnerable than minerals. Minerals are just kind of sitting there not doing very much

Taryn Richardson  25:42

The water soluble in particular over the fat soluble vitamins?

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  25:45

Yep, yep. It's interesting actually, we don't get a lot of water soluble vitamins in our products. Most of them are fat soluble, so we get pretty good Vitamin E. I would love to get more water soluble vitamins but they just don't, I mean, they're not really the ingredients that I'm using actually. There's not a lot of water left in what we're using in nuts and seeds. So it's mostly you know, we're a really nice source of fats, reasonable source of protein too, actually. I have a question. Am I allowed to ask you a question?

Taryn Richardson  26:10

It depends. Yes, go for it.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  26:12

Too scary, I don't think. So our bars are like a 200 calorie bar, right? They're 50 grams about 200 calories in there. And you know, and there's about 4 to 8 grams of protein. In each bar, there's hypodontia fiber, you get about 30% of your daily fiber. And then you know, magnesium and phosphorus and those sorts of things are pretty consistent across all of our bars. When would you recommend people eat them? You know, because you talk to athletes, right? You know, so, what does a snack like that fit in to someone's regiment?

Taryn Richardson  26:37

As a triathlete, I guess it's different to the general population. Probably too much fiber to have during training, I would suggest.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  26:45

That's gonna get things moving.

Taryn Richardson  26:46

Yeah. And it probably is a snack that you chuck in in between meals, to be honest, is probably the best place for it. Okay, so some really practical tips or suggestions for people then that are feeling a little bit overwhelmed with all the things, what can they do to maximise how much nutrients they're eating?

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  27:07

The reality is you're still going to get maximum bang for your buck nutritionally from eating real whole food. So you know, meat, eggs, fruit, veggies that's still going to be the stuff that's packed with nutrients. Typically, processed, packaged food is going to be absent in nutrient. You know, it might have a pretty attractive nutrition information panel and what we haven't talked about is calories versus calories from whole food versus parts and pieces of food. So that number doesn't really mean anything to someone like me when you know, it's a rice malt syrup, or whatever. That's not a food, you know, that was once was rice that has just been cooked down to a horribly sweet syrup.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  27:40

So if you're eating real food, you're definitely going to be far more nutritionally optimised than if you're relying on stuff that comes out of a laboratory, or a, you know, heavily intensely machined manufacturing facility. If we want to talk about supplements, I love the idea of whole food supplements. And there are a few brands out there that are doing more and more of that. I still struggle though because they're not batch testing. So it sounds fabulous. It sounds like the dream because you're using the versions of vitamins and minerals. They're coming from the food but there's still processing. You've still turned, you know, a kilo of kale into a green powder.

Taryn Richardson  28:20


Dr. Hayley Dickinson  28:20

And what does that look like? What do you lose in that process? I think the same needs to be said for food as it does for those whole food supplements. You've really got to get in there and do the testing.

Taryn Richardson  28:28

Couldn't have said that better myself. I very much whole foods, real foods keep away from packets as much as possible unless you are independently batch testing all the nutrients in your product like doc is. And like, just to highlight on that point, those greens powders and stuff sound awesome and they get marketed really well but we honestly have no idea what's in that finished product. So I do talk about that a little bit. I try not to talk about brands because I don't want to get in trouble and get hunted down and have my car burnt. But like if you're taking something like that and it's costing you a bucket load, eat some fruits and vegetables instead.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  29:05

Yep. Because just you're always gonna get so much more from that and it's more enjoyable.

Taryn Richardson  29:10

Totally, totally. But triathletes are time poor and they're busy and that's an easy band aid fix.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  29:17

Yeah, sure.

Taryn Richardson  29:17

So if someone wants to try some of your bars, the Eat for You bars, where do they do that? How do they go about finding them?

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  29:24

We're in about 350 stores around the country like organic grocers and health food shops and whatnot. But they can just jump to the website, that's always the funnest for us because then my phone goes chag-ching.

Taryn Richardson  29:36


Dr. Hayley Dickinson  29:39

And that's just eatforyou.com.au and maybe we'll share a little code that you can share with your peeps.

Taryn Richardson  29:43

Ah, sure. We'll chuck that in the show notes, no we won't we actually send it out to our email list only.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  29:48

Like it.

Taryn Richardson  29:49

Is their plans to distribute globally? I feel like you've got enough on your plate but at the moment you're available Australia, New Zealand? Plans to go global? 

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  29:58

I'd love to go global. We do just get a little export marketing development grant from the government to kinda scope that out. Because, you know, just this week, I don't know if you've seen in the news about Bounce. So they will really one of the first kind of packaged ball products. They've just gone into administration because they sought to go to the US and acquired massive debt in doing so and it didn't work. So it'll be a slow process for us just because, you know, I'm a conservative person. And I do not have a massive pile of money sitting by me just to burn in this process.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  30:35

So I think the reality for me is to keep it small because there are bigger things that I'm trying to do than just make my brand big and just sell billions of my bars. That's actually not what I'm here for. The bars are a vehicle to prove to people and brands that you can do good things with food and you can produce honest, transparent, nutritious food. But yeah, I think I'm a part of a bigger conversation which is to get that far beyond just to Eat for You snack bars and really get that happening across many, many other foods because you cannot live on a snack bar. I'd love it if you could but you can't. I don't give you everything that you need and you get really sick of them really quick. So we need more food doing what we're doing.

Taryn Richardson  31:15

Yeah, and that's what I love about you. So passionate and it's not about the money or world domination or anything like that. You're just trying to actually change the world one bar at a time. Love it. Well thank you so much for joining me and sharing your mind with the listeners. If anyone wants to reach out to you what's the best way to do that?

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  31:34

Our socials is pretty good. We're pretty active on Instagram, so that's just @_eatforyou. I think there's an underscore in there somewhere as Eat for You all on its own.

Taryn Richardson  31:41

Oh, no.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  31:42

Broke my heart a little bit. Otherwise, my email - [email protected].

Taryn Richardson  31:48

It's @_eatforyou. I'll pop that in the show notes. I don't even know you're own Insta handle.

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  31:57

I knew it was somewhere coz that'll be in daily. We'll be so pissed.

Taryn Richardson  31:57

Love it. Thank you, doc!

Dr. Hayley Dickinson  32:03

Thanks so much mate.

Taryn Richardson  32:05

Thanks for joining me for this episode of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy podcast. I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions or want to share with me what you've learned, email me at [email protected]. You can also spread the word by leaving me a review and taking a screenshot of you listening to the show. Don't forget to tag me on social media, @dietitian.approved, so I can give you a shout out, too. If you want to learn more about what we do, head to dietitianapproved.com. And if you want to learn more about the Triathlon Nutrition Academy program, head to dietitianapproved.com/academy. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to helping you smashed in the fourth leg - nutrition! 

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