They might boast a swelling tv audience but has the swelling got out of hand?
63.4% of Australian adults are either overweight or obese and that makes us one of the fattest nations in the world,” says Nutritionist Caron Milham.
We know the ingredients that make their shows so popular but should we be looking closer at the ingredients in their food?
“These recipes are not an everyday recipe… otherwise people will be digging their grave with their teeth,” says Caron.
She's appalled at the recipes being promoted...
“If they're constantly seeing cooking going over an hour, half an hour… cooking something that is really high in fat and sugar and calories then that's going to tempt the person to want more of that type of food,” says Caron.
MKR winners Dan and Steph left judges wanting more but Caron warns one piece of the couples winning dessert will cost you over 2,000 calories...
“One slice of that peppermint delice slice was more calories than an average woman doing average activity would need in a given day,” says Caron.
Never to be out done... Masterchef's king of desserts Adriano Zumbo took the crown for calories... His 'Zumbo chocolate mousse cake tipping the scales at over 24,000 calories...
“Now look the only time that figure should be important to anybody is when they're in your bank,” exclaims celebrity chef Dorinda Haffner.
Dorinda is one chef who's breaking the mould after dropping a whopping 80kg she's keen to share her secrets to success by releasing a new healthy cook book appropriately entitled... 'Honey I shrunk the Chef’.
“All but three are under 300 calories… I've colour coded it so that green means you can eat as much as you like, amber means you eat but be cautious and red means oh not a regular recipe… just a treat,” explains Dorinda.
And Dorinda's keen to emphasise the importance of health, not just weight loss... Rejecting model Kate Moss' infamous words...
“She said nothing tastes as good as skinny does and I beg to differ… so I'm afraid Miss Moss I challenge you to that. Nothing tastes as good as healthy does.”
So we've set Dorinda her own challenge... To create three healthy dishes, 300 calories or less.
“So many people are tempted to put food into good category and bad category and I think it's really important to insist that I believe all food is good,” Nigella Lawson is quoted as saying.
But unfortunately for Nigella, Caron doesn't see it like that. Some ingredients are better than others but what does that do to the taste?
“You can still maintain almost all, if not all of the taste and have less than half the calories,” says Caron.
So... Caron's going head to head with the big guns. Testing out their calorie loaded recipes and showing us her own healthy alternative...
“It was really interesting because we've got similar amounts of Indian curries here but one is double the calories,” says Caron.
This is the master chef one is it?... And this is yours?
“Yes that's the butter chicken and this one's my recipe the Indian chicken and pumpkin curry which has around 444 calories… this one's about 900 calories.”
So what makes the difference here?
“We're getting so much more fat in this one from the cream and the butter that's added to the sauce”.
And according to Caron you can still enjoy cheesecake guilt free. Her blue forest recipe contains just 255 calories... That's three times less than Nigella Lawson’s.
“This is a lot higher in fat, particularly saturated fat and sugar, but doesn't have too much nutrition in it. Whereas this one has fruit and lots of protein and vitamins and minerals,” says Caron.
And the judges and contestants could benefit from some healthier alternatives...
Manu Feildel was forced to hire a personal trainer after stacking on a reported10 kg during filming...
I think a lot of people have a dessert like that and just say oh I'm going to have to go for a run later or go for a walk or something like that. They don't realise... when you go for a walk it could be just like 200 calories so the rest of it stores on your body as fat without you even realising,” says ‘Your World Fitness’ personal trainer Anna.
She warns that just one slice of Zumbo’s mousse cake could cost you 8 hours in the gym.
“This is not like walking on a treadmill this is like a personal training session or like sprinting, running,” says Anna.
From the gym to the kitchen and Dorinda's enjoying our challenge... First on the menu is her healthy Shepherd's pie...
“… And guess what? 217 calories… Delicious, full of flavour, savouring the flavour and healthy. Bon appetite,” says Dorinda.
If you thought that was impressive wait till you see what she's done for dessert…
“Adrian Zumbo eat your heart out! I'm going to give everybody this dessert with only 135 calories… mango and mint sorbet… Volia”.
But if you're after something a little more indulgent...
“Chocolate mousse ala Dorinda and guess what? 300 calories,” says Dorinda.
Dorinda's secret is light and creamy milk...
“Smells good and it looks good and I promise you it tastes absolutely delicious”.
Our kitchen diva proving you can still indulge but for a lot less...
“Do I look to you like I'm missing out? I'm happy, it's lovely,” exclaims Dorinda.
If you’re looking at getting your hands on a copy of Dorinda’s new healthy cook book ‘Honey I shrunk the Chef’ please order your copy online at www.honesyishrunkthechef.com. The book features over 80 recipes with almost all under 300 calories.
If you’re interested in any of the recipes you saw Caron cook head to www.healthy-guide.com. You can also get a copy of Caron’s recipe book ‘The Australian Healthy Cooking Guide’ online as a print book and an e-book.