Have you noticed how some foods, which have in the past, been considered ‘bad’ are now seen as healthy? One of the most noticeable rethinks of recent times has been our attitude to fats.
Remember the traditional food pyramid with fats sitting up the ‘eat sparingly’ end with only sugar for company. There is now more appreciation of the essential role fats play in a balanced diet and a revised attitude to some foods that were once considered unhealthy. A full discussion of fats is a big topic, however for now you would do well to include these foods in your diet:
Butter: you may remember a time when we were being encouraged to ditch butter for margarine because of its low cholesterol properties. Now we have come full circle and margarine is on the outer. Margarine like many highly processed foods is high in trans-fats which are linked to weight gain, systematic inflammation and circulatory problems. (Look out for partially hydrogenated oil on any food label to indicate trans-fats).
Butter is nutritionally vastly superior, since it's naturally rich in healthy fatty acids, healthy cholesterol, trace minerals and vitamin A.
Nuts: nuts assist in lowering bad cholesterol, protect against heart disease and improve blood vessel function. A number of studies suggest that eating 30g of nuts at least 5 times a week can reduce heart disease risk by 30-50%. This may be because nuts contain natural plant sterols, antioxidants that help keep our arteries in top notch and are a rich source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, vitamin E and protein. Make sure the nuts you source are fresh and stay fresh and avoid nuts roasted in oil.
Eggs: especially when organic and free range are now considered a nutritional power pack that can for most people be eaten every day. As well as an excellent source of protein eggs are high in Vitamins, A, D, B12, B2 niacin and folate. Plus carotenoids for eye health and choline for cell structure and function.
So you can see fats really do belong in a healthy diet, especially when they are from quality natural sources.
For more advice on a healthy diet, talk to Shanna Choudhary, our naturopath and resident expert on all things realting to nutition and optimum wellbeing.