What to eat and not to eat has become so confusing. First it is low fat, then high fat and so now most of us are not sure what to do. Here I try to make it a little easier and explain how fat and what type of fat can be incorporated into your diet, to not only make your food taste good but also to benefit your health. The tips I share should help make it easy.
Most fats and oils are a combination of saturated, poly and monounsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats provide omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which your body cannot produce, so are essential. Polyunsaturated fats are best obtained from eating whole food sources such as fish, seeds (such as flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds) and nuts (such as walnuts or brazil nuts), as these fats are less stable when processed into cooking oil, and oxidise more readily.
Monounsaturated fats are commonly found in plant foods such as avocado, almonds, cashews and peanuts, and in cooking oils; olive, peanut, canola, rice bran, sunflower and sesame oil.
What oil should I use?
The best oil to use for any cooking is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Australian EVOO is generally good quality. Olive oil (not EVOO) has been refined, generally using heat and possibly chemicals. EVOO is cold-pressed oil made from fresh olives. EVOO contains a large percentage of monounsaturated fat and has less polyunsaturated fat. It contains antioxidants and is very stable for all home cooking. Many people incorrectly believe it is not suitable for cooking. Other oils, such as canola oil, can develop polar compounds at a lower temperature than EVOO will. Oil deteriorates with time, so buy your EVOO in containers that you will use up within a 3month period after opening.
What influence does fat have on appetite?
Fat in food influences the hormone leptin, which helps control your hunger signals, telling you when you have had enough to eat. Including some fat in the diet can help with appetite control.
How does fat influence blood sugar and GI?
Fat lowers the glycaemic index (GI) of carbohydrate-rich foods when they are eaten together, thus reducing the speed at which a carbohydrate is digested and glucose entering the bloodstream. That doesn’t mean you should go straight to the fish and chip shop, however! It is important to choose quality
oils to cook your food in, and these are not generally used in a deep fryer. It does mean adding some oil on your potatoes, to your pasta and on your salad can help reduce the GI of the meal.
Tips for adding healthy fats into your day
Have a handful of nuts daily for a snack, or include them in a
stir-fry or on your breakfast.
Using healthy fats will help make food taste good and if that means we eat more vegetables because they taste good then that is defiantly one of the bonuses of including fats in our diet.
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Simone likes to share her expert nutrition advice. Read more