Human beings are curious creatures. In the pursuit of vitality, we’ve created myths about a supposed fountain of youth; we’ve talked ourselves into drinking ‘cockroach milk’, out of eating certain fruits, and rationalised ingesting tapeworms in order to aid weight loss. One of the more contentious food groups is the Fat and Oil Group.
Fat is naturally found in a number of foods. Healthy, or unsaturated, fats can be consumed through certain vegetable oils, nuts and fish. These fats protect the heart and decrease inflammation, making cardiovascular activity possible. Omega 3 Fatty Acid gives the brain and certain nerves a boost, helping you at the office or in the classroom. Fatty acids also slow down the digestion process while stimulating cholecystokinin which is a hormone that tells the brain it is full. Unsaturated fats are integral to helping the body absorb certain nutrients like Vitamins A, D, E and K, as well as vital antioxidants.
Junk food, on the other hand, is lousy with unsaturated fat which does nothing for your body but clog your arteries and increase your cholesterol.
It seems obvious which one we should reach for at the grocery store, but if we don’t know
what good fats are, we cannot make informed decisions.
Hipsters and millennials aren’t just smearing this fruit on their toast for retweets and hashtags, they’re actually onto something. An average avocado contains 23 grams of fat, which is about half the daily recommended allowance (44 – 78 grams). The cholesterol-free pear is also packed with 40 percent of your daily fiber needs, and is a good source of lutein which is an antioxidant that protects your vision.
Substitute the butter on your slice low-GI with half an avo a day and you’ll enjoy the slow release of the high calorie food, meaning you stay fuller for longer.
Chia Seeds and Hemp Seeds
A great source of fiber, protein and healthy fats. Chia and hemp seeds have a healthy dose of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Chia seeds can increase ALA in your blood, which help reduce inflammation. This means that you’ll bounce back quicker after a exercise related injury than if you weren’t getting your fair share in the fatty acid.
Whether you’re nibbling on 5 -10 olives at a time or using olive oil in your kitchen, these bite-sized drupes are 80% water, and yet 74% of their fat content is oleic acid which protects against degenerative diseases like alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and cancer.
This stone fruit might have grown from the elusive Fountain of Youth, as it has proven to
reduce wrinkles by 20%.
Eat your heart out chocolate lovers, this treat is just for you. Four bars contain 9 grams of fat and a number of other healthy nutrients like Vitamins A, B and E, calcium and flavonoids which are plant-based antioxidants. Dark chocolate also contains a decent amount of potassium. Many fitness fanatics eat a banana before hitting the gym to get their shot of potassium, you can have some chocolate instead. Did you know you get at least 3 grams of fiber from a single serving too?
Wait are we talking about a sweet treat here or a vegetable?
Ignore everything you’ve been told about fat-free products being good for you. If anything you put in your mouth has had to be manipulated before it got to you, be assured that a number of unnatural things have been added to it.
Full-fat or full-cream milk is cow’s milk as god intended it. One cup of whole milk contains 8 grams of fat while 2% low-fat has none. If you don’t have fat in your food, you can’t absorb the Vitamin A and D in the milk as they are both fat-soluble vitamins. So there really is very little nutritional value in milk that isn’t full-cream.
Get it fresh or from the stockpile of your canned tuna, you’ll still be treated to a high amount of healthy fats and omega-3. Oily fish like tuna, sardines, mackerel and salmon slow down the growth of plaque in your arteries and reduces inflammation throughout the body. 170 grams a week is more than enough fish, any more and you expose yourself to the risk of mercury poisoning.