This time of year brings back fond memories of Grandma’s deep-dish apple pie. I can close my eyes to smell, taste, and see her homemade apple pie. My mind will forever be etched with the sweet, cinnamon-scented, golden brown pie crust she made. To make the perfect deep-dish apple pie, her recipe called for mouthwatering apples that were generously sweetened with brown sugar and melted butter. Although the fats in her pie crust weren’t heart-healthy fats according to today’s standards of cooking, the flavor was unbeatable.
The standard for today’s pie crust is no longer free of eggs, lard butter, sugar, and other “makes the food taste good” ingredients. The times have changed, and we still enjoy good food. Scientists and researchers have shown us that change is necessary and beneficial. We know that fats are important for a healthy heart. However, not all fats are equal. Triglyceride can be found in our food and in our bodies. It stores energy. It is helpful to think of fats and triglycerides in terms of the building blocks, and triglycerides in terms of the bricks that give it form.
Each triglyceride brick is made up of three fatty acid mixtures. Triglyceride is a combination of saturated fatty acid (SFAs), monounsaturated fat acids (MUFAs), PUFAs, and polyunsaturated oil (PUFAs). The “tri” and one glycerol-molecule, the “glyceride”, are the three fatty acids. High triglyceride levels can lead to stroke and heart disease. It can also indicate poor nutrition and low absorption of nutrients.
We also discovered that trans-fats can be found in small amounts in foods such as cabbage, peas, meat, milk, and pomegranates. They are beneficial for your health. Their use in processed, pre-packaged foods is a concern. These trans-fats can be found in hydrogenated oils, which are solids that look like saturated fat but have a longer shelf life for storage. Hydrogenation involves injecting hydrogen gas into oil at extremely high temperatures to alter the molecular structure and transform unsaturated fats that are safer into trans-fats.
Sometimes, the label’s language conceals the presence of trans-fats. Although the label will state “Trans Fat 0mg”, the ingredients will read “I.e. “Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed oil” is a trans-fat. It is important to read all labels, especially the fine print, when shopping for heart-healthy foods. Trans-fats and hydrogenated oil are hidden in many foods. If you don’t know how to read labels, you might not be aware of how much you’re eating. You may not see trans-fat or trans-fatty acids on a package’s ingredients list.
However, you might see “hydrogenated” and “partially hydrogenated” on the list. These hydrogenated fats can be found in many foods and are therefore the most important to avoid. They are more harmful than saturated fats, according to experts. These fats adversely affect our cholesterol. They increase LDL (bad cholesterol), which can clog your arteries. They also decrease HDL (good cholesterol), which can help to clear them.
New laws now require that the nutrition facts for packaged foods include the amount of trans-fatty acid. If the serving size is less than 0.5g, the USDA allows for a claim stating “0” trans fat. Pay attention to the serving size. Some manufacturers may specify a smaller serving size to make this claim. Today’s heart-healthy foods are healthier than ever, and they also promise to be safer for your health in the future.
Good nutrition can increase your chances of living longer and healthier lives by reducing the risk of developing diseases like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. It may even reduce your risk of developing certain cancers. Complex Carbohydrates & Fibre: Half our daily calories come form complex carbohydrates found in fruit, vegetables, grains, and cereals like pasta, potatoes, and rice. When it comes to carbohydrates like breads, grains, or cereals, you should choose whole grain, unrefined options such as whole meal bread, brown rice, and brown rice.
A balanced diet should include a variety of healthy foods in the right proportions. Complex starchy carbohydrates and protein slowly release energy, allowing you to stay awake longer. Vegetables and fruits are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Protein-rich foods are essential for building and repairing cells. To determine the right size of each food item, use the size of your palm. Simple carbohydrates are the refined grains. These include white bread, cake, and pastries made from these refined grains.
Vegetables, fruits, whole grains beans, lentils and beans are high in fibre, which helps to maintain a healthy digestive system, lower cholesterol, and may reduce the risk of developing cancer. Reduce the intake of processed foods to avoid losing fibre. Dairy products and milk: These foods are rich in calcium, protein and vitamins but can also be high in fat. Low-fat or reduced-fat dairy products such as semi-skimmed and skimmed milk are better choices. Meat and Fish: Both lean meats, such as poultry and fish, are rich sources of iron, protein and vitamins. Two portions of fish should be consumed per week. Omega-3 oils are abundant in oily fish like salmon, mackerel and fresh tuna. If you don’t want to eat this fish, consider taking supplements.
Saturated fats can be found in sweets, savoury snacks and processed meat products. Sugar is high-calorie and has no nutritional value. Limit sugary foods in your diet. Minerals stimulate muscle activity, maintain cells and nerve health, and aid in body repair.
- Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth.
- Iron is necessary for the production of red blood cells. It is essential for the production of red blood cells. Sources: Red kidney beans and liver, dried apricots.
- Zinc is important for maintaining a healthy immune system. Sources: Whole meal bread, oysters and liver.
- Potassium is important for stimulating muscle activity, nerve function, and preventing cramps. Sources: Bananas, avocados and red kidney beans.
- Magnesium is essential for a healthy nervous system. Sources: Whole meal bread, nuts, almonds, steamed broccoli, wholemeal bread, and steamed spinach.
Our bodies require small amounts of vitamins to function efficiently and resist illness.
- Vitamin A boosts our immune system.
- Vitamin B1 converting carbohydrates into energy. Sources: Egg, whole meal bread, flakes, and raisins.
- Vitamin B2 helps keep eyes, skin, and nervous system healthy. Sources: Rice and mushrooms, semi-skimmed dairy milk, eggs, and eggs.
- Vitamin B6 is essential for the body to use and store energy. Sources: Peanuts, chicken, turkey, and peanuts.
- Vitamin B12 helps prevent anemia and maintain a healthy nervous system. Sources: Eggs, cheese, lamb, salmon, and cheese
- Vitamin C improves immunity to infection and protects against free radicals. Sources: Red pepper, oranges, and steamed broccoli.
- Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones and calcium absorption. Sources: Salmon, eggs, mackerel and hings.
- Vitamin E protects skin, nerves, and muscles from free radical damage. Sources: Sunflower seeds and peanuts, and almonds.
- Folate is a protein that is broken down by the body. It helps prevent babies from getting birth defects. Sources: Peas, chickpeas, steamed broccoli.