THE PERFECT PORTION

Being on a diet, trying to losing weight, sometimes the problem is not what we are eating, if not how much. But, it’s often hard to know how much we should be eating of the foods we love. And when there is no easy way to know how many calories we are really eating, it’s so easy to unknowingly overeat.
So here you go some top tips for portion control which can be really useful.

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Additional portion size tips:

2 medium eggs
A heaped handful of pulses (beans, lentils or chick peas)
A mug of dried pasta (75g)
1 slice of toast
200ml semi-skimmed milk
150ml pot of yoghurt
2 tablespoons cottage cheese
Approximately 40g of breakfast cereal

 

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One portion of fruit and veg (80g) equals: 

1 banana/apple/pear
A handful of grapes or berries
150ml fruit juice
A heaped tablespoon of raisins or dried apricots
Half an avocado
2 clementines
1 large sweet potato
3 tablespoons lentils

 

SuperFood: Quinoa

I’d like to introduce one of my favourite and healthiest superfoods, Quinoa.

Quinoa is the seed of a plant known scientifically as Chenopodium quinoa. It is loaded with protein, fiber and minerals, but doesn’t contain any gluten.

Quinoa  is actually not a grain, but a pseudo-cereal, a seed that is prepared and consumed like a grain, and has a crunchy texture and nutty flavor.

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What Makes Quinoa Such a Superfood?

The carbs in quinoa consist mainly of starch, insoluble fibers and small amounts of sugars. Quinoa also contains some resistant starch, which escapes digestion and feeds the friendly gut bacteria.Quinoa is relatively high in protein compared to other grains, and provides all the essential amino acids. The protein is considered to be comparable to casein, a high-quality protein from dairy products. Also is a good source of several minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, copper, folate, iron, magnesium and zinc.

 

What are the beneficts of Quinoa?

  • Quinoa may reduce blood cholesterol, blood sugar levels and triglycerides. It has a smaller impact on blood sugar levels than other gluten-free foods. As a glutem-free foos is well accepted as an alternative to wheat, and has been shown to increase the nutrient and antioxidant value of gluten-free diets.
  • Quinoa contains large amounts of flavonoids, including Quercetin and Kaempferol. These are potent plant antioxidants with numerous health benefits.
  • In many ways, quinoa has many qualities that make it a weight loss friendly food. It is high in protein and fiber, and has a relatively low glycemic index value.

But…

  • Quinoa is generally well tolerated, but it contains phytates and oxalates. They may reduce the absorption of minerals and contribute to kidney stone formation in some individuals. But these undesirable plant compounds can be eliminated with soaking, washing or roasting.

 

Main culinary uses of quinoa:

  • Quinoa grain – the grain cooks in around 15 minutes and when cooked, it reveals a small white tail (the germ of the kernel). It creates a light, fluffy side dish and it can also be added to soups, salads and baked goods.
  • Quinoa flour – with a tasty, nutty flavour, it may be used in gluten free baking.  This flour may also be used as a thickener in sauces, soups and other dishes, especially in cases where additional protein may be beneficial.
  • Quinoa flakes – are simply steam-rolled to create a quick cooking flake. Quinoa flakes can be used for a nutritious hot breakfast cereal, pancakes, waffles or smoothies. images (1)
  • Quinoa food products – quinoa is now appearing in a range of breads, breakfast cereal cereals, crackers, pasta and other grain-based foods.

 

What’s the Difference between White, Black, and Red Quinoa?

The seed colors vary due to a resinous coating of saponin on the outer shell. Pigmented quinoa grains are said to have a higher anti-oxidant capacity.  Darker seeds taste more like brown rice. While white seeds resemble white rice in taste.

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White quinoa

White quinoa has a very mild, subtle flavor. This pearly white grain is the most commonly available of all quinoa varieties.

Red Quinoa

Red quinoa color ranges from vivid orange to dark red. When it is cooked however, it turns brown and loses this bright coloring. Red quinoa has a marvelous earthy and fruity flavor.   There are higher levels of phenolic compounds found in red quinoa.

Black Quinoa

Black quinoa is a hybrid variety, and it has more of an earthy flavor than white quinoa and is ever so slightly sweeter.

All quinoa varieties.contain the same general benefits.

 

 

Superlunch For Healthy Hair

Many factors such as stressunderlying illnesses, genetic predisposition, and reactions from using hair care products can affect your hair. But the main factor is your diet.

Here’s a example of healthy lunch that help prevent hair loss and thinning hair. Enjoy!!

 

STARTER: Sauteed spinach with quinoa and nuts

Spinach

Spinach is one of the best dietary sources of beta-carotene and a great source of folate. It also contains iron which helps carry oxygen to the hair.

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Quinoa

This type of whole grain is extremely good for your hair. Loaded with protein, quinoa aids in strengthening hair strands. In fact, the protein extracted from this grain is used in high-quality hair products.

Plus, the vitamin E present in quinoa balances the production of natural oil so the scalp and hair stay properly moisturized and free of dandruff. Quinoa also has biotin, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12 that are all vital for hair growth.

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Nuts

Almonds, pecans, cashews and walnuts all contain zinc, which minimizes hair shedding. Walnuts also contain a high level of omega-3 fatty acid, which helps boost shine and fullness. Keep a small bag of nuts in your purse for a quick and easy snack… that leads to fab hair!

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More ideas…. Have a look at this blog, “COOKIE AND KATE“, I love it!! These are some examples of recipes with ingredients that help your hair:

Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Goat Cheese

Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with Honey-Mustard Dressing

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet and Spicy Walnuts

 

MAIN COURSE: Pan-fried salmon with broccoli and sweet potato, and a hint of rosemary.

Salmon

Salmon is full of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron and vitamin B-12. This means salmon will add shine, prevent dry scalp and improve hair growth.

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Broccoli

Broccoli is a rich source of vitamins A and C, which help produce sebum. Sebum is the oily substance secreted by hair follicles and works like a natural hair conditioner. Plus, broccoli is rich in iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids that are required for healthy hair growth.

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Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatos are rich in beta carotene. This antioxidant vitamin is converted to vitamin A once in the body. And vitamin A is necessary for cell growth, including your hair! A vitamin A deficiency often results in dull, dry skin… which then flakes off of your scalp as dandruff.

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Rosemary

Rosemary  is known to improve circulation, particularly to the scalp. When blood flows to the scalp, it stimulates the hair follicles and encourages hair growth. Rosemary also contains rosmarinic acid, a plant polyphenol that can help protect tissues from free radical damage.

 

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DESSERT: Yogurt with Fruit

Bright-colored fruit

Mango, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple and peaches are all rich with vitamin C, an essential for making collagen that gives structure to hair.

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Lowfat Yogurt

Aside from the vitamins D and B-5 that dairy delivers, all that calcium plays a major role in hair growth. Low-fat yogurt contain casein and whey, both high in protein, which prevents dry scalp.

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Other foods your hair loves:

  • All green vegetables
  • Wild rice
  • Chia seeds
  • Avocados
  • Hemp seeds
  • Tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Edamame (young green soybeans)
  • Berries

SUPERSALAD TO FIGHT ANEMIA

Anemia is one of the most common disorders of blood. A person is said to have anemia when the number of red blood cells or the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood is low. Hemoglobin is a protein present inside the red blood cells and it helps in the transportation of oxygen to various parts of the body. Women are more prone to anemia.

Superfoods To Fight Anemia:

A healthy diet is a prerequisite for any anemic patients. It is vital for you to include foods that are rich in Vitamin B12, folic acid and Vitamin C in your diet apart from most important ingredient iron.

The following is a salad recipe that will help you to get rid of anemia.

INGREDIENTS (2 Serves):

1/4 bag baby SPINACH leaves.

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Spinach is a very popular leafy vegetable that help in preventing anemia. It is a rich source of calcium, Vitamins A, B9, E and C, iron, fiber and beta carotene. It will help in improving the overall health of your body. It is found out that half a cup of boiled spinach contains 3.2 mg of iron and this accounts for about 20 percent of the iron requirement for a woman’s body.

 

1 raw BEETROOT (about 90g), peeled and julienned or grated.

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Beetroot is known to be very effective in fighting anemia. It is a vegetable that is filled with iron content. It will help in repairing and reactivating your red blood cells. Once the red blood cells are activated, the supply of oxygen to all parts of the body increases.

2 small TOMATOES (1 medium)

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Vitamin C is the main ingredient in tomatoes along with lycopene. The Vitamin C in tomatoes helps in easy absorption of iron. Tomatoes are also rich in beta carotene and Vitamins E and hence help in natural conditioning of the hair and skin.

1 hard-cooked large EGG, peeled and sliced.

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Eggs are a rich source of proteins and contain a lot of antioxidants that will help in stocking up vitamins in the body when you are suffering from anemia. A large egg is said to contain 1 mg of iron.
1/4 cup shelled lightly salted PISTACHIOS.

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Pistachio nuts are the best source of iron as it contains 15 mg of iron in 100 grams of nuts.

1 Apple And 10 Dates.

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Apple and dates are also known to help in boosting iron levels in the body. The apple contain Vitamin C which helps the body to absorb non heme-iron. Apple contains too 0.12 mg of iron per 100 grams. Dates also contain high quantities of iron and are very useful to fight anemia.

1 Tablespoon HONEY.

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Honey contains a good amount of iron. You will get about 0.42 mg of iron in 100 grams of honey. Moreover, honey also contains copper and magnesium that will help in increasing the hemoglobin in your body.

1 tablespoon BALSAMIC VINEGAR and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin OLIVE OIL.
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SALT & PEPPER to taste.

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Method:

  • Scatter the spinach leaves onto a large platter. Slice the beetroot into wedges and arrange on top of the spinach. Scatter over the sliced egg, tomatoes and choped dates.
  • Chop the pistachios and toast briefly in a dry frying pan over medium heat.
  • Mix the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Peel the apples and cut into matchsticks. Mix everything together and place in the fridge to meld the flavours.

 

 

SuperSnack for Fighting Menstrual Cramps

What you’ll need:

1 Plain and Low-Fat Yogurt

Yogurt is one of the best source of Calcium, which is known to relieve muscle tension, which triggers menstrual cramps.

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1/2 Banana 

Bananas are a rich food source of anti-cramping nutrients such as vitamin B6, and are loaded with potassium which helps reduce water retention.

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3 Walnuts

Walnuts are rich in the healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are known to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties and are loaded with vitamin B6, with is potent pain-relieving vitamin.

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2 Small Squares of Dark Chocolate (make sure it’s over 70 per cent cocoa)
This bittersweet treat will help you relax your muscles, and keep you happier! 😉

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Pour yogurt into a bol. Add the half banana in pieces and the walnuts. Top with the  chopped dark chocolate and… enjoy!!

Gluten-Free Baking

Baking without Gluten

Baking without gluten (as found primarily in wheat flour) can be challenging because gluten contributes important properties to various types of baked products like cookies, cakes, pastries and breads. Gluten development is not as important for cookies as it is for cakes, so gluten-free flours can be substituted with similar results. Cakes and other types of batter-based products, like pancakes, need gluten for its gas-retaining ability that produces a light and airy interior structure and a tender crumb.

In addition to replacing the wheat flour with gluten-free flour, other additives can hold gas. These products include xanthan gum and guar gum that can be found in the baking or natural food section of the grocery store. Bread is perhaps the most challenging gluten-free baked product to make because gluten provides structure, creates a tender crumb, and retains gas. With experimentation and practice, a combination of gluten-free flours and gums can be used to create a loaf with good volume, softness and texture.

Although it is not a baked product, pasta is usually made from hard wheat flour. The gluten component not only gives structure to the noodles but also keeps the starch in the flour from leaching into the cooking water or becoming too sticky. These properties can be approximated with the use of gluten-free flours in combination with eggs and xanthan gum.

Replacement Products

A wide variety of gluten-free flours, starches and baking aids can be used in combination to produce high-quality baked goods and pasta. Recipes calling for 2 cups of flour or less are more easily adapted, especially those that use cake flour because they contain lower levels of gluten. Many of the alternative grains and pseudo-cereals commonly found in the marketplace are listed in Table 1. Pseudo-cereals are “false cereals” that are not derived from grasses (as are true cereals), but come from other plants that have seeds that can be used in the same manner as cereal-based grains. Table 1 summarizes the profile and qualities of these grains and pseudo-cereals.

White rice flour and starches usually can be stored in the pantry but because of higher fat and protein content, purchase whole grain flours and meals in smaller quantities and store in the refrigerator or freezer. Because of the relatively short shelf-life, you may want to take a small taste of the flour before blending to determine if a rancid taste has developed. Several of these flours, such as almond, can be made at home with a coffee grinder.

Flour Blends

Baking books and online resources frequently offer gluten-free flour blend formulations for use in making cookies, cakes, quick breads and yeast breads. The formula might include three or four different types of flours and starches and make 2 to 12 cups of blended flour. Flours with stronger flavors typically make up no more than 25 percent to 30 percent of the total blend and are balanced by neutral flours and starches. Stronger tasting flours (such as bean flours) generally are used in small quantities in recipes that feature delicate flavors. A higher percentage of these flours can be used in baked goods that include nuts, chocolate, or a high level of spice. Flour blends for quick breads often contain 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum per cup of flour while yeast breads contain 3/4 teaspoon per cup of flour blend.

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Gums and Binders

The most common binder in gluten-free baking are eggs. Eggs can replace many of the functions that gluten provides, such as binding, enhancing texture and helping set the structure of the final product. Besides eggs, which are protein-based, two starch-based products often used to bind and thicken glutenfree baked products are guar gum and xanthan gum. These products are largely interchangeable and are used in small amounts (1/2 to 1 teaspoon per cup of flour) to add volume and texture to baked goods. Both are also commonly carried in large grocery chains, either in the baking aisle or natural foods section of the store.

Table 1: Profiles of Alternative Grains and Pseudo-cereals.

Gluten-free Flours & Starches
Type Characteristics
Amaranth Pseudo-cereal native to South America
Higher in protein, fiber and iron than most grains
Provides structure and binding capability
Pleasant, peppery flavor
Best used in combination with other gluten-free flours
Arrowroot Used as thickener and in baking similarly to cornstarch
Bean/Legume Legume flours include fava beans, garbanzo beans, soybeans
Good source of protein and fiber
Best used in combination with other gluten-free flours to balance taste and texture
Bean flours complement sorghum flour
Buckwheat Nutritious grain rich in B-vitamins, magnesium, dietary fiber and antioxidants
Strong, somewhat bitter flavor
Best used in pancakes or yeast breads in combination with neutral gluten-free flours
Chia (Salba) Like flax, ground chia seeds can add nutritional value to baked goods
Neutral in flavor
Corn flour Used in breads, waffles, and tortillas
Corn meal Used in spoon breads and baking powder-leavened breads
Corn startch Works well in combination with tapioca starch
Flax Ground flax seeds increase nutritional value
High in soluble fiber which allows gel formation; retains moisture and gives spongy texture to baked goods
Nutty, bold flavor
Adds color to baked goods
Millet Powdery consistency, color similar to cornmeal
Delicate, sweet flavor
Suitable for use in flatbreads and muffins
Montina (Indian rice grass) Milled from a grass native to Montana
High in fiber and protein
Nut Nut flours include almond, pecan, walnut, hazelnut, filbert, and chestnut
Contribute flavor and nutrition to baked products
Best used in combination with other gluten-free flours to balance taste and texture
Quinoa Pseudocereal native to South America
Good source of protein, folate, copper and iron
Mild, slightly nutty flavor
Suitable for cookies, cakes and breads
Potato flour Neutral flavor
Blends well with stronger flavored flours
Potato starch Provides a light consistency to baked products
Helps retain moisture, combines well with eggs
Bland flavor, low in fiber and nutrients
Rice, Rice bran Comes in brown, white and sweet varieties
Best used when combined with other gluten-free flours and binders or gums
Neutral flavor
Sweet rice flour is used in pie crusts and as a thickener
Sorghum (milo) milo)
Tropical cereal grass native to Africa
Sweet, nutty flavor
Best when used with other neutral gluten-free flours and gums
Teff Small cereal grain native to Africa
Taste similar to hazelnuts
Very high in nutrients
Ability to gel makes it a good thickener
Tapioca Starchy, sweet flavor
Adds chewy texture to breads

Used in blends to improve color and crispiness of crusts

Baking Tips

Gluten-free baking can be a trial-and-error process. Here are some tips that can help achieve successful results.

To Increase Nutrition

  • Use a variety of gluten-free flours in combination to maximize nutrition (Table 1).
  • Use whole grain or enriched, gluten-free flours (vitamins and minerals have been added).
  • Substitute up to 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds plus 1/4 cup water for 1/4 cup flour in a recipe (flax will absorb more moisture).

To Increase Moisture

  • Add gelatin, extra egg or oil to the recipe.
  • Honey or rice malt syrup can help retain moisture.
  • Brown sugar often works better than white.
  • Dough enhancers improve tenderness and staling resistance.

To Enhance Flavor

  • Add chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruits.
  • Double the amount of spices.

To Enhance Structure

  • Use a combination of gluten-free flours and mix together thoroughly
    before adding to other ingredients.
  • Add dry milk solids or cottage cheese into recipe.
  • Use evaporated milk in place of regular milk.
  • To reduce grainy texture, mix rice flour or corn meal with liquid. Bring to a boil and cool before adding to recipe.
  • Add extra egg or egg white if product is too crumbly.
  • Do not over beat; kneading time is shorter since there is no gluten to
    develop.
  • When using a bread machine, use only one kneading cycle.

Leavening

  • Starch flours need more leavening than wheat flours.
  • Rule-of-thumb: start with 2 teaspoons baking powder per cup of gluten-free flour and adjust downward as need for altitude.
  • If baking soda and buttermilk are used to leaven, add 1 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar for each 1/2 teaspoon baking soda used to neutralize acid.
  • For better rise, dissolve leavening in liquid before adding to other ingredients or add a little extra baking powder.

Texture/Lightness

  • Sift flours and starches prior to measuring. Combine and sift again (together) after measuring to improve the texture of the product.
  • Hold gluten-free dough at least 1/2 hour (up to overnight) in the refrigerator to soften and improve the final texture of the product.
  • In products made with rice flour or corn meal, mix with the liquid called for in the recipe. Bring to a boil and cool before adding to recipe to help reduce grainy texture.

Baking Pans and Utensils

  • Bake in smaller-than-usual portions at a lower temperature for a longer time (small loaf pans instead of standard size; use mini-muffins or English muffin tins instead of large muffin tins).
  • Use dull or dark pans for better browning.
  • Keep a separate sifter to use with gluten-free flours to prevent crosscontact with gluten.

Freshness

  • Gluten-free baked goods can lose moisture and quality quickly. Wrap them tightly and store in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight container to prevent dryness and staling.
  • Refrigerate all flours for freshness and quality but bring to room temperature before measuring.

Additional Resource

For information on baking gluten-free products or following a gluten-free diet, see CSU Extension bulletin 530A, Wheat, Gluten, Egg and Milk-Free Recipes and Fact sheet 9.375, Gluten-free diet guide for People with Celiac Disease, J. Li.

References

Belton, P. and Taylor J. 2002. Pseudocereals and Less Common Cereals. Springer-Verlag, New York.

Case, S. 2006. Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Case Nutritional Consulting. Regina, Canada.

Fenster, C. 2007. Gluten-Free Quick and Easy. Penguin, East Rutherford, NJ.

Hagman, B. 2000. The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread. Holt & Co., New York.

US Food and Drug Administration. Gluten-Free Labeling, http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/ gluttobi.html

Washburn, D. and Butt, H. 2003. 125 Best Gluten- Free Recipes. Robert Rose Inc., Toronto, Canada.

Wenniger, MA. 2005. The Best-Ever Wheat and Gluten-Free Baking Book. Fair Winds Press, Beverly, MA.

1Former Colorado State University graduate student; professor; Colorado State University Extension food safety specialist and assistant professor; food science and human nutrition. 4/2009.

Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Colorado counties cooperating. CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. No endorsement of products mentioned is intended nor is criticism implied of products not mentioned.

Cooking Oils

There is many options when it comes to selecting fats and oils for cooking. But it’s not just a matter of choosing oils that are healthy, but also whether they stay healthy after having been cooked with.

The Stability of Cooking Oils

When you’re cooking at a high heat, you want to use oils that are stable and don’t oxidize or go rancid easily.

When oils undergo oxidation, they react with oxygen to form free radicals and harmful compounds that aren’t recommendable to eat.

The most important factor in determining an oil’s resistance to oxidation and rancidification, both at high and low heat, is the relative degree of saturation of the fatty acids in it. Saturated fats have only single bonds in the fatty acid molecules, monounsaturated fats have one double bond and polyunsaturated fats have two or more. It is these double bonds that are chemically reactive and sensitive to heat.

Saturated fats and monounsaturated fats are pretty resistant to heating, but oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats should be avoided for cooking.

COCONUT OIL

Over 90% of the fatty acids in it are saturated, which makes it very resistant to heat. This oil is semi-solid at room temperature and it can last for months and years without going rancid.

Coconut oil also has powerful health benefits. It is particularly rich in a fatty acid called Lauric Acid, which can improve cholesterol and help kill bacteria and other pathogens.

Coconut oil improves blood lipids in both animals and humans. The virgin coconut oil significantly reduced Total and LDL cholesterol, oxidized LDL, triglycerides and increased HDL (the good) cholesterol.

It also had favorable effects on blood coagulation factors and antioxidant status.

In a study of women with abdominal obesity, coconut oil increased HDL and lowered the LDL:HDL ratio, while soybean oil increased Total and LDL cholesterol and decreased HDL.

Medium chain triglycerides (the fats in coconut oil) have also been shown to reduce blood triglycerides compared to long chain fats.

The fatty acids in coconut oil can increase energy expenditure, improve satiety and help you lose weight.

Coconut oil is high in Medium Chain Triglycerides, which are fatty acids that are metabolized differently than most other fats, leading to beneficial effects on metabolism.

Many studies show that medium chain triglycerides can boost metabolism, in one study increasing energy expenditure by 120 calories per day.

Many studies show that people who add Medium Chain Fatty Acids to their diet have reduced appetite and start eating fewer calories automatically.

Eating coconut is particularly effective at reducing the harmful belly fat in the abdominal cavity, which is strongly associated with disease.

Coconut oil is likely to turn into ketone bodies in the liver . Ketone bodies can provide energy for the brain. They are particularly useful against epilepsy and may also improve various other disorders.

Coconut oil can be applied topically as well, studies showing it to be effective as a skin moisturizer and protecting against hair damage. It can also be used as a mild form of sunscreen and as mouthwash.

Studies show that the fatty acids in coconut oil can increase blood levels of ketone bodies, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients and relieving symptoms.

The saturated fats used to be considered unhealthy, but new studies prove that they are totally harmless. Saturated fats are a safe source of energy for humans.

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OLIVE OIL

Some studies show that olive oil can improve biomarkers of health.

It can raise HDL (the good) cholesterol and lower the amount of oxidized LDL cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream.

Studies on olive oil show that despite having fatty acids with double bonds, you can still use it for cooking as it is fairly resistant to the heat.

Many studies show the antioxidant activity of natural phenols on olive oil.

The chief active components of olive oil include oleic acid, phenolic constituents, and squalene. The main phenolics include hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and oleuropein, which occur in highest levels in virgin olive oil and have demonstrated antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are believed to be responsible for a number of olive oil’s biological activities. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, has shown activity in cancer prevention, while squalene has also been identified as having anticancer effects. Olive oil consumption has benefit for colon and breast cancer prevention. The oil has been widely studied for its effects on coronary heart disease (CHD), specifically for its ability to reduce blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Antimicrobial activity of hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and oleuropein has been demonstrated against several strains of bacteria implicated in intestinal and respiratory infections. Although the majority of research has been conducted on the oil, consumption of whole olives might also confer health benefits.

Culinary Applications

http://aevnmont.free.fr/SACH-BOOKS/Petrochemistry/Olive%20Oil%20Chemistry%20and%20Technology/AO9788ch12.pdf

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PALM OIL

Palm oil is derived from the fruit of oil palms. It consists mostly of saturated and monounsaturated fats, with small amounts of polyunsaturates.

This makes palm oil a good choice for cooking.

Red Palm Oil (the unrefined variety) is best. It is also rich in Vitamins E, Coenzyme Q10 and other nutrients.

However, some concerns have been raised about the sustainability of harvesting palm oil, apparently growing these trees means less environment available for Orangutans, which are an endangered species.

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AVOCADO OIL

The composition of avocado oil is similar to olive oil. It is primarily monounsaturated, with some saturated and polyunsaturated mixed in. It can be used for many of the same purposes as olive oil. You can cook with it, or use it cold.

Avocado is a green, pear-shaped fruit often called an “alligator pear.” It is loaded with healthy fats, fiber and various important nutrients.

Avocados have a unique nutrition profile. They contain lots of fiber and are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as B-vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, copper, vitamin E and vitamin C. The consumption of avocados has been associated with various health benefits, such as decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. They are also very satiating and may be useful for weight loss.

Avocados are very high in potassium, which should support healthy blood pressure levels.

Avocados and avocado oil are high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a “heart healthy” fatty acid that is believed to be one of the main reasons for the health benefits of olive oil.

Avocados tend to be high in fiber, about 7% by weight, which is very high compared to most other foods. Fiber can have various important benefits for weight loss and metabolic health.

Numerous studies have shown that eating avocado can improve heart disease risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides.One of the studies showed that including avocado in a low-fat vegetarian diet led to improvements in the cholesterol profile.

One dietary survey found that people who ate avocados had a much higher nutrient intake and had a lower risk of metabolic syndrome.

Studies have shown that eating avocado or avocado oil with veggies can dramatically increase the amount of antioxidants you take in.

Avocados are high in antioxidants, including Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These nutrients are very important for eye health and lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Some studies in isolated cells have shown that nutrients in avocados may have benefits in preventing prostate cancer, and lowering side effects of chemotherapy in some cells.

Studies have shown that an extract from avocado and soybean oils can significantly reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis.

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FISH OIL

Fish oil is very rich in the animal form of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are DHA and EPA. A tablespoon of fish oil can satisfy your daily need for these very important fatty acids.

The best fish oil is cod fish liver oil, because it is also rich in Vitamin D3, which a large part of the world is deficient in.

However, due to its high concentration of polyunsaturated fats, fish oil should never be used for cooking. It’s best used as a supplement, one tablespoon per day. Keep in a cool, dry and dark place.

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FLAXSEED OIL

Flax oil contains lots of the plant form of Omega-3, Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA). Many people use this oil to supplement with Omega-3 fats. However, unless you’re vegan, then I do recommend that you use fish oil instead.

Evidence shows that the human body doesn’t efficiently convert ALA to the active forms, EPA and DHA, of which fish oil has plenty.

Supplementation with flax oil and vitamin C improves the outcome of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Flaxseed oil has been found to be beneficial for those who suffer from Crohn’s Disease and Colitis. Several studies have found that this oil seems to be able to calm the inner lining of the inflamed intestines. Another benefit exists as there is a high content of mucilage in flax and this is an effective natural laxative.

Some people are afflicted with Sjogren’s syndrome, which is a dryness of the eyes. Flaxseed oil helps to improve this condition.

Flaxseed oil also helps to:

  • Reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Aid in the growth of healthy hair and nails.
  • Promote healthy skin.
  • Reduce menopause symptoms.
  • Play a role in burning body fat.

Due to the large amount of polyunsaturated fats, flax seed oil should NOT be used for cooking.

Bottle of Linseed oil on white background

NUT OILS and PEANUT OIL

Peanut oil, as the name implies, is a type of vegetable oil commonly used in cooking that is derived from peanuts, which are legumes. Peanut oil comes in a number of varieties, including refined, unrefined, roasted and cold-pressed, which have slight differences in their nutritional value and health benefits. Generally, people use peanut oil in their cooking for the interesting flavor that it can give to the food, particularly if you use the roasted variety, as well as the fact that it is healthier than many other types of oil.

However, they are very rich in polyunsaturated fats, which make them a poor choice for cooking. They can be used as parts of recipes, but do not fry or do any high heat cooking with them.

There is one exception, however, and that is macadamia nut oil, which is mostly monounsaturated (like olive oil), it is possible to use it for low- or medium-heat cooking.

Some of the health benefits of peanut oil include its ability to reduce cholesterol levels, protect heart health, prevent cancer, boost cognitive function, improve the nervous system, strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure, and protect the skin.

Nuts

SEED and VEGETABLE OILS

Industrial seed and vegetable oils are highly processed, refined products that are way too rich in Omega-6 fatty acids.

Not only should you not cook with them, you should probably avoid them altogether.

These oils have been wrongly considered “heart-healthy” by the media and many nutrition professionals in the past few decades.

However, new data links these oils with many serious diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

Avoid all of them:

  • Soybean Oil
  • Corn Oil
  • Cottonseed Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Safflower Oil
  • Rice Bran Oil

The processing method for industrial seed- and vegetable oils involves factories, many machines and chemicals like hexane.

Seed oils are high in Omega-6 fatty acids. Eating an excess of Omega-6 can lead to increased inflammation in the body and potentially contribute to disease.

Oils that are high in polyunsaturated fats are very susceptible to oxidation, both on the shelf and inside our bodies. They may also be high in trans fats.*

Several randomized controlled trials show that Omega-6 fatty acids increase death from heart disease, while other studies show no statistically significant effect. Observational studies show a strong association.

Also avoid all margarines and fake butters.

grapes-and-grape-seed-oil

Eat. Nourish. Glow. by Amelia Freer

Eat. Nourish. Glow.: 10 easy steps for losing weight, looking younger & feeling healthier

I wanna introduce you my last acquisition, I had heard about this book in the last months, and finally I decided to buy it.
Amelia Freer. nutritional therapist, speaks about her food philosophy,how change the diet in just 10 easy-to-follow steps to be healthy and feel good.
I had a look at the book, and looks really interesting.

Amelia says we should reduce or remove from our diet sugar, gluten (I don’t agree totally with this point), alcohol, dairy and caffeine. We have to cut out foods like breakfast cereals, processed and convenience foods, margarine, canned meals, gluten grain (wheat, barley,… I’m gonna talk about this in other post), salad dressing, biscuits, cakes and sweets, yogurts (dairy from cow’s milk), table or cooking salt, and anything out of date. However, she recommends increase consumption of nuts, seeds and pulses (see post of pulses), coconut or nut milk, coconut yogurt, feta or goat’s cheese, olive and coconut oil, quinoa, himalayan pink sea salt crystal, apple cider vinegar, tumeric,…

I think that looks a interesting proposition, together a delicious recipes and nice pictures.

In addition, you have available too the collection about seasonal digital e-shorts for kindle and iBook, with more recipes with the best and seasonal products.

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Trick to cooking vegetables

Today, I wanna introduce one of my best friends in the kitchen, my microwave steam bags. One way to cook my veg in just 3 mins!! Healthy, retains flavour and goodness better and quicker than other cooking method.

Normally, one of the problems to eat healthy is the time. Perhaps because you are really busy, or because you are really tired, but just to think in wait 20 mins for cook some vegs… is a lot of time. But now, there aren’t excuses because in 3 mins you can prepare a good plate, and not only vegs, you can cook fish, chicken and more too!!

Trust me, I discovered this kind of bags long time ago and always I am recomending to every one, overall if someone is on diet, because, you can avoid to use oil or other fats to cook, and the quality and taste of the final product is really nice, for example in fish, because when you try to cook a piece of fish in the pan without oil or butter… is the worst!!

As well I like it because is simple to use, only you have to put food into the bag, you pull off strip and fold over the top of bag to seal. After, you place the bag in microwave and cook. Just one advice, allow the bag to stand for 20-30 seconds before to open, and handle carefully when opening the bag as it may release hot steam.

Easy, really?? Then, you know… is time to cook!! Bon apetit!

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