Tag: monounsaturated fats

Is zero fat diet good or bad?

Is zero fat diet good or bad?

zero fat

Low fat diet is the most commonly used term. All of us want to to eat a low fat diet. We have gone a step ahead by totally avoiding fat in our diets. The trend of eating zero fat has become the latest fad. We boil, steam, pressure cook to avoid adding fat to the diet. Fat has developed a bad rep over the years. It has been beaten up, cursed upon and hated by all. But does it really help? Lets have a look what happens to eating very low or zero fat diets.

  • Vitamin deficiency- certain vitamins such as fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K need fat for its transport and absorption. If you eat less fat, you have a risk of deficiencies of these vitamins.
  • High cholesterol levels- this must be a shock as it is advised to eat less fat, but if your diet is low in monounsaturated fats and omega 3 fats, your HDL or good cholesterol falls. This makes you prone to high cholesterol levels and heart disease.
  • Depression- fats help the hormones and chemicals to play their roles in the body. Fats also affect our moods and behavior. People who are deficient in omega-3s may suffer from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders and ADHD. So eat fat for that happy feeling.
  • Increased risk of cancer- Certain cancers such as colon, prostate, breast cancers can occur due to lack of essential fatty acids.
  • High intake of sugars- Most low fat products add more sugar and other carbohydrates to replace fat and hence they are not low in calories but just low in fat.There will be a marginal difference in the calories.

It is required to eat fat as less than 20% of the total calories. Fat is very essential for our system and avoiding is not the solution. Eat more of monounsaturated fats, omega 3 fatty acids and less of saturated fats.

Include at-least 4 tsp of fats in your diet. Adding fat while cooking aids digestion and better absorption. Eating a well balanced diet along with regular exercise can protect you from a host of health problems. Now get the healthy fats back to your diet.

Health benefits of Sesame seeds

Health benefits of Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds have been commonly used in the Indian cuisine. They are small nutty seeds and are hardly visible in the various dishes they are added to. It is said to be one of the oldest condiment known to man. It is known as ’til’ in India. Lets have a look at its health benefits.

  • It is said to contain the mineral copper which helps to prevent and provide relief from arthritis and strengthens our bones, joints and blood vessels.
  • It contains magnesium which lowers blood pressure, alleviates asthma and prevents migraine.
  • Calcium content in sesame seeds helps to biuld bones and prevents migraine too.
  • Zinc content helps to improve bone health and is great for skin.
  • It contains monounsaturated fats and vitamin E which helps to maintain heart health.
  • It contains phytosterols which helps to lower cholesterol and prevent cancers.
  • Sesame butter can help to replace the cholesterol rich butter.
  • It is rich in fiber mainly due to the presence of the compounds sesamin and sesamolin which increases the vitamin E content when added to food, helps to lower cholesterol and protects the liver from oxidative damage.

You can add sesame seeds to your morning porridge, add it to a glass of warm milk, toss it in a salad or sprinkle over breads while baking. Now you can say open sesame to health.

Cashew butter- A healthy treat

Cashew butter- A healthy treat

Nut butters are used widely by all. They are eaten for breakfast and as snacks alone. Peanut butter has been used but there are various other butters such as almond butter, macadamia nut butter, pine nut butter etc… Let us look at cashew butter now widely available.

Cashew butter is an excellent option for those who are bored  of allergic to peanut butter. Although unusual it is widely available in the organic forms which is free from pesticides and preservatives.

Let us have a look at its nutritional benefits.

  • As any nut butter, it is rich in protein and healthy fats.
  • It is high in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats and hence is a heart healthy butter and helps to reduce the triglycerides.
  • Helps patients with diabetes to maintain their blood sugars as they are very low in carbohydrates.
  • It provides the mineral copper which is said to decrease the risk of cancer by its antioxidant properties.
  • It is bone healthy butter thereby providing magnesium which helps to strengthen our bones.

So lather on whole wheat bread or add a tablespoon to your milkshake and slurp it up

Fats are Brain Food…

Fats are Brain Food…

Yes you read it right.Fats are brain food….Our brains are made up of 60% fat. So going on low fat diets can hamper your memory. Remember those crash diet days when you were on zero fat diets and at work you could hardly concentrate? Now you know why. Fats help to improve memory power.

How can you keep your mental function at its peak?

  • By increasing your intake of omega 3 fatty acids such as fish, nuts, flaxseeds etc
  • Oils such as olive oil, rice bran, mustard, groundnut oil provide monounsaturated fatty acids, which are good for the brain.
  • Seeds such as flaxseeds, sunflower seeds too provide linolenic acid which provide help to improve cognitive power.
  • Most of the above mentioned foods also contain antioxidants like polyphenols and Vitamin E which are brain protective and can prevent Alzheimer’s etc
  • Fruits such as avocados too are great for brain health….

So next time you have to present a hard presentation at office, eat a handful of nuts to get smarter and work better…..

Try my healthy Ice cream. Avacado Ice-cream

Try my healthy Ice cream. Avacado Ice-cream

avacado_icecreamI have a major sweet tooth!!! I just love ice creams and chocolates. But now I have learn t to resist these temptations. But can you imagine a life with out these goodies. As a dietitian, I should be saying I can live with out  , but trust me, I am as normal as you are, hence I do occasionally give in to my temptations.

A large Death by chocolate ice cream (Oh!!my gang love this one) has about 600-800 calories. It makes up three-fourths of my calorie intake as I follow a 1200Kcal diet. So definitely its a no-no for me. I generally end up eating a meager scoop for which I keep insisting to serve me the smallest scoop possible.

I came to know I am strong willed when last week end, I just avoided the dessert, when all my friends and my husband were indulging. I was relieved that I saved alot on calories. But I thought, is there a replacement for ice cream? How can I eat good food minus the icky calories?

Then I got a brain wave. The answer to my question was Avocado ice cream.

I picked up fresh avocados from the super market and I was planning to include it in my diet for this week.  And now it has become my healthy ice cream.

Here is the recipe for those who want to try it.

Scoop out the flesh of the avocado. (Preferably they should be firm, other wise, it will dribble.)
2. After scooping, Freeze the fruit in ice cream bowls (Freeze for 2 hours,  so that it gets the firm texture.)
3. Before serving, sprinkle a teaspoon of crushed nuts over it. You can also pour a teaspoon of date syrup or honey rather than caramelized sugar before you freeze it.

My avocado ice cream gives 150-200 calories. You save about 400-600 calories (Yay!). You can serve yourself smaller portions by sharing a whole avocado between a friend, as in my case my husband, my diet buddy. The creamy texture makes you feel you are eating ice cream.

You get to eat monounsaturated fats which is good for your heart compared to the saturated fat in ice cream.

Avocados are packed with nutrients. Rich in vitamin A, vitamin E and potassium, they are useful sources of vitamin B6. Due to their high vitamin E content, avocados have powerful antioxidant properties which help slow down ageing, protect against cancer, heart disease and many other problems. They are low on sugar compared to ice creams…

However, avocados are high in calories and should be eaten in moderation on any weight loss diet. This is a rare indulge but a guilt free one….But it is much healthier than ice cream….

Go ahead and try it out!!!!!