If you’ve read some of our other blogs you’ll know here at Optimum 3 we like to dispel some of those awful myths within the health & fitness industry. In this one we wanted to cover foods that you should be eating, that you may have been told you shouldn’t. Demonising foods that are good for us is unnecessary. So let’s look at 5 things you should be eating.
Eggs – When I say eggs I mean the whole egg. I see lots of pictures and general content on social media of people just eating the egg white. It makes me feel a little sad inside that people are depriving themselves of some quality nutrition. Now the main reason people may choose to do this is a result of years of egg demonising by companies and ‘health’ organisations, due to the egg yolk containing cholesterol. I won’t get too deep on cholesterol but it’s massively misunderstood and as result the wrong advice as been churned out for many years. Just to be clear cholesterol is needed in the body to maintain gut health, for example. Now, if you take away the egg yolk you’re taking away a hugely beneficial part of the egg. The yolk contains a big percentage of the protein in an egg, vitamins A, D, B6, B12 and minerals such as calcium, iron, and a small amount of magnesium. Eat the whole egg!
Butter – Yet another demonising exercise by food companies and health organisations. What did they suggest instead? Margarine! A few years ago Harvard ran a study on margarine. They’re closing statement was that margarine was one molecule away from being a plastic. Butter on the other hand has many benefits, the first being it tastes so much better than margarine, fact! It contains vitamins A, D, E, & K2. It contains minerals such as manganese, zinc and selenium. The benefits don’t stop there. Butter contains fatty acids that support the immune system and can improve metabolism. I would recommend an organic unsalted butter, but my biggest recommendation would be to stop buying margarine!
Nuts – If you shop by consulting the genius that is a food wheel you may have picked up a bag of nuts and put them straight back down again as the food wheel shows a majority of red. This is a prime example of how the food wheel falls down. Pick that packet back up! Nuts are high in fat so automatically score red, but they are a good source of fat, again containing some vitamins and minerals as well as a good level of protein. Fats and protein release energy at a much steadier/regular rate than carbohydrates alone. I eat nuts weekly and are a staple part of my diet. They make a great snack, or part of a meal.
Oils – When I talk about nutrition with our clients and cooking in particular, what to cook food in is a common topic. The answer to what they’re currently using isn’t always what they should be using. They tell me they’re using these 1 calorie sprays and this seems to be on the rise, especially recently. The pattern is forming, organisations demonising products to sell other, less beneficial products on the back of lazy or misinterpreted research. A couple of recommendations of oils to use are olive oils & coconut oil. Coconut oil is particularly versatile. You can use it for cooking and the fat in the oil doesn’t change when heated which some other oils do. It can be used in smoothies, eaten straight off the spoon, or for skincare purposes too. The good news is that coconut oil is easily available in supermarkets, via the internet or health food shops. My recommendation would be to go for a high quality one such as Lucy Bee Coconut Oil, which is a Fairtrade Extra Virgin Organic coconut oil. The better the quality the better the taste, the bigger the benefit.
Full Fat foods in general – I don’t think there is a bigger misrepresentation in the nutrition world than eating fat is bad for you and that you should eat a low fat diet. Categorically untrue! As you can see from the foods I’ve mentioned above I’m pro eating fats for both sensational results and health generally. Eating saturated fats from the right sources has many benefits such as improving the immune system, lung function and supporting brain health, as well as assisting with weight and fat loss goals. It’s time for more people to separate the fats from the fiction!
Some good sources of saturated fat are:
- Those mentioned above: Eggs, Butter, Coconut oil.
- Grass fed meat
- Organic dairy products such as cheese.
I hope covering 5 things you should be eating clears a few things up for you and you can start enjoying these awesome foods again.