SnacksIt seems as though every day we must add to our list of ‘foods not to be consumed’ due to the ‘unhealthy’ properties they carry. But, some foods are getting bad press for no reason at all. There is no reason why the following foods shouldn’t continue to have a place within your healthy diet.

Butter

Butter has been demonized because it has a very high saturated fat content, which in the past has been strongly linked to heart disease. However, this myth has recently been debunked along with the high-cholesterol-sat-fat correlation. In fact, saturated fat can actually improve blood lipid profiles, thus lowering the risk of heart disease!

Using butter that comes from grass fed cows boosts your important, and sometimes unheard of, nutrients such as Vitamin K2 which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. Butter from grass fed cows, also contains higher amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids, another nutrient which is vital for heart and brain health.

Butyrate is an anti-inflammatory fatty acid which can also be found in butter. Heart disease is caused by numerous factors (not simply from high cholesterol!!), one of which may be excessive inflammation. Therefore increasing your intake of butyrate (which is also made when we digest fibre) may help to lower your heart disease risks.

Studies have shown that highly processed fats and oils, such as margarines and ‘spreadables’ can increase your heart disease risk (one of the reasons for this is the processing actually destroys the good fats) – so surely it makes sense to avoid these ‘cholesterol lowering, ’ ‘low-fat’ boxes of gunk and opt for the natural alternative? Good ol’ butter!

White potatoes

Carbs! Oh no! White potatoes get axed from many people’s diets and replaced with sweet potatoes. There is nothing wrong with sweet potatoes, but white is alright too! Potatoes are loaded with fibre, an essential weight loss tool because it keeps you fuller for longer. Once a cooked potato cools down, it develops resistant starch, another weight loss tool as this gloopy, sticky substance will certainly keep hunger pangs at bay. So adding a couple of slices of cold, cooked spuds to your lunchtime salad could help to prevent afternoon snacking! Potatoes also contain a healthy amount of Vitamin B6 – an essential vitamin for cell building, the nervous system and cardiovascular health.

Potatoes contain a whole host of vitamins and phytochemicals which have been linked to lowering heart disease risks and protecting against some cancers. They also contain plant chemicals and potassium which may help in lowering blood pressure.

Egg yolk

egg yolk 006Now that we know that high cholesterol is not a one-way ticket to heart disease, you can address your yolk-phobia. There is no reason why most of us can’t eat eggs, yolks and all, as part of our daily diets.

The yolk is the most nutrient dense part of the egg and in some ways, similar to popping a multi-vitamin tablet! A single egg contains vitamin A, folate, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, phosphorus, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium, zinc and Omega 3.  So think twice before ditching your yolks.

Fruit

I’m being met with a lot of fruit-phobic clients at the moment. Yes, fruit contains sugars but so does that jar of pasta sauce in your cupboard, the flavoured yoghurt in your fridge and the box of wheat-a-bix under your desk! Fruit contains fructose, a natural sugar, not a processed or refined sugar. The benefits of eating a couple of portions of fruit each day are well worth the small sugar hit that comes with it, if you’re that worried, ditch the sauce, flavoured yoghurts and cereals instead!

Fruit contains fibre along with numerous minerals and vitamins which are essential to our health and wellbeing. They are naturally low in sodium, fat and calories which makes them a friendly dieting tool and some fruits such as grapefruits and lemons even promote weight loss!

frutas PortalfruticolaFruits such as oranges, apples, bananas and pears are easy to keep in your bag for a quick snack, berries are loaded with cancer fighting antioxidants and tropical fruits such as mangos and pineapple are great for a sweet tooth after a meal. Don’t knock fruit, it should definitely remain as part of a balanced diet as may help to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, help with the repair of your body and the formation of red blood cells, fight obesity and keep your bowel movements regular.

Extra Virgin Olive oil

Is anyone else suddenly terrified of using olive oil for cooking? Coconut oil has well and truly stolen the oil lime-light and for good reason too, but, don’t neglect your olive oil! It has anti-inflammatory properties, has long been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and some cancers, may be beneficial for sufferers of type 2 diabetes and it contains a load of good fats to keep your brain happy too. The problem is that some of these fats can be destroyed during the cooking process, so just use your olive oil for drizzling and dressing rather than for cooking.

Sarah is available for 1:1 PT at MyPTstudio. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or view her profile, here