5 Health Essentials You Need to Know

5 Health Essentials You Need to Know

11 Oct 2013

We spoke to Kcal’s Head Nutritionist Laura Smith to get the lowdown on healthy eating

1. You can turn back the clock
“Eat to beat ageing, heart disease and cancer by choosing foods that are rich in antioxidants. This will stop the free radicals in the body from causing the oxidative and cellular damage strongly associated with disease. Load up on unprocessed super foods like berries, kale, spinach, broccoli, green tea and tomatoes.” See page 99 for Gourmet Girl’s tasty kale and chocolate pops recipe. 

2. Fat’s OK!
“A misunderstanding of the role fat plays has led to an epidemic of fat phobia. Eating a balanced amount of good fats, such as omega-3, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, actually helps prevent disease and maintain health. What’s more, your body requires fat to absorb vitamins A, D and K.”

3. Carbs are not the enemy
“People are often afraid to eat carbohydrates in case they pile on the pounds, but it’s only if you eat carbs to excess that you’ll gain weight. Carbs are the body’s main source of energy, and glucose is the only energy form your brain uses, so they’re important for maintaining optimum health. But choose your carbs wisely; swap regular white potato for sweet potato, instant oats for steel-cut oats, and rice and pasta for quinoa and buckwheat.” 

4. Say yes to dairy
“Cutting out dairy products has become a bit of a fad in recent years, but unless you have been diagnosed with a dairy intolerance, you can enjoy a variety of low-fat dairy products as part of a healthy diet. Aside from being a major source of calcium, dairy contains some protein and is a great way for your body to get vitamins B and D if you don’t spend much time in the sun. If you’re intolerant, get calcium from green leafy veg and fish, such as salmon and tuna.”

5. The ultimate multi-tasker
“Simply put, proteins are the building blocks of life. They’re vital to all living processes in your body, from generating new cells to keeping your skin, hair and nails in tip-top condition. And it’s not just meat and poultry that provide protein – you can choose from seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds to get your fix.”