In moderation, and the right type, no! I’m marking the change of seasons with some yummy winter berries. This healthy dessert should satisfy your sweet tooth (guilty!), whilst offering plenty of nutritional value too. I’m regularly asked whether ‘fruit will make you fat because of the sugar content’; true, too much of any type of sugar is bad news. However chomping on the right fruit (like these berries) means you’re not only eating fructose (the lowest-GI form of sugar with a glycemic index of 19, versus a glass of apple juice at 30, table sugar at 65, and glucose at 100), but also enjoying other benefits like fibre (helps digestion) & plenty of vitamins and minerals. By chewing solid food and metabolising it slowly (rather than drinking it straight into your bloodstream) you suffer less of a blood sugar spike. I’d rather have a delicious, beautiful, tasty, bowl of fresh berries with nutritional value including some protein (thanks to the yoghurt, plenty of calcium & vitamin-B too) than a dry cardboard biscuit that claims to be ‘low in sugar’.
The purpose of this berry dish is to promote the intake of… (more…)
Because I’m only human, I find it incredibly difficult to resist all the dangerous ‘food temptations’ that lurk at social functions – whether it’s calorific ‘feta’ starters at a restaurant, deep-fried canapés at a party, battered pub grub, caramel-topped ‘frappucino’ coffee with friends (and the list goes on…), when there are beautiful bowls of yummy nibbles laid out in front you, the willpower alone can crumble (yum, crumble!), especially when everyone else starts tucking in. Chips, crisps, popcorn, sweets, chocolate drinks… An indulgent evening out can quickly mount up to 1000 calories! This post is about a couple of suggestions for hosting your friends in a more healthy and nutritious way that won’t fill you with guilt or saturated fat!IDEA 1: FRUIT PLATTER Instead of sweets, the sugar here is natural vs. refined, it’s hydrating, and has a host of anti-oxidant and vitamin benefits. If you’re struggling with sugar cravings and don’t want to cut out sugar instantly (resulting in cold turkey), then a tasty & healthy fruit salad can help make the transition. Arranging it in a bite-sized way, and serving with cocktail sticks, is a great alternative to greasy mini-pizzas!
IDEA 2: SWEET POTATO CHIPS
More sweet carbs you say? How about some home-made potato chips? (See my previous post for more info on sweet potato here). They are sweet yet have a surprisingly low Glycemic Index. Sweet potato is also high in fibre and the caloric energy is slow releasing, providing sustainable energy to carry you on for longer than a low-fiber simple carb, like a pack of Walkers. Plus you don’t need to go heavy on the salt because they’re already rich in flavour. So in all not too bad! And certainly healthier than sodium, fat-packed crisps.
This colourful fish recipe has all the key fuel your body needs at lunchtime to stay on track for the rest of the working day! It consists of only three simple ingredients; 1) Sweet potato to provide the slow release energy needed to keep going 2) Monkfish, a great source of protein, and a meaty fish at that, and 3) Kale, a nutrient-dense vegetable loaded with vitamins and minerals, with 0% fat content. But to understand why this recipe is so effective, I think you have to look at the ingredients in more detail:
1) SWEET POTATO – A DETAILED LOOK !
I once thought that anything with ‘sweet’ so clearly in its name, couldn’t possibly be healthy. I was wrong. Aside from being delicious, Sweet Potato’s also;
– a great source of beta-carotene (converts into vitamin A for healthy skin, an immune boost and strong vision)
– high in dietary fibre (for effective digestion and absorption, along with heart & blood benefits from the vitamin B6 content)
– super low GI, for slow-release energy throughout the day (with a glycemic load of 9, which is super-low for a food who’s calories come 93% from carbs!)
– very low in sodium, with practically no fat content (& 0g saturates).
– contains peonidins and cyanidins (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to maintain the body)
– high in potassium to lower blood pressure by banishing excess sodium, and regulating the body’s fluid balance
2) KALE – A DETAILED LOOK !
Kale is the superfood equivalent of Cara Delevigne’s eyebrows; all the rage right now, it’s versatile, and you see it everywhere. Why?:
– you can eat it raw, blend in a smoothie, steam it, stew it, or toss it in a salad or soup!
– it’s low in calories (28cals per 100g)
– Incredibly low in saturated fat and cholesterol – 0% for both!
– a fantastic source of iron (crucial liver function and cell regeneration), with more than you find in the equivalent weight of beef!
– rich in vitamin K (essential to bone health and with anti-carcinogenic properties) and vitamin C (immune health).
– it’s also a strong anti-inflammatory, weighs in with a glycemic load of just 3 (!), and leaves you remarkably full for something of such mini calories!
3) MONKFISH – A DEEPER LOOK !
Once thought of as ‘poor man’s lobster’, this fish has since climbed to its equivalent ‘social elite’. The meaty texture makes it a perfect low calorie filler, plus:
– it’s a good source of lean protein (14g of protein per 100g, with just 2g of fat per 100g)
– the little fat it has is mono/poly-unsaturates inc. ‘Omega fatty acids‘ (can reduce risk of heart attack and stroke, and promote healthy neural function)
– a fantastic source of vitamin B6 (aids metabolism and the breakdown of fats, helps regulate blood glucose levels) and vitamin B12 (maintains the nervous system)