Nutrition | Healthy Living

Healthy Food Choices

If you’re not nourishing your body from within, can you expect to have great looking skin?

In the article, “The Healthy Food Guide”, I address this and look at the benefits of individual food groups. This article continues along the same theme.

Navigating through healthy food choices

Fruit: Contains carbohydrates such as glucose, saccharine, and above all, fructose. These are fast-releasing sugars that can dramatically affect your blood sugar levels.

The best types of fruit to include in your detox diet are berries, cherries, plums, grapefruit, and oranges.

Apples and pears are rich in pectin; a soluble form of fibre that limits the rise in blood glucose and sugar absorbed by the body.

Fruit should be part of your healthy food choices and combined with a protein source, such as almonds or seeds, to limit blood sugar levels.

Ideally, fresh fruit should be eaten early in the morning or on an empty stomach. This advice has nothing to do with losing weight, but rather to ease digestion.

When we eat fruit after a meal of fats and proteins, such as cheese, meat, or fish, the fruit is unable to pass through the stomach quickly and instead ferments in the heat and humidity of the stomach, which long-term, can interfere with the process of digestion.

We have put together a 10-day Detox Diet which is really cleansing and based on the main key fruits that will help you lose weight.

Milk: Full cream milk is a complex food containing proteins, carbohydrates, lactose, and fats.

These are classed as saturated fats and should preferably be avoided; skimmed milk is recommended as the best type of milk, but this should be kept to a minimum.

Low-fat yoghurt is the best form of milk to include during a weight loss diet, as it supports digestion, it does this by re-introducing beneficial bacteria into the gut.

Pasta: It may be a surprise to find out that some types of pasta actually help prevent you from putting on weight, and may even contribute to weight loss.

This is due to the fact that it has to go through a mechanical process called “pastification”, which involves extruding the pasta through high pressure, giving it a protective film, and limiting the amount of starch gelatinisation.

This is the reason why pasta should not be overcooked or undercooked; referred to as ‘al dente’ by the Italians.

This, however, only applies to pasta that is made with hard wheat, not those made with soft grain flour, such as spaghetti, lasagne, or fettuccine.

Starches: These are complex carbohydrates.

When it comes to weight loss foods, some starches are recommended, as they have a low glycaemic index.

This includes foods such as lentils or peas, however, some are quite high, especially when cooked, such as potatoes or carrots.

This is because cooking breaks down starches, causing sugars to be released. The same applies to instant rice or overcooked rice.

The best type of rice to eat is the long-grain brown rice, as not much starch is broken with this type of grain at the time of cooking. Brown rice can actually help control blood sugar levels.

Sugar: Like cigarettes and Coca-Cola, sugar should come with a serious health warning and obviously doesn’t fall under healthy food choices.

They are very bad carbohydrates, not just because they cause tooth decay, diabetes, and coronary heart disease, but because they also cause us to put weight on.

Fruit, whole foods, pulses, and particularly cereals can provide us with all the glucose we need. If there is a temporary lack of carbohydrates to keep the energy levels up, our body is quite capable of drawing on other energy reserves, such as stored fat.

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