Exploring Fats. Part 1: Saturated, Unsaturated and Trans Fats.

This is the first in a series of three posts that looks at the role of fats and oils in our diet. This first post breaks down the different types of fat that you see on food labels: saturated, unsaturated and trans. The second and third posts will look into the highly topical omega-3 (found especially in oily fish) and omega-6 fats (found especially in seeds and their oils).

I’m writing this series in response to requests from several different readers, on similar themes. If you’ve made a request for a different post subject that I haven’t addressed yet, I thank you for your input and I will get to your topic soon!

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What are fats?

Let’s start at the very basic. Fats and oils are essentially two words that refer to the same thing. We call them ‘fats’ when they’re solid at room temperature (think the fat on meat, or lard), and ‘oils’ when they’re liquid at room temperature. Fats are a essential component of our diet.

The following are all 80-100% fat:

  • Vegetable oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil etc
  • Fish oil
  • Cod liver oil
  • Butter
  • Lard
  • Ghee (‘clarified butter’)
  • Fat on meat
  • Dripping
  • Suet
  • Shortening

 

Butter- high in saturated fat.

 

Fats and energy

Like carbohydrates and protein, fats give us energy. You may have heard the terms ‘calories’ or ‘kilojoules’. We measure the energy in food in calories or kilojoules, depending on whether you use an imperial or metric system. Energy in food goes towards maintaining our body weight, and gives us the energy to do all the things we do each day. If we don’t get enough energy from food, we lose weight. If we eat too much, we gain weight.

 

Different types of fat

On a sub-microscopic level, fats are made up of millions of smaller components, called molecules. The molecules in fat are called ‘fatty acids’. 

There are several different types of fatty acid. You may have come across these on the Nutrition Information Panels of food products when you’re at the supermarket. The main types of fatty acid are: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans. Or, more simply, saturated and unsaturated.

All fats/oils contain a mixture of these types of fatty acid. For example, if we look at the Nutrition Information Panel of one brand of butter (see image below), we see that although butter contains 80.5 grams of fat per 100g of butter (80.5% fat), “only” 53.1 grams of this is saturated fatty acids. So although the majority of fat in butter is saturated, some of it is unsaturated.

 

Nutrition Information Panel of Butter Note the fat content per 100g

Nutrition Information Panel of Butter
Note that butter, like other fats, contains a mixture of different types of fat (see where circled).

 

Saturated fatty acids

Solid fats are high in saturated fatty acids. These are usually animal fats, although coconut and palm oil, and cocoa butter, are also high in saturated fatty acids. (Coconut and palm oil are only called ‘oils’ because they are liquid at room temperature in their native tropical climate; they are solid at room temperature in temperate climates)

 

Copha is a brand of coconut oil which is sold in Australia. According to the Nutrition Information Panel, Copha is 98% saturated fat.

Copha is a brand of hydrogenated coconut oil which is sold in Australia.
According to the Nutrition Information Panel, Copha is 98% saturated fat.

 

A diet high in saturated fats increases “bad” LDL-cholesterol, and increases your risk of having a heart attack. Public health bodies around the world recommend minimising the amount of saturated fats in our diet. I mentioned in the last post that current average intakes of saturated fat in the West are almost double the Heart Foundation’s recommendations (12% versus 7%).

Major sources of saturated fat in the average Westerner’s diet include:

  • Meat, including bacon and processed meats
  • Butter
  • Cream and sour cream
  • Full-cream milk and yoghurt
  • Regular fat cheese
  • Coconut milk and coconut cream
  • Chocolate
  • Cakes
  • Biscuits
  • Pies and pastries

Choosing reduced fat milk, yoghurt and cheese is a great way to reduce the amount of saturated fat you eat, and still get enough calcium.

 

Replace coconut milk with evaporated milk with coconut flavouring to cut the amount of saturated fat in your diet, without compromising on taste. Find it in the long-life milk section of the supermarket.

Replace coconut milk with evaporated milk with coconut flavouring to cut the amount of saturated fat in your diet, without compromising on taste. Find it in the long-life milk section of the supermarket.

 

Choosing reduced fat dairy options is a great way to reduce the amount of saturated fat you eat, while still getting enough calcium.

Choosing reduced fat dairy options is a great way to reduce the amount of saturated fat you eat, while still getting enough calcium.

 

Unsaturated fatty acids

Liquid oils are high in unsaturated fatty acids. Foods high in unsaturated fatty acids include oils, nuts and seeds (i.e. they’re from plants). They’re also found in their derivatives, such as margarine and similar spreads, peanut butter and tahini. Eating a handful of nuts and/or seeds every day is good for our health.

 

(L): Extra virgin olive oil; (R): Canola oil. Both high in unsaturated fats, and a good choice for heart health.

 

There are two main types of unsaturated fatty acids: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated fatty acids

Good sources include:

  • Plant oils, including canola, olive & soybean
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Avocado

Polyunsaturated fatty acids

Consist of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Good sources include:

  • Seed oils (such as canola, sunflower or flaxseed)
  • Seeds
  • Oily fish (such as mackerel, herring/kippers, sardines, salmon, trout, tuna)
  • Walnuts and Brazil nuts
  • Wheat germ

 

Tahini (sesame seed spread) is a good source of unsaturated fats.

Tahini (sesame seed spread) is a good source of unsaturated fats. This tahini is made from black sesame seeds.

 

Trans fats

As a simple summary, trans fats are produced when plant oils are chemically altered to become solid. In the process, the unsaturated fats turn into trans fats. Trans fats are even worse for your heart than saturated fats. They are found in old-style margarines and any food where you see the words “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredients list. For more information, see my summary about trans fats in my last post.

 

Health effects

Importantly, low-fat diets are no longer recommended. Instead, there is strong evidence to support replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, but still eating a moderate amount of fat. In general, this means eating fewer foods high in animal fats, and more nuts, seeds and plant oils. Aim for a handful of nuts on most days. In the case of milk, cheese and yoghurt, this means choosing reduced fat options.

 

To summarise:

  • Try to minimise the amount of saturated fats in your diet.
  • Try to have more unsaturated fats in your diet.
  • (In general: less animal fat; more plant oils, nuts and seeds)
  • Low-fat diets are no longer recommended. Instead, a way of eating that is high in unsaturated fats (plant oils, nuts and seeds) and low in saturated fats (animal fats) is recommended.

 

If you have any questions, or want clarification, please comment below.

Next post, I’ll explore Omega-6 fatty acids and seed oils, which have received a lot of bad press lately. Stay tuned!

 

Disclaimer: The summary provided above is for the general public, and should not replace advice given by a dietitian or doctor. If you need dietary advice tailored to your individual circumstances, consult your GP or Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD).

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Butter or margarine?

Butter or margarine? One of the many choices when it comes to food that seems to offer no easy answer.

 

 

The camps

If you’re from the butter camp, chances are you’re aware that margarine “is naturally grey” and is only yellow because of the “artificial colours” that are added. You might see margarine as a concoction of chemicals, full of trans fats (even worse than saturated ‘animal’ fats), and not “real food” that we are made to eat.

If you’re in the margarine camp, chances are that you know most of the fat in butter is saturated ‘animal’ fat, which is the type that raises cholesterol in your body. When visiting a friend who uses butter, you might be wracked with pangs of guilt, with images of clogged arteries speeding through your mind.

Or you might be sitting on the fence, waiting for a post like this to come along!

 

The facts

When it comes to heart health, there’s no two ways about it: margarine is a better choice than butter. Butter is roughly 80% fat, 20% water. Saturated ‘animal’ fat makes up more than half (55%) the weight of butter, which, as we mentioned in the last post, is the major dietary factor in increasing cholesterol levels. On the other hand, being made from plant oils, margarine contains mostly unsaturated ‘healthier’ fats.

The National Heart Foundation of Australia and American Heart Association each recommend reducing saturated fat to 7%, or less, of the energy we eat, to maintain healthy arteries. To put this into perspective, saturated fat made up 12% of the energy Australians ate in 2011-12, and 11% of the energy Americans ate in 2009-10. So it is very important that we do all we can to eat far less animal fats, and replace them with plant oils.

In short: Switching from butter to margarine is a simple strategy to significantly reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet.

 

 

What is margarine? What about trans fats?

In simple terms, margarine is solidified plant oils, with flavour and colour added. Originally, this process involved a process called partial hydrogenation. One of the issues of partial hydrogenation is that it produces trans fats. Trans fats have received a lot of media coverage for being even worse for you than saturated fats, and this is one reason that some people believe that butter is a better choice.

In Australia, a different process is now used to produce margarine, called interesterification. This process produces negligible trans fats. If you’re unsure, check the Nutrition Information Panel of a margarine product next time you’re in a supermarket. Chances are it will have an (optional) section for trans fats in the Nutrition Information Panel, showing that the levels are nil or next to nil. Labelling of trans fats content is mandatory in the United States, but not in Australia or the EU.

Thankfully for those of us in Australia and New Zealand, Britain and the United States, the amount of trans fats we eat is under the safe limit of 1% of dietary energy set by the World Health Organisation. In all of these countries, our intake of saturated fats is of far greater concern (is much too high). Interestingly, the World Health Organisation note that, due to cheap hydrogenated oils, it is people living in developing countries who are more likely to have an intake of trans fats that exceeds the 1% limit.

 

Alternatives to both

If you can’t quite come at the idea of margarine being ‘unnatural’, but are keen to maintain healthy arteries, there is a third option. Use butter, but use it sparingly and occasionally. If you enjoy having a sandwich with butter on it everyday and can’t come at any of the tips below, I would seriously consider switching to margarine.

Ideas for a butter and margarine-free sandwich:

  • Have a salad sandwich with avocado or a drizzle of olive oil instead of butter. Add reduced fat cheese for extra flavour, protein & calcium
  • Avocado. Full of healthy ‘unsaturated’ plant oils and vitamins.
  • Peanut butter. It’s a great source of healthy plant oils and protein
  • Tahini (sesame seed spread), available in health food shops, Middle Eastern grocers, and supermarkets. It has a nutty flavour and is high in plant oils. Goes well with tomato for some sweetness.
  • A small drizzle of olive oil on bread makes the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of homemade soup
  • Try going butter/margarine free. It’s amazing how many people try sandwiches without a butter-like spread, and find they can’t taste the difference. You might be one of them!

Or try branching out and have left-overs, tuna and crackers or pasta salads for lunch instead. Chances are you’ll naturally end up enjoying better nutrition and more varied, tastier food at the same time!

 

Tahini made from black sesame seeds

Tahini made from black sesame seeds

 

Summary

Margarine is a much better choice for your arteries than butter, although there’s nothing wrong with having butter occasionally. If you can’t come at switching over to margarine entirely, branch out and try other lunch options. Chances are you’ll have a tastier range of choices for lunch too!

 

Further reading: The National Heart Foundation of Australia has some FAQ’s on this topic.

Eggs: To eat or not to eat?

Nutrition is certainly an evolving science. As more and more research is done into the health effect of different foods, nutrition scientists, health bodies and dietitians are constantly reviewing the evidence to ensure that the advice they give people is up-to-date. Occasionally, new evidence emerges to show that this advice is not accurate. and needs to change.

In my view, there’s no better symbol of this than the humble egg. Until relatively recently, people were advised to limit the number of eggs they ate. This was because, being high in cholesterol, eggs were thought to increase one’s risk of heart disease. (To put this into context, this was before we tested for “good” (HDL) and “bad” (LDL) cholesterol separately, and instead lumped it all into a single category. If your total cholesterol was high, that was bad. If it was low, that was good. Simple. Of course, we now know that it is the levels of good and bad cholesterol that matter, rather than total cholesterol)

 

 

The facts on cholesterol

We now know that dietary cholesterol has only a small impact on the amount of cholesterol in your body. Instead, other lifestyle factors have a much larger impact on raising your cholesterol levels. These include being overweight, smoking, being inactive, eating lots of animal (saturated) fats compared to plant oils, and drinking lots of alcohol often.

 

What does the Heart Foundation say about eggs?

So we’ve established that dietary cholesterol only has a relatively small impact on the amount of cholesterol in your body. Now let’s get back to eggs. According to the National Heart Foundation of Australia:

All Australians, including people with diabetes or metabolic syndrome, who follow a healthy balanced diet low in saturated fat can eat up to six eggs each week without increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease.

Similarly, the British Heart Foundation says:

Unless you have been advised otherwise by your doctor or dietician, if you like eggs, they can be included as part of a balanced and varied diet.

 

 

Eggs: A Nutrition Powerhouse

Eggs are, in fact, a nutrition powerhouse. They contain a huge range of vitamins and minerals. They are particularly high in protein, folate, iodine, vitamin A, selenium, vitamin B12, and some eggs can be good sources of omega-3 (check the label).

They are an especially good source of nutrition for people who have a poor appetite, or who live alone and don’t feel like cooking. Boiling two eggs, and serving with a source of whole grains and vegetables, can give you a nutritious meal in only a few minutes. Hard boiling them makes a quick and easy snack that you can take out with you. Of course, the best way to enjoy eggs is as part of an overall way of eating that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.

The healthiest way of cooking eggs? Try boiling, poaching or scrambling your eggs. Frying eggs, or making an omelette is alright too, but use a small amount of oil, rather than butter. Quiche, while delicious, is full of butter and cream, and is best saved for the occasional treat.

The Egg Farmers of Canada have a great site of egg recipes, ranging from the basic omelette to more advanced recipes for the adventurous.

 

Disclaimer: This is advice is only for the general population. Some people can be more sensitive to dietary cholesterol than others. If you have high cholesterol, talk to your GP or Accredited Practising Dietitian for tailored dietary advice.

 

Coming Soon: Front of Pack Labelling

Many people find that Nutrition Information Panels are anything but simple. Mandatory on almost all packaged food items sold in Australia since 2003, Nutrition Information Panels are the tables on the back of food products showing the nutritional breakdown of the product. Because of how difficult these can be to make sense of, the need for simpler nutrition information on food products has been clear for some time.

And enter the latest development in this space: front of pack labelling. This is the latest effort to make it easier for people to make healthy choices in the supermarket. The idea is that a simple graphic on the front of food products will enable people to, at a glance, choose healthier packaged foods. Globally, this is by no means a new initiative. For example, front of pack labelling has been in the UK since 2006, and a consistent, albeit voluntary, system was rolled out there mid-last year. But I’m writing about it now because this month, front of pack labelling is coming to Australia.

Traffic light

The form of front-of-pack labelling that has received the most attention globally has been the traffic light system. This is the form in place in the UK, and the form that has received the most attention in the media. The traffic light system uses 3 colour codes: green, amber and red, to assess the nutritional value of different aspects of the food item. For example, if the product is high in saturated fat, but low in salt, saturated fat would be coloured red, and salt would be coloured green.

Australia, on the other hand, has opted for a star system, like what we currently have for white goods. They are calling this the Health Star Rating. It’s a similar system to the UK model, but rather than being based on colours, it’s based on stars. It will be policed by an industry code of conduct so, like the UK, it’s also voluntary for food manufacturers to adopt. However, uptake of the Rating will be reviewed in 2016, and there is scope for it to become mandatory if industry uptake is low. Decisions around food policy, like this, are made by a roundtable of representatives from the public health sector, government, food industry and consumer groups.

 

 

The Health Star Rating will start to appear on the front of packaged food products from June onwards. It will give food products between 1/2 a star and 5 stars for their overall nutritional value. The healthier the product, the more stars it will have. The Rating will also display the saturated fat, sugar and sodium content of the product. Manufacturers will be able to add an extra, ‘positive’, fourth nutrient of their choice to this mix. The kilojoule content of the food product will also need to be displayed.

Check out  this article by consumer group Choice for an example of what these Health Star Ratings will look like.

 

I’m interested in hearing from you. Do you think front of pack labelling will make it easier to make healthy food choices in the supermarket, or is it more white noise on packaging that we just don’t need?

What should I eat?

A question which, in bygone days, was assuredly simple to answer:

“What should I eat?”

With organic kale chips, bread high in antioxidants and fat-free ice cream all becoming regular features in the supermarket aisle, anyone would be forgiven for thinking that this supposedly simple question is no longer so simple.

To make things even more confusing, several food outlets here in Australia have started displaying the kilojoule content of their foods. Suddenly, the shopper is no longer merely contending with strange foodstuffs, but an assault of meaningless numbers.

And in comes the revised Australian Dietary Guidelines. Published by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC, an Australian Government body) last year and based on the latest scientific evidence, they provide some refreshingly simple guidance about what we should be eating. Similar guidelines are in use around the world, including MyPlate in the US, and a dietary pagoda (think oriental food pyramid) in China.

Australian Guide to Healthy Eating Source: National Health and Medical Research Council

Source: National Health and Medical Research Council

 

For those of us who prefer it even simpler, the NHMRC summarised what the average Australian should be trying to do with their diet.

The average Australian should be trying to eat more:

  • Vegetables and legumes (beans, lentils, peas) – 5-6 serves a day
  • Fruits – 2 serves a day
  • Wholegrains
  • Reduced fat milk, yoghurt, cheese – 2 serves a day
  • Fish, seafood, poultry, eggs, legumes/beans (including soy), and nuts and seeds
  • Red meat (young females only)

 

The average Australian should be trying to eat less:

  • Starchy vegetables, like potato
  • Refined grains, like white bread or pasta
  • High and medium fat dairy products, including full-fat cheese
  • Red meats (adult males only)
  • Food and drinks high in saturated fat, added sugar, added salt, or alcohol (e.g. fried foods, fast food, cakes and biscuits, chocolate and confectionery, sweetened drinks).

Source: http://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/about-australian-dietary-guidelines

 

Journalist Michael Pollan, acclaimed author of Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food Rules, summarises what we should be eating into 3 refreshingly SIMPLE guiding principles:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

 

For more on Michael Pollan, go to: http://michaelpollan.com/books/

7 Facts Behind Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

Vitamin and mineral supplementation is big money in the Western world. There is very limited data regarding the size of the industry, but the National Institute of Complementary Medicine says that as of 2001, the worldwide value of vitamin sales was estimated to be $AUD49 billion. It’s big business here in Australia. The National Health Survey showed that as of 2011-12, almost 1 in 3 (29%) Australians used a dietary supplement. More than half (16%) of this was multi-vitamin or multi-mineral supplements, with the remainder being fish oil. Working in community pharmacy during my high school and university years, I saw first-hand how commonplace supplements have become.

There is a place for vitamin and mineral supplements. The question is whether that place is a niche market for the few who really need them, or a booming industry for the worried well. With such a large percentage of us taking vitamin pills, I thought I’d give a run-down of what the science says.

 

Fact: In wealthy countries, multivitamins are only needed in rare instances.

If you’re eating an average Western diet and don’t have a serious medical disease, chances are you’re wasting your money on that multivitamin. Multivitamins are usually only recommended in isolated cases, for example people suffering from malnutrition (including anorexia nervosa) and diseases of malabsorption, such as cystic fibrosis. In Australia, studies of the population’s nutritional intake that have been conducted by public health bodies have regularly shown that, with the exception of some isolated nutrients such as calcium, we are doing very well. In fact, with current obesity levels in Australia being unprecedented, overnutrition (eating too much) and overall diet quality are now considered to be larger issues here than undernutrition.

 

Fact: Individual vitamin and mineral supplementation can occasionally be necessary.

If you are deficient in a vitamin or mineral, you’ll usually only need that specific nutrient- not a multivitamin.

For example, if you avoid eating dairy products, you may need a calcium supplement (although trying to include more sources of calcium in your diet, such as canned fish with bones or lactose-free products, is recommended). If you have been diagnosed with iron deficiency anaemia, you may need iron tablets. Likewise for Vitamin D. For women planning on becoming pregnant in the next 3 months, and in the first 3 months of pregnancy, public health bodies recommend a folic acid and iodine supplement to support the healthy development of the baby. Vegans will need foods fortified with Vitamin B12 and calcium or a supplement, and should also consider an algal omega-3 supplement. People who drink a large quantity of alcohol on an ongoing basis should consider a thiamin supplement (as well as seeking professional support).

What you probably don’t need is a multivitamin containing everything else.

 

Fact: More of a good thing is not better.

A lot of us who take vitamin pills take them as a safety net. The idea that taking a pill to make up for those days where our diet isn’t so great, on the surface, seems to make sense. However there’s no evidence that getting more than the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)- the amount that meets the nutrient requirements of 99% of the healthy population- has any health benefits. While any excess of water-soluble vitamins will just go down the toilet (see below), fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E, K) are stored in your body. Excesses of these can do damage.

Here in Australia, vitamin supplements containing Vitamin A must show a disclaimer that states ‘WARNING – When taken in excess of 3000 micrograms retinol equivalents, vitamin A can cause birth defects’.  2 studies with very large sample sizes conducted in the 1990’s discovered that, rather than reducing the risk of lung cancer as had been expected, Vitamin A supplementation increased the risk, as well as increasing overall mortality. There is also some evidence that Vitamin E  may increase the risk of heart failure and overall mortality. Being acidic, chewable Vitamin C may increase the risk of dental caries.

One thing to keep in mind, too, is that science is constantly learning more about the effects of many of these supplements. For now, it’s probably best to keep to your fruit and vegetables to be safe.

 

Fact: Water-soluble vitamins get flushed down the toilet.

‘Water-soluble’ literally means ‘dissolves in water’. Water-soluble vitamins are Vitamin C and the B-group vitamins (Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin (B6), folate/folic acid, Vitamin B12, biotin and pantothenic acid). Your body takes what it needs from food, and excretes the rest out in your urine.

 

Fact: Supplements are not all clinically tested.

In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) divides therapeutic goods (including medicines and vitamins) into 2 classes: listed and registered. Vitamin supplements are usually classed as ‘listed’, although a select few are ‘registered’. Listed medicines (contain ‘Aust L’ on the label) are assessed as having a lower level of risk than those that need to be registered. Crucially, ‘listed’ medicines do not need to be tested to show that they actually work, and many may be no better than a placebo.

 

The Nutrition Information Panel of a packaged breakfast cereal sold in Australia. Note the number of vitamins and minerals that have been added (see bottom half of the table)

 

Fact: A lot of packaged foods are already fortified with vitamins.

Next time you eat breakfast cereal (if you eat it), look at the Nutrition Information Panel on the box. Chances are there’ll be a whole bucketload of vitamins and minerals added to the product. Also, in Australia as of 2009, all bread-making flour (except organic) must be fortified with iodine and folic acid. Iodine because Australian soil is very low in iodine, and Australia has high rates of iodine deficiency. Folic acid fortification was introduced as a means of reducing the rate of neural tube defects, like spina bifida.

 

So there you have it: 7 facts behind vitamin pills. Hopefully that’s helped clear some confusion! Of course, this is general advice for the average healthy population. If you want advice about your own situation, consult your GP or Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD).

Welcome to Nourish Me Simply!

Stuart Miles. 10094977. Free Digital Photos; 2012. Available from: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Other_Health_and_Bea_g278-Eat_Diet_Keys_p94977.html

Source: Stuart Miles. 10094977. Free Digital Photos; 2012.

 

I’m really excited to be starting Nourish Me Simply. I have always loved writing. Blogging seemed the next logical step to marry this love of writing with my other passion, nutrition.

Nutrition articles in newspapers definitely played a major part in me deciding that I wanted to become a dietitian as a teenager. I remember hearing about the health benefits of olive oil, and eagerly adding extra olive oil when eating tuna, canned in oil, and pasta (don’t try this at home, kids!). One time, I heard that eating black pepper and green tea at the same sitting boosted your metabolism, and guess what I tried soon after? (!) I eagerly read about the nutritional benefits of individual foods, but then couldn’t quite work out how to include them in my everyday diet. If blueberries were full of antioxidants and garlic was good for blood pressure, did that mean that these two foods should now become the mainstay of my diet?

You see, reading about nutrition in popular press often opens up a can of worms. What starts out as a simple interest in doing right by one’s body, can all-too-easily morph into overwhelming confusion. Depending on your personality, this seems to often lead to either anxious, hyper restrictive eating, or feelings of apathy- “We’re all going to die one day anyway”. The truth is, nutrition for the average, healthy person IS simple. It’s not about individual ‘super’ foods being a panacea, or that one spoon of ice cream giving you a heart attack- it’s your whole dietary pattern that matters. There is strong evidence that what’s best for you is eating a mainly plant-based diet, with plenty of fruits, vegetables and legumes (beans) and moderate amounts of fish, dairy and nuts.

At Nourish Me Simply, I aim to look at different aspects of nutrition- including scientific studies featured in the popular press, health conditions, diets, healthy eating across different cultures, you name it! And in all that, live up to the central theme of this blog:

Keeping nutrition SIMPLE.