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Know the facts on fats – which should you choose?

How can you be more health smart?

Our body needs some fat from food as it helps us absorb some vitamins and minerals; but some fats are much healthier for us than others. Good fats come from foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, eggs, extra virgin olive oil and fish, and we should have some of these every day.

Olive oil & nuts: The health benefits

goodfatsA number of studies have found that a Mediterranean style diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish and olive oil has positive health outcomes for people living with diabetes and for people who have a high-risk of heart disease.

3 main benefits include:

  1. Lowering the 'bad cholesterol' (low density lipoproteins (LDL))
  2. Improving blood glucose control
  3. Improving insulin sensitivity

By making small dietary (and lifestyle) changes people living with diabetes can improve their management of diabetes as well as lowering their risk of heart disease.

Tips:

  • Snack on unsalted nuts - they are a good source of protein, fibre and have a low Glycaemic Index (GI), so they keep you fuller longer
  • 1/3 cup or 30g (e.g. one serve) of nuts per day as part of a healthy diet is recommended
  • Add nuts to cereal, salad or stir fry
  • Eating nuts after a meal may help lower blood glucose levels
  • Use extra virgin olive oil for dipping, sprinkling or tossing onto vegetables and salads or cooking at low temperatures
  • When cooking, especially at high temperatures, use canola oil or rice bran oil.

Here are some recipes for you to try which contain olive oil: 

Eggs

Eggs contain 11 different vitamins and minerals which help keep our body healthy. Eggs are full of protein to help keep you feeling full for longer and make a great meat alternative; as well as contain omega 3 fats which are good for our heart and blood vessels.

Everyone should aim to have about 6 eggs per week, so why not scramble or poach some eggs for breakfast, boil some and add them to your salad or sandwich or even make a quiche for a main meal.

Click here for more information about eggs. 

Egg recipes to try:

Avocados

Avocados are full of goodness which we all need to be healthy. Avocados are high in fibre, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E, potassium and of course, healthy fats which keeps our heart and blood vessels healthy.

Why not use avocado as a spread on your sandwich, cut it into cubes and place in your salad, create a tasty guacamole dip, or a salsa?

Tip: to pick a ripe avocado, don't squeeze the sides of it as you can bruise the flesh. Instead, press it's 'nose' where it used to hang from the tree, if it is a little bit soft when you press with your finger, it is ready to eat!

Click here for more information about avocados.

Avocado recipes to try: 

Fish

We should have fish three times per week as part of a healthy balanced diet, as it is high in protein and high in omega 3 fatty acids which are good for our heart, blood vessels and nerves.

In Australia, we have so many different types of fish available on the market and the best choices of fish for omega 3 fatty acids are the oilier types of fish which include: salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel. Fish are not only a good source of healthy fats, but they also contain calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium and potassium.

Try to include fresh fish in your weekly meal plan, give it a go and see how you feel.

Fish recipes to try:

Stay health smart

Are you looking for ways to be healthier? We have some simple tips and ideas to help you be more health smart and reduce your added sugar intake, click here to find out more.

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