Nutritionist Preethy Karunakar at the Middle East Hospital provides insight into some common myths that will change the way you approach food.
How do food labels benefit us?
People look at food labels for different reasons, but there is a way to use the information to your advantage.
What is important is to check the daily value (DV) percentages on the label. The values printed are based on the recommendations for a standard 2,000-calorie diet. Bear in mind that a five per cent DV (or less) of any particular component is low and a 20 per cent DV (or more) is high.
For instance, if the amount of total fat in one serving listed on the sample nutrition label is 18 per cent DV, is it contributing a lot, or a little, to your daily 100 per cent fat limit?
This 18 per cent DV, which is below 20 per cent DV, may not be too high, but if you ate the whole package that comprises two servings, then you would be eating double that amount — 36 per cent of your daily allowance for total fat.
Can we eat fruits at any time of the day?
Fruits are sugars. Eating them when your body doesn’t need glucose results in its excess, which is stored as fat.
The best time to eat fruit is as a snack between main meals. Combining them with a small portion of nuts or yoghurt slows down digestion to keep you satisfied till your next mealtime.
Olive oil vs virgin coconut oil – which is best?
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids, which can lower cholesterol levels, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease.
It is claimed that coconut oil is beneficial for everything, from preventing heart disease to weight loss and improved digestion. It contains ‘medium-chain triglycerides’, which are absorbed into the body faster when compared to olive oil. Theoretically, your body would burn this type of fat as a fuel source more readily.
Both the oils are healthy, but ensure that your overall fat consumption is around 20 to 30 per cent of your total calorie intake per day.
Is butter really harmful?
Studies show that there is no association between saturated fat and heart disease. Butter contains short- and medium-chain fats, which are metabolised differently from other fats. They lead to improved satiety and increased fat-burning. Moreover, dairy from grass-fed cows is particularly rich in Vitamin K2.
Have the unsalted version with vegetables or natural cereals, rather than with processed foods.
Quick tip: A tablespoon of unsalted butter in your morning cup of black coffee will boost your metabolism.
Almonds – soaked, raw or roasted – what’s the verdict?
Many are unaware that the brown peel of almonds contains tannin, which inhibits nutrient absorption. Once the almonds are soaked, the peel comes off easily, allowing the nuts to release nutrients. Soaked almonds also help with digestion. It releases the enzyme lipase, which is beneficial for fat digestion. So make a habit of soaking the almonds overnight and have your share of nutrition every morning.
Call 17 362-233 or visit the Middle East Hospital in Segaya.