Dietary Fats Explained

All fats are high in calories, so it’s important to bear this in mind if you are watching your weight.

In terms of your heart, it’s important to think about the type of fat you are eating.

A typical diet is made up of different types of fat. While you need to make sure you eat foods that contain healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood, which can increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease.

You can have a high cholesterol level even if you are a healthy weight. And even if your cholesterol level is healthy, it’s important to eat well and to be active to keep your heart healthy.

Choosing fats

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats provide essential fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins – so they’re an important part of your diet.

Wherever possible replace saturated fats with small amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

The average man should have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day, and the average woman no more than 20g a day.

Type of fats


Have these in small amounts. They can help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Found in avocados, olives, olive oil, rapeseed oil. Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios and spreads made from these nuts.


Have these in small amounts. Polyunsaturated fats help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and provide essential fatty acids.

Found in oily fish, corn oil, sesame oil, soya oil, and spreads made from those oils. Flaxseed, pine nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts.


Swap these for unsaturated fats. Eating too much saturated fat increases the amount of cholesterol in your blood.

Found in processed meats like sausages, ham, burgers. Fatty meat. Hard cheeses including cheddar. Whole milk and cream. Butter, lard, ghee, suet, palm oil and coconut oil.


Avoid wherever possible. They can increase cholesterol in your blood. Foods with hydrogenated oils or fats in them likely contain trans fats.

Found in fried foods, takeaways, snacks like biscuits, cakes or pastries. Hard margarines.

Saturated fat guidelines

At the moment UK guidelines encourage us to swap saturated fats for unsaturated fats. You might have seen reports about a study we helped to fund which suggests there’s not enough evidence to back the current UK guidelines on the types of fat we eat. We think more research is needed before suggesting any major changes to healthy eating guidance.

Top tips to help you reduce your saturated fat

  • Swap butter, lard, ghee and coconut and palm oils with small amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as olive, rapeseed or sunflower oils and spreads.
  • Choose lean cuts of meat and make sure you trim any excess fat and remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
  • Instead of pouring oils straight from the bottle, use a spray oil or measure out your oils with a teaspoon.
  • Read food labels to help you make choices that are lower in saturated fat.
  • Opt to grill, bake, steam, boil or poach your foods.
  • Make your own salad dressings using ingredients like balsamic vinegar, low fat yoghurt, lemon juice, and herbs, with a dash of olive oil.
  • Use semi-skimmed, 1% or skimmed milk rather than whole or condensed milk.
  • Cottage cheese, ricotta and extra light soft cheese are examples of lower fat cheese options. Remember that many cheeses are high in saturated fat so keep your portions small – matchbox sized. Opt for strongly flavoured varieties and grate it to make a little go a long way

Source : British Heart Foundation


The Sugar Wars: Rhetoric or Reason?

Over the past 50 years researchers, clinicians, professional organizations, and health charities have waged war on sugar, calling for dietary recommendations to be changed and for a sugar tax on soft drinks and sweet treats in an effort to reduce obesity and cardiovascular diseases. In 2014, the WHO recommended that adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than ten percent of their total energy intake. But could the war on sugar be bad for your health? Experts present the arguments both for and against sugar in this hotly contested debate on the “Sugar Wars” published in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.

In his article, Edward Archer, PhD, of EvolvingFX, Jupiter, FL, USA, challenged the latest dietary recommendations and presented evidence from multiple domains to show that “diet” is a necessary but trivial factor in metabolic health. “Anti-sugar rhetoric is simply diet-centric disease-mongering engendered by physiologic illiteracy,” he wrote. “My position is that dietary sugars are not responsible for obesity or metabolic diseases and that the consumption of simple sugars and sugar-polymers (e.g., starches) up to 75 percent of total daily caloric intake is innocuous in healthy individuals.”

In defense of sugar, Dr. Archer argues that:

  • Biological life depends on sugar in its many forms, for example, sugars and sugar-polymers are major nutritive constituents of many foods and beverages including breast milk, dairy products, fruit, fruit juices, honey, sucrose (i.e., table sugar; a disaccharide of glucose, and fructose), sugar-sweetened beverages, rice, beans, potatoes, wheat, corn, quinoa, and other cereal grains.
  • Sugars and sugar-polymers have played critical roles in both human evolution and dietary history and were the major sources of nutrient-energy (calories) for most of the global population throughout human history.
  • “Diet-centric” researchers often ignore the fact that physical activity, not diet, is the major modifiable determinant of metabolic health.
  • The consumption of dietary sugars up to 80 percent of total energy intake is entirely innocuous in active populations.
  • There is strong, positive association between sugar availability/consumption and health.

Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus are not diet-related diseases but are metabolic conditions caused by the positive energy balance (i.e., over-nutrition) driven by physical inactivity in past and current generations.

Relations between physical activity (PA), body mass, and energy intake. As PA declines below the metabolic tipping point into the “Sedentary” range, energy intake and energy expenditure become dissociated due to insufficient depletion/repletion cycles, and body mass begins to increase as energy balance becomes positive and insulin sensitivity is lost. (From Archer: In Defense of Sugar)

In a Letter to the Editor, James J. DiNicolantonio, PharmD, and James H. O’Keefe, MD, of the Department of Preventive Cardiology, Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, MI, USA, provide strong criticisms to Dr. Archer’s positions by arguing that dietary sugar (either glucose, sucrose, or high-fructose corn syrup) is not necessary for life, and that humans did not consume refined sucrose or high fructose corn syrup throughout most of their evolution.

“The truth is you really can’t outrun a bad diet, especially when it comes to overconsuming refined sugar. While it’s true that exercise may reduce the risk of obesity from overconsuming refined sugar, it doesn’t prevent dental cavities, inflammation of the gums, or inflammation that occurs in the intestine, liver, and kidneys when the body processes large amounts of sugar,” say Dr. DiNicolantonio and Dr. O’Keefe. “Healthy populations that consume fairly high amounts of raw honey who also live hunter-gatherer lifestyles should not be used as an example to give an industrialized sedentary population an excuse to overconsume refined sugar. Importantly, raw honey is not the same as refined sugar.”

In his rebuttal, Dr. Archer reasserts that obesity and metabolic diseases are caused by the confluence of physical inactivity and non-genetic evolutionary processes over many generations. He points out that by the late 1940s, both the life- and health-spans in the USA had increased dramatically despite half of all infants being reared on infant formula – a 100 percent artificial/synthetic product containing around 40 percent of calories from added sugars (e.g., lactose, sucrose, glucose, fructose, and/or corn syrup). He concludes: “It is time for the medical and scientific communities to return to their roots, eschew magical and miraculous thinking, and demonstrate a modicum of skepticism by refuting the illiterate nonsense and puritanical proscriptions engendered by diet-centrism.”

In an accompanying Editorial, Carl J. “Chip” Lavie, MD, FACC, FACP, FCCP, of the Ochsner Clinical School, The University of Queensland School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA, and Editor of Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, states his personal belief that the ill effects of sugar have been over-emphasized by scientists and, especially, by the media. “Most sedentary people who are gaining weight and/or have high glucose and/or triglycerides should limit their carbohydrates and, especially, simple sugars, but for lean physically active individuals without these characteristics, sugars and carbohydrates are not toxic and, in fact, are probably helpful.” Dr. Lavie, however, feels it is important to have the scientists discuss opposing viewpoints in the journal.


New Ingredient: Vegetable Sheets

Each sheet is made of 100% of one kind of vegetable using special technology developed by Hiroshima manufacturing manufacturer Orion Tech Co., Ltd.

The whole vegetable, good looking or ugly, from seeds to skin is used to make the sheet. Thus food waste is minimized.

The following are some dishes made with the sheets.

Are Scallions and Green Onions the Same Thing? What About Spring Onions?

Alex Delany wrote . . . . . . . . .

It’s all kind of confusing. We break it down.

Are scallions and green onions the same thing? What about spring onions and green onions? These long, skinny alliums are like three very similar shades of the same color. You could call them all red or purple or blue, but in doing so, wouldn’t you be cheating them out of their individual merits? Yeah, you kind of would, in one case. They all look the same, but there are some differences between them too.

Scallions and green onions are literally the same thing. There. Now you know. The only difference is how they’re chosen to be labeled at the store. Spring onions, on the other hand, are a different thing. The bulb of a spring onion is much larger, compared to the small, not-so-bulbous scallion. The bulb of a spring onion actually looks like a mini onion, spherical and bright white.

Most scallions (and green onions) never grow true bulbs. The ends of the stalks stay small. Spring onions on the other hand are a different species that do produce bulbs once they mature.

In terms of flavor, scallions have the sharp, somewhat-spicy, peppery flavor that white and yellow onions produce. This makes them a nice substitute for small amounts of chopped onions, in a pinch. Spring onions, on the other hand, possess a lot more sweetness, which makes them a good stand-in for sweet onions.

So how do we use them? Since spring onions have sweetness, they’re perfect to roast whole, with olive oil and salt, and finish with a bit of lemon juice. We eat them straight-up, alongside grilled and roasted proteins.

Scallions and green onions have a few uses, but the most common is as a garnish. The green parts are great for slicing thin and sprinkling atop anything from soup to white rice. The more pungent white parts are great for slicing and throwing into a stir-fry or some fried rice. But if you want to get some serious char on a scallion, go ahead and roast or grill it whole at high heat. The aggressively colored allium is perfect for adding to yogurt dips or vinaigrettes.

But really, we just want you to use alliums, whether they be scallions, green onions, or spring onions. (We‘re big fans of their cousin the shallot too.) Use them frequently, so the next time you end up on Jeopardy, you’ll confidently say “Types of Alliums for $2,000, Alex.”

Source: Bon Appetit

How Cauliflower Became Pizza’s Hottest Ingredient

Khushbu Shah wrote . . . . . . .

Do a quick a scan of a grocery store in 2018 and you’ll notice something peculiar: Nearly every good carbohydrate also has an alternative made from cauliflower. This phenomenon ranges from bags of cauliflower “fried rice” speckled with diced carrots and peas to “gnocchi“ constructed from compressed bits of the cruciferous vegetable. But the food that takes up the most shelf space are cauliflower-crusted pizzas — yes, pizzas with a base made typically from a mix of shredded cauliflower, cheese, egg, and seasonings. Everyone from Whole Foods to Trader Joe’s carries a cauliflower pie, as either a plain crust or a full-blown pizza loaded with cheese, tomato sauce, pepperoni and the like.

The cauliflower crusts aren’t just filling grocery shelves either — recently, they’ve found a home on restaurant menus. West coast-based pizza chain California Pizza Kitchen added the vegetable crust to its menu earlier this year. In New York City, you can find the crusts topped with vegetables like caramelized onions and fresh tomatoes, and Los Angeles is home to a pizza delivery company called Skinny B*itch that will send cauliflower pies straight to your door.

While it might seem like it, Big Cauliflower did not invent this dish. It appears that humanity first had the idea to substitute crusts made from flour, water, and yeast, with crusts made from shredded cauliflower as early as 2009. The blogger behind Your Lighter Side claims to have invented the recipe that May, after deciding to swap out rice flour for riced cauliflower in a gluten-free pizza crust recipe she found in an old cookbook. The idea eventually set Pinterest ablaze with bloggers from around the internet sharing their own versions of the vegetable crust.

It’s not hard to see the appeal: A pizza made with a cauliflower crust is definitely surrounded by a health halo. It turns pizza from a gluttonous indulgent treat — loaded with carbs and gluten, two modern-day nutritional pariahs — and turned into something made mostly from vegetables. Cauliflower crusts allow those attempting to adhere to a gluten-free or low-carb diet the opportunity to still tear through slices of pizza.

Gail Becker, a working mother of two boys with celiac disease, found herself intrigued by the cauliflower pizza and attempted to make it one night in early 2016. “It took 90 minutes to make a crust after a day of work.” Her sons loved the dish, but as someone with a full-time job, she was unsure of when she’d have the time to go through the lengthy process of ricing, draining, and baking the cauliflower to make a pizza again.

“I thought, there had to be a better way,” said Becker. She scoured the internet and every grocery store she could find, but a pre-made cauliflower crust just did not exist. So she set about figuring out a way to make her own, launching Caulipower in the process. Her company offers plain crusts — made with things like cauliflower, tapioca flour, almond flour, and coconut oil — for customizing alongside regular pizzas with toppings like margarita, three cheese, and pepperoni. All you have to do is pop the pizza in the oven and 20 or so minutes later, dinner is ready.

Caulipower pizzas can now be found in grocery stores around the country. Soon after Becker launched product, beloved grocery behemoth Trader Joe’s also introduced its own cauliflower crusts and pizzas, with other companies following suite. The spread of cauliflower crusts doesn’t seem like it will slow down any time soon, either.

Brian Sullivan, the SVP of Culinary Innovation for California Pizza Kitchen says that the chain spent 6 months developing its crust before introducing it to the menu in January of 2018. The option was so popular instantly that it is has become a permanent menu option. Sullivan adds that over 10% of all CPK pizzas are ordered with a cauliflower crust already. “We’ve seen a steady increase in Cauliflower Pizza Crust sales each week.”

CPK is the first national chain to sell a cauliflower crust, but CPK “wouldn’t be surprised to see other restaurant brands follow suit.” Who knows, you may soon seen stuffed-crust cauliflower crust pizzas at Dominos, or maybe even a Detroit-style cauliflower crust at Little Caesars — that is until the next vegetable we can turn into pizza out comes along.

Source: Thrillist