There are so many foods in the supermarkets today branded as superfoods. They are dressed up as the answer to all our nutrition prayers and along with that we can expect to get the body of our dreams if we eat them. But, this isn’t always the case.
Coconut oil, is just that, an oil. Yes, it may contain higher amounts of nutrients and saturated fats beneficial for increasing good cholesterol. But it is extremely high in fat. If you do not track the amount of coconut oil you are using or add tablespoon after tablespoon to your cooking, you will gain weight. I love the taste of coconut oil but I will use it liberally as I would with any oil.
Again, we are told to grab a handful of nuts to curb hunger pangs. However, if you go back to my previous post, you will see that a handful is very difficult to determine. I always weigh out any nuts that I eat, so I can be certain of the amount of calories I am consuming. I actually prefer having something that feels like real food as a snack, a small wrap filled with lean protein and salad or a protein shake. These often fill me up for longer, contain higher amounts of protein and are lower in fat. Eat whichever you prefer but eat them mindfully.
Quinoa is a carbohydrate, a wholesome grain with fairly high protein levels for a grain (around 14g per 100g). However it is still a carb just as pasta is. Would you pile your plate high with pasta and expect to still lose weight and hit your goals, chances are, probably not. Take the same approach with quinoa and ensure you know the quantities you are eating it in.
Possibly playing the biggest part in the superfoods movement, raw food. Extremely popular within the past few years, raw food and especially raw desserts have become extremely popular. As soon as someone says a brownie is raw, it seems like a free pass to eat as much as you want because it is full of natural ingredients yet still tastes incredible. However, they are meant as treats to have occasionally. Often packed full of sugary dates and fatty nuts, they are all natural yet the sugar and fat still counts. Quite often, the calorie content of these raw desserts are higher than in the original ‘unhealthy’ version. If you are trying to diet, the key is to lower your calories consumed.
In my opinion the most delicious fruit/vegetable. Fantastic with eggs on toast or made into guacamole. It is however, again, full of fat. Yes this may, at the moment, be considered to be good fat but it is still fat nonetheless. It needs to be mindfully consumed and preferably measured out. 100g avocado contains 15g fat and 160 calories. Fairly substantial for a pretty small portion. By all means enjoy avocados but try to maintain some control over portion size. Just because a chocolate mousse is made from avocado and cacao, does not mean it has no calories, even if it is made with superfoods.
So the moral of todays blog, enjoy eating and preparing food, but do not be influenced by the latest superfood fads. Enjoy them as part of a healthy, balanced diet and be aware that everything should be enjoyed in moderation if you want to achieve a specific physique.