Major Food Groups Explained

These articles on the major food groups (and minor ones, too) are designed for regular people.

There’s a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to the food groups, and the place each food group has in our diet.

I’ve written fairly extensively on the topic, so you can browse through the relevant articles below.

However, I’ve shortlisted three of the more popular articles on food groups…

What Are Legumes?

A Series on Vegetarianism

A Series on Cooking Oils

Is Coconut Oil Healthy

flickr: stephbond

As with many oils, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding coconut oil.

And, just as with canola oil, the big question is, ‘is coconut oil healthy?

Is Coconut Oil Healthy: What’s In It?

In order to know if coconut oil is healthy, we first need to know what’s in it.

Coconut oil is made up of around 90% saturated fat, 6% monounsaturated fat, and 2% polyunsaturated fat.

Differing from other highly saturated fats however, coconut oil is mostly made up of medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs).

Why does that matter?

Well, MCFAs are more easily digested and absorbed in the body than other fats, and for this reason they are often used in enteral feeding formula for critically ill patients.

Due to the MCFA makeup of coconut oil, some suggest it is therefore different from other saturated fats, and as a result it doesn’t have the same ‘unhealthy’ effects associated with regular saturated fats, making coconut oil healthy. Click to read more…

flickr: paraflyer

Note: You might be interested in my series on Cooking Oils which looks at olive oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, and others.

A few people I’ve talked with recently have raised their concerns about the use of canola oil in cooking. Essentially, they’re asking “Is canola oil healthy?”

However, the use of this oil is widely supported by many health care professionals, who consider it to be safe and healthy for human consumption.

A simple search on the internet displays some very disturbing, and sometimes far fetched, claims about canola oil. These are just a few:
Click to read more…

Olive oil bottleWith so many agencies promoting the use of different vegetable oils, ranging from canola, to safflower, to olive oil, it can be very difficult to know which one to choose, particularly if you’re worried about the dietary impact on your health.

This isn’t made any easier as you browse the relevant section of your local supermarket.

I have to say I too am confused at times, and I feel that manufacturers labeling often leaves a lot to be desired, and adds to my confusion.

I want to take a look at some of the popular, and not so well know oils in more detail. There are a few I know very little about, and I’m looking forward to digging deeper on these.

But first of all, we’ll take a look at olive oil.

Health Benefits Of Olive Oil

Click to read more…

What Are Legumes

Flickr: roger smith

You’ve probably heard that legumes are good for you.

Or, perhaps you’ve been told by a paleo promoter that they’re to be avoided.

Either way, today I’m going to answer your questions what are legumes, and reveal whether they are they something you should go out of your way to add to your diet.

What are legumes

Dole Nutrition state that:

“There are two types of legumes: mature and immature. Mature legumes are the dried seeds found inside pods that hang from the stems of certain plants. They are excellent sources of fibre (approximately 15 g/cup), rich in protein, and low in fat…Green beans and peas, commonly referred to as vegetables, are actually immature legumes because they are harvested before maturing on the plant.”

Well known legumes include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, and peanuts (a peanut is a legume whose pod does not split open on its own).
Click to read more…

Having recently finished a series on vegetarianism, this is a summary post containing my recent articles for easy reference. A range of topics have been covered, for example – How many servings are required from each of the groups? What nutrients will you benefit from? What meat and/or dairy alternatives are available?

You may also be interested in reading Vitamin B12 – Essential for Vegans, or Vitamin B12 Deficiency – A Silently Dangerous Epidemic.

why eat pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds are a good source of many minerals and ‘healthy’ fats.

They are the ‘eggs’ that contain all of the nutrients needed to nourish the growth of a new plant, therefore it’s not surprising that they are so good for us.

Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds, otherwise known as pepitas, are flat, dark green seeds (sometimes incased in a yellow-white husk), they have a chewy texture, with a sweet, nutty flavour.
Click to read more…

Dairy and Dairy Substitutes

Dairy products, or their substitutes, should make up a moderate proportion of all vegetarian or vegan diets. It is important to ensure that you’re getting adequate amounts from this group, whatever form you choose to consume them in.

What foods are included in this group?

  • Milk
  • Yoghurt
  • Cheese

Dairy alternatives

For those who do not consume dairy products, you should include some of the items listed below. Be sure to choose those that have been fortified, where possible.

Click to read more…