The issue over flaxseeds as a suitable source of omega-3 fatty acids is much debated, but what’s the truth of the matter?
Well, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are a rich source of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). However, because flaxseed oil contains this omega-3 fatty acid, many people get confused, thinking that the benefits of flaxseed oil are the same as those found in fish oil – this is not the case.
Flaxseed (not the oil) is also rich in lignan, which is a type of phytoestrogen (antioxidant), and they also provide a source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Flaxseed oil however contains only the ALA component of flaxseed, and not the fibre, or lignan components.
So, what makes the omega-3 in flaxseeds and fish oil different?
As a British dietitian I’m a huge supporter of the plate model. I think it’s a wonderfully simple and easy to understand example of what a balanced diet should look like, and I am extremely pleased to announce that it’s had a revamp!
It was felt that the old model needed to be more appealing. They’ve given it a more contemporary feel, which better represents the foods we currently eat. The model has also been renamed, “The Eatwell Plate,” which I really like, and I feel it has a much more positive sound to it.
If you haven’t heard of glyconutrients, the chances are you probably don’t have a friend or relative involved in selling them on their multi-level sales structure! Whilst I don’t think all multi-level sales are bad, I’m always a little wary of this type of marketing.
So, what are glyconutrients?
Glyconutrients apparently help the immune system by working ‘naturally’ with it, blocking bacteria from attaching to the body’s cells – if the bacteria can’t get through, they can’t make us sick.
Recently we’ve been taking a look at some of the cooking oils available in supermarkets and health food stores. Some of these oils have been pretty well known. However, rice bran oil is one which is relatively new to me, and I actually had an extremely difficult time finding sound information about it.
What is rice bran oil?
Well, it is the oil extracted from the germ and inner husk of the rice. It has a very mild and clean flavour, making it suitable for a range of different dishes. It is notable for its high smoke point of 250°C, and also for its zero trans fat content. In terms of the touted health benefits, it is a source of the antioxidant vitamin E, and contains the plant sterol oryzanol, which is thought to help lower LDL cholesterol levels. Click to read more…
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…