OH! Magazine - Australian Version June 2018 - Page 8
( NUTRITION )
FIVE HIGH FAT FOODS
FOR GOOD HEALTH
Dr Joanna explores new research findings.
n the past we were told that fat
makes us fat and following a low
fat diet was the key to better health and
weight control. If you continue to have
that hangover from the low fat era, it’s
time for a rethink.
Fats play an important role in your diet.
They deliver energy of course, but they
also carry fat-soluble vitamins and many
important plant compounds such as
antioxidants. They play a role in slowing
the process of emptying your stomach, as
well as helping to moderate appetite.
They influence cholesterol production in
the liver, and specific fats are necessary
in the body for the functioning of different
systems as well as for optimum brain and
skin health. But that is not a carte
blanche to tuck into lashings of butter,
cream and coconut oil! While there has
been some debate over the links between
saturated fat and health, the bottom line
is that while these fats may not be as bad
for us as once thought, they don’t deliver
health benefits either.
pressure, is associated with a reduced
risk of heart disease, several types of
cancer and type 2 diabetes, it’s anti-
inflammatory and it’s fabulous for skin
health. salads, mix with chilli, lime and red onion
to make a glorious salsa, mash with
coriander and lemon juice to make a
guacamole dip or add to a green smoothie
for a deliciously creamy flavour.
The fresher and higher quality the oil is,
the better it is for you. That’s because not
only does Extra Virgin Olive Oil contain
predominantly healthy monounsaturated
fats, it is also a rich source of antioxidants
and other beneficial plant compounds.
The majority of Australian Extra Virgin
Olive Oils meet the high industry
standards recommended and I’m
delighted to say that after leading
advocacy group CHOICE testing 23
supermarket extra virgin olive oils, they
announced Australian Cobram Estate
Extra Virgin Olive Oil as the best
performer! 3. Walnuts
Use extra virgin olive oil to cook with (yes
it is safe), drizzle, flavour and dress.
On the other hand there are high fat foods
that really do have research backing to
show that they have many benefits for our
health. This is via the types of fats in the
food, but also what comes along with the
fat. So let’s take a look at five of the top
healthy high fat foods that you should be
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Naturally you knew this one would be top
of the list! I’ve been a long term supporter
of Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil as it
really is a quality product and when it
comes to oil, quality really matters.
Research continues to grow to show that
Extra Virgin Olive Oil helps to lower blood
OH! MAGAZINE ( JUNE 2018 )
There are only two fruits to my knowledge
that are rich in fats – olives and avocados.
It’s perhaps not all that surprisingly
therefore that like olives, avocados are
rich in monounsaturated fat. This fat
helps to deliver the vitamin E also
present, an important antioxidant in t he
body, and it’s necessary to absorb the
array of plant compounds including beta-
carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin (these
play a role in eye health). Avocados also
provide fibre, vitamin C, potassium and
they are excellent for folate. All up it’s a
pretty impressive nutrition package.
Try enjoying avocado in place of butter or
margarine on bread, chop and add to
Some fats we can make in the body –
saturated fats for example – but others
we must obtain from our food. One of
these is a fat called ALA (alpha-linolenic
acid) and this is a plant omega-3 fat.
While all nuts are good for us, walnuts
are pretty special as they provide almost
2g of ALA per handful – Harvard
researchers recommend consuming 2-3g
Walnuts also contain vitamin E, the
amino acid arginine which helps to keep
blood vessels healthy and blood pressure
under control, plant sterols that can help
you to lower your blood cholesterol and
they deliver a powerful boost of
antioxidants. All up this makes walnuts
stand out for heart health.
Try snacking on a handful, adding them
to a salad, blitzing with extra virgin olive
oil, basil, garlic and parmesan to make a
walnut pesto or use them in your baking.
Chia as a food source can be traced back
to the Mayans and Aztecs around
3500BC. They recognised its value in
giving them energy and the messengers
who travelled on foot allegedly carried a
bag of chia to keep their energy levels up
Like walnuts chia are rich in plant