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30 Aug, 2013

Healthier Options

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Healthier Options

WHITE VS WHOLEGRAIN BREAD

Whole wheat bread in general is a richer source of protein than white bread – a slice of 100% wholegrain bread provides about 3.6g of protein, compared to 1.9g for a slice of commercially-prepared white bread. The wholegrain is also substantially higher in dietary fibre, 1.9g compared to 0 to 0.6g, and it will make you feel fuller for longer because the fibre takes longer to digest. Furthermore, wholegrain bread is a rich source of selenium, a trace mineral that provides antioxidant benefits.

 

FAT-FREE VS FULL-CREAM MILK AND YOGHURT

There is a significant difference between fat-free and full-cream dairy products:

 

Nutritional summary

Fat-free milk

(1 cup)

Full-cream milk

(1 cup)

Fat-free yoghurt (175ml)

Full-cream yoghurt (175ml)

Calories

86

146

77

104.3

Fat (g)

0.44

7.83

0

5.6

Saturated fat (g)

0

5

0

6

 

Also, people are often under the impression that fat-free dairy products are lower in the important mineral calcium, but they’re actually equivalent, if not higher, than their full-fat versions. One cup of whole milk generally contains 276 milligrams of calcium, while one cup of fat-free milk contains 299 milligrams.

 

OSTRICH MEAT VS REGULAR BEEF

Ostrich meat low in fat and lower in cholesterol than regular lean beef. However, both are a great source of iron, as the high iron content in regular beef is only slightly higher than that of ostrich meat:

 

Nutritional summary

Ostrich (100g)

Lean beef (100g)

Calories

116

150

Fat (g)

2.4

7.3

Protein (g)

22

21

Cholesterol (mg)

46

60

Iron (mg)

3.2

3.25

 

DARK VS MILK CHOCOLATE

Everyone loves to hear that their favourite indulgence is “good for you.” Not so fast! Cocoa and dark chocolate are rich in a group of antioxidants known as flavanols, which emerging research shows promote blood-flow to the brain, keep arteries elastic, lower inflammation and ‘top up’ your levels of antioxidants. But while dark chocolate may have more health benefits than milk chocolate due to the antioxidants it contains, it’s still just as high in calories, fat and sugar.

 

DECAFFEINATED VS CAFFEINATED COFFEE

Decaffeinated coffee still contains caffeine (about 4mg per cup versus 130mg in a cup of regular) and has been shown to have similar health benefits to caffeinated coffee. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that can have some positive effects on the human body, such as it may help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers, Parkinson's disease and maybe even Alzheimer's disease. Caffeine in low doses is also thought to be associated with an improvement in sporting performance, increased alertness and reduction in fatigue.

 

However, there are some definite drawbacks to too much caffeine, including anxiousness and irritability, headache, irregular heartbeat, muscle twitches, and sleeplessness. Caffeine can cause temporarily high blood pressure, nervousness and increased production of urine and gastric acid, and may trigger arrhythmia in people with heart conditions.

 

MARGARINE VS BUTTER (UNSALTED)

Butter is an animal product, high in both saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, so increases our risk of heart disease and stroke. On the plus side, butter is a good source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Margarine is made from vegetable oils and contains no cholesterol, but it the controversy with margarine lies with its level of artery-clogging trans-fat, a largely man-made fat formed when hydrogen is added to vegetable oils, making the oil more solid and less likely to spoil. In general, the more solid the margarine, the more trans-fat it contains. Fortunately, there are a number of margarines on the market that are trans-fat-free.