healthy show­down

Louise Keats re­veals health­ier op­tions. - - THIS MONTH -

Un­like white rice, brown rice is a whole grain with the bran layer and ce­real germ still in­tact. Boiled brown rice tends to have marginally fewer calo­ries and more pro­tein than white, as well as 1.5 times the fi­bre, over 15 times the vi­ta­min B3 and B6, nine times the vi­ta­min B1 and four times the mag­ne­sium. But it also has less cal­cium and more phy­tates, which can in­hibit nu­tri­ent ab­sorp­tion.

win­ner: brown rice Jerusalem ar­ti­choke has 2.5 times the calo­ries of swede and a quar­ter of the vi­ta­min C. But it has un­usu­ally high amounts of in­ulin and raf­fi­nose, two nat­u­ral pre­bi­otics that feed the good bac­te­ria in our di­ges­tive sys­tem and can im­prove gut health (how­ever, they can cause havoc for those with IBS). Jerusalem ar­ti­choke wins for your gut mi­croflora, but eat­ing a va­ri­ety of ve­g­ies is al­ways best.

win­ner: jerusalem ar­ti­choke Brands vary, but fried pork sausages typ­i­cally have about one-third more calo­ries than fried pork mince, plus about twice the fat and close to 40 per cent less pro­tein. More­over, the sausages typ­i­cally have over 10 times the salt and less potas­sium, in ad­di­tion to preser­va­tives and other ad­di­tives. Choose mince, or opt for sausages with min­i­mal salt and ad­di­tives.

win­ner: pork mince Co­conut short­en­ing (such as Copha) is made from hy­dro­genated co­conut oil but con­tains low lev­els of trans fats (<1g/100g) be­cause of its high sat­u­rated fat con­tent (dam­ag­ing in­dus­trial trans fats are made from par­tially hy­dro­genated un­sat­u­rated fats). Grab a vir­gin, un­re­fined co­conut oil. While also high in sat­u­rated fats, it’s far less pro­cessed so re­tains more of its nat­u­ral good­ness.

win­ner: co­conut oil Eclairs, made from choux pas­try filled with cus­tard or cream and topped with choco­late ic­ing, typ­i­cally have over 50 per cent more calo­ries than cus­tard tarts. They also have more than twice the sugar and fat, and al­most three times the sat­u­rated fat. How­ever, éclairs usu­ally have more vi­ta­min A (due to their higher fat con­tent) and less salt. Whichever you choose, go for a small serv­ing.

win­ner: cus­tard tart Chilli sauce is the win­ner out of these two Asian sauces. Brands vary, but plum sauce typ­i­cally has 2.5 times the calo­ries and four times the sugar of chilli sauce. Plus, chilli sauce has over four times the fi­bre. Store-bought ver­sions of both tend to be very high in salt and of­ten have ad­di­tives. Your best bet is home­made chilli sauce, made us­ing fresh chill­ies with min­i­mal sugar and salt.

win­ner: chilli sauce

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