Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Food You Should Be Eating Part 1

I have written about Food That Will Kill You Slowly that covers multitude of everyday food, bad fats, Sugar and the negative of fried food, i am sure you dear readers are now making more informed choices with your food selection. We will justify rewarding ourselves on a "cheat" day to satisfy the urge for something sinful - and then, you will realise that these words you read will be playing in your mind - to eat healthily.
Today, instead of tell you which food you should not eat, or food that will kill you slowly, i decided to focus on the food that you should be eating to provide more nutrient per serving. Forget about marketing tag lines by manufacturers that their stuff are the best - we have heard all of them and we have spent money eating/buying them but with minimal effect. Here is a real, practical look at what you should be eating.
1. Chocolate
Never seen this coming isn't it? Is this your license to binge on this sweet delight? Before i go on, please be informed and educated that real chocolate has at least 70% cocoa solid in them. Anything less than that is just sugar in brown coating. Also beware of hydrogenated fat being used in the production, read the label thoroughly and make informed purchases.
My favourite Dark. It's 70% Cocoa by Cote d'Or. Available commercially. Image taken from Cote d'Or website
I am a big fan of bitter dark chocolate (again, the proof is in the ingredient, nothing LESS than 70%) and they are known to provide flavanol. This is not to be confused with flavonol. They are two different thing with different chemical build up. Flavanol includes catechins, which are found in tea. Catechins are known to reduce the risk of four major lifestyle diseases : stroke, heart attack, cancer and diabetes. However, if the 70% chocolate you ate doesn't taste bitter, you might want to consider not purchasing that brand anymore as the beneficial properties has been removed to "improve the taste". Taking in dark chocolate and exercising are known to be a natural anti-aging "elixir of youth". And taking chocolate will improve on your mood as they will raise the level of serotonin - the "happy hormone", in the brain. Beware of MILK chocolate and WHITE chocolate as they both have condensed milk (sweetened) and do not have cocoa solid, respectively.
2. Eggs
Often misunderstood due to the cholesterol level and being shunned by "health practitioners" due to the bad rap it received as some individual shows allergic reactions to it. Eggs is actually the cheapest protein anyone can get. It has higher protein level compared to any dairy products and is classified as "meat". Some of the cooking concern could be mitigated if you know your eggs well. Take for example hard boiling the eggs or frying the eggs. We sometimes get green ring around the yolk. This is due to overcooking. Which in return, oxides the cholesterol more and making them harmful. The green ring is actually iron and sulphur content but it does not harm the taste. Overcooking too, changes the protein properties - which is where they get the bad rating.
Double Yolk on the left and Normal A on right.
Eggs, at 75gram average (size A, large) gives about 71kcal and has 6 grams of protein with Vitamin A, D and E in the yolk, B in the whites, and it packs multi minerals such as iron, potassium, choline and sulphur to be a truly wonder food! A fresh egg when you break, will have the yolk in perfect hemisphere. When hard boiled, the shell will removed easily (with no whites sticking on them). Fresh eggs makes great 1/2 boil eggs, but must be eaten immediately else risking bacteria growth and food poisoning. Same goes with hard boiled eggs too. The key point is to cook it correctly. Never hard boil an egg for more than 10 minutes (that is from the time you put them into the cold water and starting the fire) - you will get the perfect hard boiled egg. Fancy a double-yolker anyone?
3. Pumpkin
I love my pumpkin stir fried. This vegetable contains a lot of nutrition at a calorie you won't say no to. Believe it or not, 100gram of pumpkin gives only 13kcal of energy! That is like the amount of 2 candies you take to satisfy the sugar craving! Being "orange" makes the pumpkin to be high in Beta-carotene and just 100gram of it gives you 3.1mg or 350% more than what is needed on a daily basis (of 0.9mg/day). beats taking in those oil with beta-caratone, isn't it? Pumpkin is fat free as well and they have vitamins and minerals that will make that multivites you take everyday redundant.
Delicious stir fried pumpkin from ThaiTable.com. Image taken from Stirfried Pumpkin Recipe.
I stir fry mine with the pumpkin and minimal oil only.
Cooked pumpkin, usually just stir fried great snack and dishes. The natural sweetness is addictive and they makes congee/porridge irresistible for kids too! I know my kids love them. The pumpkin seeds was known to be nutritious as well and 1 gram of the seeds gives the same amount of Tryptophan as a glass of full cream milk. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid required in our body. It can't be synthesis by our body and we acquires them from the food we take. I say gobble up those pumpkin for health sake.

Stay tuned for more "Food You Should Be Eating" series!


  1. Perfect hard boiled eggs.

    1.)Eggs, room temperature or from fridge.
    2.)Place in water. Bring to boil.
    3.)Take off heat when water starts to boil.

    Room temperature eggs can be removed from water immediately.

    Eggs from the fridge should be left in a little longer, anywhere from 1-2 minutes to cook in its own heat

  2. Unka - can make me one soon? :D Thanks for sharing! Awesome!