Thursday, December 01, 2011

Food You Should Be Eating Part 3

I hope with Part 1 and Part 2 sharing, your choices of food goes beyond "perceived" healthy food. I have been incorporating most, if not all the six food i introduced. That is on top of food that best avoided, no matter how delicious they may be. Eating clean has sort of helped with my digestive and personal well being. A reader (my dearest VIPB - Arman) even commented that my "Hamster Diet" has helped him lower his cholesterol - that alone is motivation for me to continue sharing. Here is Part 3 on the food that we should be eating, but aren't.
As they are, in my fridge
7. Avocado
Avocado should be eaten at least once a fortnight or once a week if you can afford it. They are not cheap at average price of RM4/fruit. Usually, you can get them for about RM10 for 3 fruits in the local wet market while the hypermarket/supermarket might be peddling them for close to RM6 each. Avocado is rich in unsaturated fat, essential to "replace" the bad fats in your body. Once your body has abundance of good fat, you can train it to use fat as a fuel source - a primary one at it. Many endurance athlete has trained their body to use fat as primary fuel by taking in considerable amount of good fat. Avocado is one way of consuming them without you feeling all greasy and oily. A fruit, about 100gram (large size, usually, about what your hand can comfortably hold like a grenade) has close to 12grams of mono and poly unsaturated fat. I have written a healthy spread you can make at home using avocado here. You can use the spread as salad dressing too and it adds a smooth buttery texture to your vegetable. Eat them raw, skip any form of heat to preserve the nutritional values.
Good for my late grandparents during the war, good for me anytime.
8. Sweet Potatoes
This humble tuber was widely planted during the World War 2 and during the Malaya's Emergency. They grow well as long as the soil is loose and is watered once a day.  The young leaves makes great dish stir fried with garlic and the tuber, otherwise known as sweet potato, delivers 90kcal with just 100gram serving or roughly about a decent palm-holdable size. It has negligible fat content and up to 20grams of carbs of which about 5gram is sugar. It has about 5grams of fiber and it provides a healthy dosage of potassium and wide range of vitamins and minerals. However, this vegetable is only good eaten either baked or steamed. Malaysian tend to deep fry them and sell them as street food. The skin is edible as well, as long as you wash them clean before steaming or baking. This is a winner every time if there is an urge for snack - beats anything that is deep fried. Purple varieties, usually originate from Taiwan or Japan has high level of anti-oxidant. If they are sold at reasonable price, buy them. You will usually find the orange variety being sold. Store them in dark cool places and they will last for weeks uncooked.
oh no...processed food!
9. Whey Protein
On rare occasion a processed food which the benefit outweigh the cons it will offer. Whey protein is the highest grade of protein you can purchase with your money. Whey protein originates from milk and a by-product during cheese making. Whey protein has received some medical attention due to the possible anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. However, it is apparent in animal (lab mouse) testing but has not received sufficient verification in human. Whey protein is almost pure protein. A serving of whey (typically 30grams or a heap scoop) carries close to 24grams of pure protein - a definite good way to boost protein intake and to build muscle or prevent muscle from being used for energy post-workout. Due to this, many bodybuilders and "fitness buff" takes them post workout. Whey protein has high BCAA or branched chain amino acid, which helps in protein synthesis in the body and also for recovery/muscle building. BCAA in it's purest form is ultra bitter (i take BCAA as well). While some understand the impact, many sadly don't. Do make an informed decision to spend your good money on this food. Whey protein that is commercially available is derived from cow's milk. Cow's milk typically has about 20% whey protein and 80% casein protein. Compare them to human milk where it is 60% whey protein and 40% casein, it is evidence why babies that are breastfed grows larger and bigger compared to those on formula milk. Unless you have access to lactating mother (or wife), i would suggest you settle for the commercially available, bodybuilder friendly version - usually in powder form ;-)
Stay tuned to Part 4 next week. Meanwhile, happy eating!

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