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Why I'm eating margarine & 6 other non Paleo foods again paleo diet april fools day-min

Why I’m eating margarine & 6 other non Paleo foods again

I’ve been thinking a lot about my diet recently, and I’m getting a little worried that being fully Paleo maybe isn’t the healthiest choice I can make. After speaking to several health experts recently, and reading up on the latest government recommendations, I’ve started to get really worried about how healthy my Paleo diet really is. Despite my blog being all about the Paleo diet, it’s only fair that I’m honest with you and share my concerns and fears.

I’m concerned that I’m not getting enough calcium, fibre or carbohydrates. I’ve also started to get really worried about how much more fat I’ve been consuming, especially when compared to what the government recommend. I’m suspecting I’m eating way too much fat, and probably more meat and eggs than I should as well. I’ve read several times this week that it’s dangerous to eat more than one egg a day, especially if you eat the yolk. Something has got to change…

In fact, I’m considering if Paleo is a healthy choice altogether. I’ve been pondering whether there are a lot of very healthy, nutritious foods that I’m excluding from my diet by continuing to be Paleo. I’m going to initially work on reintroducing the following foods, in the hope I start to feel even more healthy, before committing to a really healthy low fat diet for a month. Here are the seven foods I’m going to start eating again, starting today. I’ll be reporting back on my progress and would love to hear your thoughts on the new additions to my modified paleo diet.

Why I'm eating margarine & 6 other non Paleo foods again paleo diet april fools day-min

Margarine

With my new found concerns about cholesterol and eating high fat, the first, and most obvious decision for me to make was to swap coconut nut oil and grass fed ghee for heart healthy margarine. I’m going to try to find an organic margarine, and make sure I choose a brand that is heart healthy. This was a hard decision to make, but I’m becoming convinced a very healthy one – as margarine is much lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, which means I’m much less likely to get heart disease. Carrots drenched in margarine doesn’t sound as appealing as butter, but I’ll just have to get used to it for the good of my health.

Vegetable Oil

Have you seen the saturated fat content of butter, lard, ghee and coconut oil? I’m going to throw away my olive oil and swap it with healthy vegetable oil. This should also help keep my cholesterol levels low as it’s low in saturated fat. Also it’s vegetable oil, so will help me get towards my five a day.

Quorn Mince

I’ve also been reading a lot about how badly meat clogs up your arteries and is really hard to digest, so I’m planning to start with meatless Monday’s and reduce my meat consumption dramatically. I’ve decided to replace my organic, grass fed ground beef with healthy vegan Quorn mince. It’s made from rehydrated mycoprotein extracted from the fungus ‘Fusarium Venenatum.’ I’m not really sure what that is, but Quorn is really low in fat and has no unhealthy animal fats, so it is obviously very healthy. I’ve also discovered that Quorn make healthy, meat free bacon slices and chicken fillets too. So really, I’m not even going to notice I’ve gone meat free.

Soy Milk

I’ve been having very little dairy in my paleo diet – and despite my recent body scan showing I have an excellent bone density, I clearly must be highly deficient in calcium. I’ve just bought my first bottle of soy milk, so I’ll be making sure I drink a lot of this each day, as well as skim milk to give my calcium levels a big boost. I must be honest, I opened the bottle and it did not smell good, but if I add some hot chocolate to it, it should hopefully take away the taste.

Whole grain cereal

There are so many revolutionary new whole grain cereals out there now, compared to when I started eating Paleo. I’ve even found a special range specifically designed to promote heart health, which makes me question if I’m right to continue to start the day with a high fat meal? These technologically advanced cereals do seem to be an easy way to start the day, providing lots of healthy carbohydrates for energy. The one I’m looking forward to trying the most is Kellogg’s Special K Multi Grain – it contains FOUR different types of healthy grains and is almost fat free. I’ll make sure I have it with soy or skim milk.

Coca Cola Zero

Pretty much all I’ve been drinking for the last few years has been water and tea. I’ve hear it’s bad to omit variety which has been concerning me. I haven’t had a can of Coca Cola in so long because I’d convinced myself it was unhealthy, but they now make a version with no sugar at all. Who knows what it is sweetened with, but I can’t wait to try one again. The people in the TV adverts always look positively glowing with health and I’m quite keen to have some of what they’re having. It’s got no sugar, so it must be healthy, as we all know how bad sugar is for us.

Low Fat Snack Bars

In case I do get hungry between meals (which I’m sure I won’t, as all of the carbohydrates I’ll be eating with provide me with lots of energy) I’ll make an effort to reach for a low fat snack bar rather than a cholesterol-loaded hard boiled egg, home made jerky, or a handful of nuts as I have been doing. There are so many different flavours these days, and a lot of them are healthy whole grain. Some even are fruit flavoured, which will help me get to my five a day.

Since I’ve made this decision I’ve realised a lot of these foods don’t need to be kept in the fridge and don’t seem to go off – so this is going to make life so much easier for me – another benefit to adapting my diet.

Are there any healthy non Paleo foods that you are going to add back to your diet? Let me know what you’ve added back and why in the comments below.

Coconut-Oil-Spray-Whats-The-Point-paleo-diet

Coconut Oil Spray – What’s The Point?

Initially I was really impressed when I saw Coconut Oil Spray for the first time in Coles, my local grocery store.

But on reflection, Coconut Oil spray seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, don’t you think?

Why Spray Cans?

Spray cans of cooking oil became popular to enable the low-fat brigade to cook in as little oil as possible. The spray tin enables you to coat the bottom of the pan, using far less oil than you’d use if you poured it in. But we’ve moved on from low-fat, haven’t we? Chances are, given that you’re reading this blog, you’re careful to incorporate decent amounts of fat in your diet. Coconut oil is probably the most popular cooking oil amongst those who follow a Paleo diet. Most of my Paleo friends will use generous amounts of coconut oil in their cooking – and then pour the oil from the pan onto their plate when they’ve finished. You can’t so this with a spray can of coconut oil!

Added Ingredients?

The ingredients also include butane and propane which are obviously required to enable to spray mechanism to work – but I wonder if this has any impact on the oil – and whether there is any residue in the oil when it makes it onto your plate? Another reason I’d prefer to spoon my pure coconut oil straight into the pan, and not take the chance that any of the propellants come into contact with my food. The cans are also highly flammable, another plus for the humble jar of coconut oil!

Coconut-Oil-Spray-Whats-The-Point-paleo-diet

Who Buys It?

I find it odd that this particular store only stocks the spray and not the oil in normal jar form (my other local supermarket, Woolworths, stocks jars of coconut oil, but not the spray, which is far more useful). Given the choice, I’m sure almost everyone would opt for a jar of coconut oil, rather than the spray?

I can’t really see who the coconut oil spray is aimed at. Compared to the nasty seed oil sprays, it’s far higher in fat (this is a good thing); surely the conventional wisdom junkies would steer clear? And of course those of us in the know about coconut oil would find the small delivery of coconut oil frustrating? So who is it for? Answers in the comments, if you can offer some suggestions…

I can see that the can is convenient – but a jar of coconut oil and a spoon is hardly inconvenient?

Would you use Coconut Oil in spray form? I’d also be interested to read your comments (below) as to whether coconut spray is widely available where you live too?

Trolley spying Supermarket shopping groceries coles woolworths aldi paleo diet-min

Trolley Spying

When I go food shopping, I’m always really interested the see what other people have in their trolleys.  Likewise, I get some funny looks, especially when I buy lots of red meat, eggs and coconut milk.  I can just see the people wondering what I’m going to do with it all.  Surely she can’t be going to eat all those foods we’re constantly told are bad, by herself?

People are generally quick to say how healthily they eat, but when you see their trolley, surely you are seeing what they actually eat, rather than what they’d like you to think they eat.

Trolleys full of processed junk food bother me far less; at least the people pushing those trolleys, on some level, know they have a bad diet.  What bothers me more is the trolleys I see full of “healthy” foods.  The type of “healthy foods” I wouldn’t go near.

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A very sad, un-Primal grocery trolley

I see so many trolleys full of low fat, highly processed products (I can’t bring myself to call them food).  Trolleys full of whole grains, as they are good for us, right?  Diet drinks with ingredients I can’t pronounce.  Spray on “vegetable” oils, to make sure as little fat as possible contributes to dinner.  Processed low fat sauces to smother wholegrain pasta with.  “Healthy” reduced fat chips, presumably to deal with the blood sugar crash that comes after eating the pasta.  Huge bottles of orange juice.  Skim milk to pour over the healthy low fat breakfast cereal.  Margarine instead of butter, Weight Watchers low fat processed sweets to ensure there is never any need to go over three hours without eating.

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Pasta Sauce and Processed Sauce, yum yum.

I wonder, do people really think these “healthy” low fat processed products taste nice?  I strongly suspect they are eaten for the perceived health benefits, not because they taste nice.  My Paleo diet not only tastes amazing, but it is super healthy too.

This is my recent trolley.  I generally buy all of my meat from my wonderful local organic butcher, so I usually just buy some veggies, fruit for my house-mate to take to work (I’m only eating fruit once or twice a week at the moment), coconut milk, almond butter (for use in an occasional NoOatmeal) and I sometimes buy nuts depending on which recipes are on my menu plan that week.

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My recent paleo groceries

Are you guilty of trolley spying too?  Are you frequently shocked by what some other shoppers fill their trolleys with?  Do you get disapproving looks at your Paleo trolley too?

Trolley spying Supermarket shopping groceries coles woolworths aldi paleo diet-min

Soy, Grains & Margarine for Better Health newspaper Telegraph paleo diet health advice-min

Soy, Grains & Margarine for Better Health!

I really shouldn’t read health supplements any more.  They generally just annoy me.  But I could resist.  I found this gem in the Sunday Telegraph yesterday.

Sunday-Telegraph-Lower-Cholesterol

Just before I ditched Paleo and went out to buy some soy and margarine, I thought I’d see if I could find out a bit more about the study.

So it appears the study split 351 men & post menopausal women into two groups for the six-month period.  One ate low fat, the other low fat – with “special cholesterol lowering foods”.  Hmm, interesting, low fat compared to low fat…  The group with the special cholesterol lowering foods lowered their LDL by 13%.  But then there was also a 22.6% drop out rate.  This is taking me back to Tom Naughton’s Science for Smart People lecture at the AHS…

The group with the “special food” also received sessions with a dietitian.  The other low fat group did not.

They summed up saying that because the diet was complex, researchers couldn’t tell which foods made a difference in lowering cholesterol.  Excellent.  Regardless, write ups of the study, like the one I saw are still identify these foods as being proven to help lower LDL: –

  • Soy proteins such as soy milk and tofu.
  • Viscous or “sticky” fibres from oats, barley and psyllium.
  • Nuts, including tree nuts and peanuts.
  • Plant sterols in margarine.

Whilst Loblaw (a Canadian food retailer), Solae (who sell Soy products) and Unilever (who own lots of products, including margarine) sponsored the study and provided some of the foods used, that obviously had no impact on the study.  Whatsoever.

I think I’ll stick to my high fat diet…

Soy, Grains & Margarine for Better Health newspaper Telegraph paleo diet health advice-min