N4M Network team finally caught up with celebrity nutritionist Shubi Husain at her plush New Delhi, India office. During the exclusive interview that followed, our team asked her various questions on Indian Food & Nutrition and her comments on the statement: “Good type of fat in everyday diet is actually good for overall health of Indians”. Suggestions on what kind of foods our readers should have for their daily fat intake were also provided by Ms Husain.
Q) Ms Husain, would you recommend a dosage of fat food in everyday diet for Indians? If yes, what kind of foods?
SHUBI HUSAIN: Yes, I do recommend healthy fats in desired amounts in everyday diet for Indians. They should include fish, avocados, seeds, nuts, olives, olive oil, flax seeds and eggs in their diet.
Q) Are diets recommending fat-free and low-fat dairy products out of date? Please detail your thoughts on it.
SHUBI HUSAIN: Yes, diets recommending fat free and low fat dairy products are getting out of date. A certain amount of healthy fat is required for overall health. Lack of Fat in the Diet, will lead to reduce absorption of the essential vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E and K. This group of fat soluble vitamins play essential role in vision, skin texture, immune system, hormone synthesis, bone, nervous and reproductive health.
Its always better to include full fat dairy in moderation other than pasteurized milk. Full fat dairy has a type of fat, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) found naturally in cows milk is said to significantly lower risk of certain types of cancers. Another fat found in full fat dairy is palmitoleic acid, that helps to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. As pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamins, kills beneficial bacteria, denatures milk protein and actually promotes the growth of pathogens. Many of the enzymes that are destroyed in the process are needed for digestion. So it is always good to have full fat milk in moderate amount instead of pasteurized (low fat) milk for better health benefits.
Eating right kind of healthier fat in an appropriate amount should be a part of healthy diet. This can protect you from heart problems, circulatory problems and some types of cancer
However all fats are high in calories giving us approx 9 calories for every gram eaten. Just because some fats are healthy, also doesn’t mean you eat as much as you want. So its important for your weight and health to eat these good fat in moderate amounts for overall health benefits.
Q) What kind of fats still remains bad for you?
SHUBI HUSAIN: The bad fats you should avoid are saturated fats (found in beef, lamb, pork, chicken with skin & butter) and Trans fats which are found in most processed food products, commercially baked pastries, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, muffins and pizzas. Eating even a little of these fats can increase free radicals in your body and lead to obesity and greater risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Q) Is fat good for you? What is its need in the body?
SHUBI HUSAIN: Yes healthy fats like mono-unsaturated (MUFA), poly-unsaturated (PUFA) and OMEGA-3S are good for us.
Dietary fats are essential for growth, development and cell functions. It gives our body energy that it needs to function properly. Fats help you to absorb vitamin A, D, E and K, the so called fat soluble vitamins. It keeps your hair and skin healthy. Fats are also needed for brain development, controlling inflammation and blood clotting.
Remember, Fat should not be feared. Its an important part of your diet but avoiding the unhealthy kind of fat and keeping the amount of fat you consume per day within the correct limit is equally important for your health, weight and well being.
Q) Which foods would you recommend for fat sources and why? How does it help in overall benefits to the body? How much should these sources be taken, please add in exact measurements.
SHUBI HUSAIN: For healthy fat you should include fish, avocados, seeds, nuts, olives, olive oils, flax seeds, safflower oil, sun flower oil, ground nut oil and eggs in your diet as these food items are loaded with healthy fats like mono-unsaturated, poly-unsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids.
Following are the health benefits of these healthy fats.
– It lowers the risk of heart diseases and strokes.
– Reduce bad cholesterol (LDL)
– Decrease risk of breast cancer.
– Help manage blood sugar and blood pressure
– Improves good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers tri-glycerides
– Vital for brain, eye and nervous system.
– Relieves pain and stiffness for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis
Your personal calories and fat needs depend on a number of factors like your body size, gender, age, medical condition and level of physical activity.
Recommended approximate quantities of these foods to be taken are:
Fish: 2 servings of fatty fish in a week. A serving is 3 ounces
Avocados: Half a medium sized avocado is one serving and its about 115 to 160 calories. So limit your consumption to one-fourth to half per day.
Nuts: One should eat about an ounce of nuts everyday, that’s about as much as what fits in the palm of your hand (a small handful). Eating an ounce of nuts everyday can provide you with all health benefits.
Flaxseeds: A teaspoon of ground flax seeds per day
Egg: One egg per day
Q) Would you recommend the following foods for fat intake? If yes, in what quantity and how should they be consumed? Also what properties does these foods have that give additional benefits.
OLIVE OIL. Quantity: Stick to 1 to 2 tablespoons in a day
How to consume:
– The goal when using olive oil is to replace other fats and not add the olive oil to them.
– Use olive oil for salad dressing
– Olive oil can be used instead of butter, sauces, creams and gravies.
– Drizzle olive oil over steamed vegetables and soups.
– Rub a general coating of olive oil on fish before baking, grilling or frying
– Olive oil has more mono unsaturated fatty acids than any other oils, making it a great choice for heart healthy cooking
– People who regularly eat foods fried in olive oil do not have higher risk of heart diseases or premature death (Research carried out at University of Madrid, Spain reported in BMJ
– Olive oil prevents strokes
– Depression risk lowers with olive oil consumption
– Studies have shown that olive oil reduces breast cancer risk.
– It helps maintain healthy cholesterol
– Extra virgin olive oil protects against Alzheimer Disease. It also prevents acute pancreatitis, protects the liver and helps in preventing ulcerative colitis
AVOCADO – Quantity: Half a medium sized avocado is one serving and its about 115 to 160 calories. So limit your consumption to one-fourth to half per day.
How to consume:
– Spread Avocado on toast in the morning instead of butter.
– Use Avocado instead of mayonnaise in chicken or egg salad or as a spread on sandwich.
– The soft and creamy structure of an avocado and its mild taste makes it a perfect first food for babies
– Avocados are loaded with good fats (mono-unsaturated fat) and are high in potassium.
– Eating Avocado could lower your risk for certain types of cancers.
– Avocados are heart healthy
– Studies show that avocados can soothe osteo-arthritis
– Avocados are good for your skin and hair
– Avocados are low cost way to soothe psoriasis
– Besides its many anti-inflammatory properties, this powerful fruit may help prevent liver damage.
NUTS – Quantity: One should eat about an ounce of nuts everyday, that’s about as much as what fits in the palm of your hand (a small handful). Eating an ounce of nuts everyday can provide you with all health benefits.
How to consume:
Here are some ways to add healthy “Nuts” fat to your diet:
– Top hot or cold cereal with nuts for a nourishing breakfast
– Sprinkle almonds on top of yogurt
– Add peanuts to frozen yogurt
– Add chopped nuts to salad dressings
– Nuts contain mono-unsaturated fats, vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, copper, protein, fibre and are rich in anti-oxidants. One should include almonds, walnuts, peanuts and pistachios in their diet
– Nuts have been seen as heart protectors. Recent study has even suggested that people who eat nuts daily have better health and longer lives than their counterparts who never eat nuts
– Nuts are packed with anti-oxidants, phytosterol and other compounds that help keep breast cancer away.
– They are full of omega-3S which help brain health and blood pressure
– They are excellent for a healthy heart, reduction of bad cholesterol and help skin healing
Nuts might be considered health foods but that’s not a license to over indulge, so moderation is the key.
To know more about Shubi Husain visit her site www.shubihusain.com