1. AWESOME AVOS
If you’ve been avoiding avos because of their high fat content, you should rethink your attitude towards this super-healthy fruit. How’s this for size: half a typical avocado contains about 670kJ, which is 84kJ less than a handful of peanuts, says the South African Avocado Growers Association. Other reasons to eat them are:
• They contain no cholesterol and are very rich in ‘good’, heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
• They have the highest concentration of dietary fibre of any commonly eaten fruit.
• They are particularly high in folate, making them a must-eat for pregnant women. (Folate is essential for fetus development.)
And The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa was so impressed by the avocado that it awarded the little fruit the Heart Mark – a distinction awarded only to those foods proven to have a role in combating or lowering the rate of heart disease.
2. BODY-BOOSTING BEANS
The right diet won’t only help you avoid obesity and sluggishness but also serious diseases such as diabetes. ‘Eat beans,’ advises Woolworths dietitian Maryke van Zyl. Baked beans, soya beans, chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils all contain a wide variety of micronutrients, are low-fat, have a low glycaemic index and are high in fibre. ‘These have less of an effect on your blood-glucose levels and may help to control your blood fats,’ says Van Zyl.
FAST FACT: The free quarterly magazine for diabetics, Sweet Life (sweetlifemag.co.za), reported in 2011 that while one in five people over the age of 35 had Type-2 diabetes, 50% of them didn’t know it.
3. DAILY NUTS
Nuts deliver heart-healthy fats, fibre and protein, as well as key vitamins such as vitamin E, and minerals such as magnesium. But since they also carry loads of kilojoules, stick to a 30g serving per day – about 20 almonds, pecan halves or cashews, 14 walnut halves or 35 peanuts.