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Seeking Jess Vegan Nutrition

Is Oil Healthy, and if So, Which One?

Is Oil Healthy and if So, Which One?

Fat make up one of the three macronutrients. While there is a lot of opinions on the internet about how much fat we should be consuming, most organisations recommend the fat content not to exceed the amount of 30% of a diet. And this is mainly healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds. Oils should only make a small part of it, due to the fact that oil are very high in calories (9kcal/g) and low in their energy density.

There are some nutritional benefits such as vitamin A, D, E & K, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats.

Most of us like oil due to its taste and aromas. And let’s be honest, oils make so many things taste better.

But first let’s answer the question: What are vegetable oils?

Vegetable oils are the isolated fat component and thus an extract of a high fat plant such as seeds or nuts. In this process the fat component is extracted and only a minimal part of the valuable ingredients is kept as most of the nutrients are lost. The energy value of the extracted oil is also much higher compared to the actual nut or seeds. That’s why daily consumption should be kept to a minimum. Usually oils are liquid at 20°C and fats are solid.

Which oils are the healthiest and best for cooking?

Firstly, it depends on the quality of oils:

  • Cold pressed virgin oils: can contain more valuable nutrients compared to refined oils
  • Organic oils: low pesticide content, which is better for us as a consumer and for the environment
  • Type of fat: Saturated fat (coconut oil) – not the healthiest; monounsaturated fat (olive oil) – little healthier due to oxidation stability; polyunsaturated fat (essential) – need to consume through food, not that stable, but are the healthiest

Which oils have a high smoking point?

A high smoking point means that these oils can be heated very high. These oils are coconut oil, sunflower oil, sesame oil and soybean oil.

What oil is best for salad dressings?

The best choice would be oils with polyunsaturated fatty acids such as flax oil, hemp oil or walnut (these should not be heated).

What can I do with olive oil?

You can moderately heat olive oil or also use it for salad dressings.

What else should you know?

You have to keep in mind that generally, speaking from a nutritional point of view, oils have less positive value than the product it has been extracted of. Hence, it is always better to use the food item in its whole form (flax seeds over flaxseed oil).

In case you have an underlying disease (such as cardiovascular disease), it would make sense to completely stay away from any type of oil.

Generally I would say that I personally try to avoid cooking with oil as much as I can, as I do not see that much nutritional value in it and I prefer the whole food over the refined one. But I try not to avoid it any cost, as for example most restaurants add oils to their dishes.

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Vegan Nutrition Vegan Tips

Vegan Nutrition Advice And Top 3 Vegan Recipes By Lissette From “stayhealthyforyou”

Vegan Nutrition Advice

You should be able to get most of the nutrients you need from eating a varied and balanced vegan diet.

Lissette’s advice for a healthy vegan diet:

  • Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables in every meal, potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates (choose wholegrain where possible)
  • Have some dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts (choose lower fat and lower sugar options) eat some beans, and a lot of water of course.
  • Eat all the variety of legumes, lentils, beans, chickpeas are a great source of protein and carbohydrates, just make sure to combine them with a cereal to complete all the amino acids,  grains and legumes, or nuts and seeds plus legumes, this could be throughout the day, not in every meal.
  • Of course plenty of water.

With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs, especially so you cannot miss out on essential nutrients, such as calcium, iron and vitamin B12.

 

Vegan sources of calcium and vitamin D

Calcium is needed for strong and healthy bones and teeth. Non-vegans get most of their calcium from dairy foods (milk, cheese and yoghurt), but vegans can get it from other foods.

Good sources of calcium for vegans include:

green, leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage, spinach, tofu sesame seeds and tahini, dried fruit, such as raisins, prunes, figs and dried apricots.

The body needs vitamin D to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients help keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

Good sources of vitamin D for vegans include:

exposure to sunlight, 15min daily is enough, fortified fat spreads, breakfast cereals and unsweetened soya drinks (with vitamin D added) or vitamin D supplements.

*Read the label to ensure the vitamin D used in a product is not of animal origin.

 

Vegan sources of iron

Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells.

A vegan diet can be high in iron, although iron from plant-based food is absorbed by the body less well than iron from meat.

Good sources of iron for vegans are:

pulses wholemeal bread and flour breakfast cereals fortified with iron dark green, leafy vegetables, such as watercress, broccoli and spring greens nuts dried fruits, such as apricots, prunes and figs, and always try to combine iron rich foods with vitamin c to help the iron absorption.

 

Vegan sources of vitamin B12

The body needs vitamin B12 to maintain healthy blood and a healthy nervous system.

Sources of vitamin B12 for vegans include:

breakfast cereals fortified with B12 unsweetened soya drinks fortified with vitamin B12 yeast extract, such as Marmite, which is fortified with vitamin B12

 

Vegan sources of omega-3 fatty acids 

Omega-3 fatty acids, primarily those found in oily fish, can help maintain a healthy heart and reduce the risk of heart disease when eaten as part of a healthy diet.

Sources of omega-3 fatty acids suitable for vegans include: 

flaxseed (linseed) oil rapeseed oil soya oil and soya-based foods, such as tofu and walnuts.

Evidence suggests that plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids may not have the same benefits in reducing the risk of heart disease as those in oily fish.

 

Lissette’s Top 3 Vegan Recipes:

1) Vegan falafel salad with a garlic dill dressing 

For the falafel mixture you’ll need:

  • 400g of cooked and dry chickpeas,
  • 15g of chopped parsley or cilantro if you want,
  • 2 medium shallots minced,
  • 15g of raw sesame seeds,
  • 1/2 tsp cumin,
  • 20-30g all purpose flour,
  • salt and pepper for taste.

Method:

Process the chickpeas, parsley, shallot, garlic, sesame seeds, cumin, salt, pepper, You’re looking for a crumbly dough, not a paste, then add the flour 1spoon at a time and mix until you get a mixture that doesn’t stick to your hands, let it rest 30min in the fridge for a ticker texture, or just roll them and cook them for about 5min each side or bake them until golden and that’s it!

For the dressing I just processed 1/4 cup of tahini, 1/2 medium lemon, 1 tsp dried dill and 2 cloves garlic, minced.

 

2) Brown rice and broccoli with teriyaki tofu

A nutritious and easy meal, I made the teriyaki sauce with

  • 1tbsp of Tamari,
  • 1 tsp sesame oil,
  • 1 tsp stevia powder,
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger,
  • salt and pepper to taste,

then just stir fry the tofu until brown and voilà it’s done!, you can combine it with rice and veggies or in a sandwich with tomatoes and greens etc.

 

3) Vegan chickpea burger

I would say this one and the black bean patty are my two favourite vegan burgers.

For the chickpea patty you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of cooked chickpeas then mashed,
  • 1 grated carrot,
  • 1/2 minced onion,
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder,
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all the ingredients, Form your mixture into patties and lightly pan-fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown. And that’s it!

 

I hope this information is useful and you like my recipes, for more check out @stayhealthyforyou, any contact or nutrition consult, send me an email, don’t hesitate to ask me anything! I’m here for that.

Lissette xx