Thursday, March 03, 2005

Healthy eating includes meat !

While the high protein weight loss camp has been marching along, there are still some who think that a healthy diet consists of lots of salads and cruskits. The message that I want to get across today, is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with meat in a balanced diet.

Meat, chicken and fish provides the most readily absorbable form of iron in food that you can get, in fact it contains something called heme (haem) iron, which is a different classification of iron that you will normally find in foods such as bread, cereals and legumes. Iron found in these foods is called non-heme iron.

What's the difference - well non-heme iron isn't as readily absorbed into the body as that of heme iron - what this means is that you're going to have to eat an awful lot of silverbeet to get your 12-16 mg (RDI) of iron.

Does this mean that you can't get iron from things like eggs (contain non-heme iron) ? No. You can increase the rate at which your body absorbs non-heme iron, by including foods high in vitamin C or ascorbic acid like brocolli, capsicum and citrus fruit in your diet.

So what's the point of this post ? The point is that many people think to lose weight, they need to eat a lot of salad - well, salads are great for losing weight - research has shown that it has many fat burning benefits, however, your body needs iron to maintain healthy blood and prevent anaemia. If you're body can't function well then it will not be healthy, and obesity is often a symptom of an unhealthy body. While iron will not directly help you to lose weight, it will help you to maintain your health which should be your first priority.