Wholesome Child : Wholesome Child full
177 176 step 5: healthy fats Did you know? With every 2% of calories from trans fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%. Five Ways to Reduce Trans Fats 1. Choose healthier cooking methods such as baking, steaming, sautéing and grilling over deep-frying. 2. Cut back on processed and commercial foods such as cookies, pastries, doughnuts and cakes. 3. When buying potato chips, choose those containing 100% high oleic sunflower oil. 4. When eating out, choose dishes that are not deep-fried. Choose grilled or pan-fried fish over deep-fried battered fish. 5. Read labels and choose products that do not contain trans fats. The importance of avocados Nutrient-dense and delicious, avocados contain mostly monounsaturated and some polyunsaturated fats, and are sodium-free. Most babies, when they are weaned, enjoy avocado straight up. It’s an easy on-the-go meal – just peel, mush and serve. Many parents, however, lament that while their kids loved it as babies, they won’t touch avocado now that they are toddlers or older. Here are my fave go-to ways to get your kids to eat their avos: ➊ Throw half an avocado in a smoothie – it adds a creamy, rich texture and leaves your child feeling fuller for longer (see our Omega-3 Smoothie on page 197). ➋ Add it to a homemade chocolate mousse. ➌ Use it in an icing (see our recipe for Chocolate Avo Frosting on page 93). ❹ Serve it with a sprinkle of sea salt, apple cider or balsamic vinegar and olive oil. ➎ Spread avocado on toast and cover with a slice of cheese or add a sprinkling of sea salt and pepper. ➏ Use avocado oil in cooking. Natural and unprocessed, coconut oil is one of the richest sources of Lauric acid – a healthy medium chain-triglyceride (MCT) found in breast milk. When Lauric acid is digested, it forms a substance called Monolaurin. Both Lauric acid and Monolaurin can help kill harmful pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungi. Coconut oil also contains Capric and Caprylic acid – more beneficial saturated fats, with antibacterial properties. Cooking with oils When vegetable oils are used at high heats, they begin to smoke and the fumes can contain dangerous carcinogenic compounds which may contribute to cancer. In order to minimise your child’s exposure to these harmful and carcinogenic compounds, it is essential to cook only with fats that are stable in high heat (see chart on next page). The properties of cooking oils that matter most 1. Smoke point: The temperature at which the fats begin to break down and turn into smoke. 2. Oxidative stability: How resistant the fats are to reacting with oxygen. Top tips for cooking with oils • Never reuse oil. • Never overheat oil. Brown onions, for example, slowly on medium heat and cook for longer. • Do not put anything wet into hot oil as it can splatter, which is especially dangerous if children are nearby. • Always turn handles away from the edge of the stove to avoid a child pulling a pan off the stove. • If you or your child get a burn, run it under cold water rather than applying ice and seek medical attention. • Ensure when a hot pan with oil is removed from the stove top to cool down, it’s out of reach of children. 177 avoid it in its worst most processed forms. It’s best to ensure your child gets their omega-6s from fresh chopped nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables and eggs. Media attention has been focused on the health benefits of omega-3s recently, especially DHA and EPA, which are most easily obtained from oily fish such as trout, salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring. Vegetarians can rely on non-animal sources such as flaxseeds, walnuts and, in smaller amounts, green leafy vegetables that contain ALA (alpha linolenic acid) that the body can convert into DHA and EPA. Unfortunately, however, the conversion process is not as stable or reliable as eating food that contains DHA and EPA directly. Lots of the kids I see in my practice who do not like oily fish show signs of fatty acid deficiency such as eczema or an inability to concentrate. It’s important to take every opportunity to include these types of fats in our children’s diets through eating fish, walnuts and linseeds. If your child is not eating low mercury oily fish 2-3 times a week then it may be appropriate to supplement their diet with a pure omega-3 supplement. What’s the problem with vegetable oils? In the past we were told that vegetable oils, which are made up of long-chain polyunsaturated fats, were healthy. And while they may contain omega-6s which are beneficial in moderation, we now know that many vegetable oils are extracted through processing methods that involve heating, highly toxic solvents and various industrial chemicals. The polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils tend to react with oxygen and turn rancid fairly quickly. To prevent the fats from degenerating, they are often heat treated or hydrogenated (a process that causes vegetable oils to turn solid at room temperature). Unfortunately, these processes turn them into harmful trans fats. If you need to use vegetable oils for cooking, look for organic cold- pressed options wherever possible (as this avoids the dangers of heat-damaged vegetable oils) and use in moderation. Is coconut oil a better choice? Coconut oil has more saturated fat than butter, yet studies show it is one of the most stable oils at high heat (more on this below), it is satiating and has numerous health benefits for children. Consider this... If your child is overweight or obese, work with a dietician or nutritionist to assess their overall diet rather than switching to low-fat alternatives or eliminating fat altogether.