Even though many mainstream health resources discourage dark meats in chicken and turkey because of the high fat content, studies show that women with high cholesterol who have the highest levels of taurine (found in dark poultry meat) have a 60% less chance of dying from heart disease. The taurine content offsets any negative impact of higher fat content. To maximize health, especially if you are female and have high cholesterol, consider increasing consumption of dark poultry meats.
To increase overall health, consider adding as many of the following foods to your regular diet as possible:
1. Organic flaxseed – for omega-3 fatty acids and bowel health -best if ground immediately before eating.
2. Raw organic nuts – for fatty acids and minerals.
3. Foods containing sulfur for antioxidant properties – like organic eggs, onions and garlic.
4. Green tea for antioxidants, weight loss, and anti-cancer properties.
5. Healthy oils (organic) – Olive oil for salads, organic Canola oil for baking, and butter for frying.
Learn basic alternatives to fattening foods. Learn to speak the second language of food – the language of healthy food:
- Choose mustard over mayo (mustard naturally has less calories/fat).
- Choose brown rice, whole wheat, rye or oat bread over white bread (brown foods don’t have extra fats added to them to change their color).
- Choose the white meat of turkey or chicken over dark meat, red meat or pork (most of our fat intake comes from animal fat; white meat contains less fat).
- Choose poached, baked or broiled over fried, battered or breaded.
- Choose water over juice and soda. Some juices contain just as many carbs and calories as a small bag of potato chips. Try slowly weaning yourself off caffeinated soda with [herbal] tea or water – have two glasses of water, or cups of tea, per every can of soda. (Also, don’t drink your calories – those 100 calories of juice could be two pieces of fruit or a cereal bar, a more filling feeling for you and your stomach.)
- Choose low-calorie sauces and ask to have sauces and dressings served on the side. (Usually more sauce is poured on than is needed. Dip your fork into the sauce, then dip your fork into the food. This will give you the flavor with every bite, but without the extra, unnecessary fat.)
- Choose fat-free milk and cheese made with skim milk, as opposed to whole milk (again, most of our fat intake comes from animal fat).
- Choose vegetables as side orders over fries and chips. Steamed veggies are preferable over creamed veggies (vegetables naturally carry less fat).
- Choose to pack fruit and nuts to hold you over to the next meal, rather than opting for fast food or snacks from a vending machine. Fruit snacks will help you get to the next meal, as they allow you to eat more, more often and without the extra fat intake). Fruits like bananas and oranges are convenient and have their own protective packaging.