Healthy Desserts Made Using Rapeseed Oil

cupcake - healthy eatingWe all know the advantages of using rapeseed oil as our cooking oil of choice, rather than the traditional alternatives such as vegetable oil or sunflower oil, but not as many of us know the benefits of using this delicious oil as a replacement ingredient in some of our favourite desserts, changing them from naughty treats into a truly healthy option.

When trying to become fit and healthy it helps to have a basic understanding of the essential vitamins and minerals we need to push us in the right direction, but past that it’s really a case of making smart choices so we can then move forward and choose to cook using healthier ingredients, such as rapeseed oil in place of a less healthy alternative, so to slowly but surely increase our overall health.

For some delicious, healthy dessert recipes using rapeseed oil to put you on this path right away, look no further than the wonderful four examples below:

Scrumptious Carrot Cake

There’s something about carrot cake that makes us go weak at the knees, with carrot cake being voted at the United Kingdom's favourite cake, according to a Radio Times survey from 2011. Though carrot cake in its traditional form has been incredibly popular since the second world war, you can easily make a much healthier version using non-traditional cooking oils to suit your pallet.

To make carrot cake using rapeseed oil, use 75ml of rapeseed oil in replacement of butter during the cooking process, then cook the cake as you normally would using traditional ingredients. Making this one, simple change will reduce the saturated fat of your carrot cake by a staggering sixty percent.

Warm Oat and Blueberry Muffins

Once again replacing butter with rapeseed oil for a significantly healthier dessert, don’t be afraid to cook up a large batch of warm oat and blueberry muffins at a time, as once cool they are ideal for freezing to be enjoyed at a later date.

When you sit down with all your ingredients, swapping butter with rapeseed oil will reduce the overall saturated fat per oat and blueberry muffin by approximately seventy-seven percent. When looking for a healthy cooking oil available at Fussels Fine Foods take note of this difference, as only rapeseed oil can make that much of a difference between an unhealthy and, eventually, healthy dessert.

Unbelievable Chocolate and Cranberry Brownies

Though swapping out your cooking oil in this delicious traditional recipe doesn’t make as big a difference on the health factor as the previous two, when you also swap out your regular flour with self-raising wholemeal flour you’ll note a fairly substantial positive difference.

Obviously, chocolate brownies are never going to tip the health balance entirely, but these particular brownies certainly try their best.

Fruit-Packed Buttermilk Pancakes

Though pancakes are two fairly different desserts in the United Kingdom compared to the United States, this recipe can work well for both so long as you swap in your own traditional methods of piecing them together.

With pancakes being one of America’s favourite breakfast foods it’s no surprise that rapeseed oil has found a way to make them healthier, using one tablespoon of oil in the actual ingredients, as well as extra in the pan for frying the pancakes, for potentially the healthiest fried breakfast you will have ever tasted.

In conclusion, we all know the advantages of using rapeseed oil as our cooking oil of choice, rather than the traditional alternatives such as vegetable oil or sunflower oil, with some great desserts made using rapeseed oil including a scrumptious carrot cake, warm oat and blueberry muffins, unbelievable chocolate and cranberry brownies, and fruit-packed buttermilk pancakes.

About the Author:

Fussels Fine Foods is a company that believes in high quality simple food in the positive values of sustainable farming. To know about the kind of cooking oil available at Fussels Fine Foods, visit their website.

Paleo Diet Vs. Mediterranean Diet Vs. Atkins Diet

We all want to pursue a life of being fit and healthy. We all know that if we make poor food choices we will notice the impact on our hips, tummies and our sense of well-being. The problem with trying to change our lifestyle is that we are bombarded with useful and helpful advice from all corners of the globe: eat carbs and no fat, eat high fat and high protein with no carbs, eat all three but only two at the same time. The advice is endless and often contradictory, making it very hard to decide on which regimen to try. This article will examine the differences between the Paleo diet Vs. Mediterranean diet Vs. Atkins diet; so that you can decide which one is best for you.

Some diets are very restrictive and ban entire food groups, which makes it very hard to incorporate into a busy life. Still others use drink powders and cereal bars as replacements for meals, which may not be convenient for someone trying to cater for a growing family.

Three of the more popular diets at present are more accessible to all and advocate making long-term lifestyle changes. They all allow for personal tastes and preferences and all embrace the notion that food should taste good as well as being healthy for us. Let us look at them one at a time.

The Paleo Diet

Paleolithic diet - Healthy chicken dinnerThe Paleolithic Diet, also known as the Caveman Diet or the Hunter-Gatherer Diet, aims to send us back to our nomadic roots. Before we all lived in towns and cities and developed trading processes we foraged for our food; picking fruit, nuts and berries in season and relying on occasional success at hunting for a boost of fat and meat protein. The authors of the Paleo Diet believe that it is our modern food production methods that are responsible for much of the disease that plagues our society today. These include such things as heart disease, elevated cholesterol and blood pressure, obesity and related ailments, diet-induced diabetes and many cancers. Indeed, some of the foods we eat are over refined and high in unnatural substances such as trans fats, chemicals and excessive amounts of sugar.

The Paleo Diet relies on lean protein, plenty of fruit and vegetables and nuts and seeds, as well as a reasonable amount of healthy unsaturated fat. Foods and drinks to be avoided include alcohol, dairy products, grains, legumes, starchy foods and anything processed. A useful piece of basic advice for those trying the Paleo Diet is: If it looks like it did before it was food, it is good; if not, it is bad! Think of a meat pie versus a steak, on Paleo the choice would be the steak.

One of the major causes of overeating in modern society is the fact that our bodies are hard-wired to crave fats and sugars and the more of these we eat the more the body wants. This is because these substances are very rare in a wild and natural environment, and our bodies were designed to take advantage of finding them by consuming as much as possible. This is why often when we crave a fatty or sugary snack it is quite hard to not have another, and another, and another… Of course, now we have very easy access to foods high in these desirable substances but our bodies do not know this. By eating natural foods we can help to combat this craving whilst maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle.

The Paleo Diet has been found to help control type II diabetes and reduce high cholesterol and blood pressure.

For a good introductory guide check this book out here – The Paleo Coach: Expert Advice for Extraordinary Health, Sustainable Fat Loss, and an incredible body.

The Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet has been the center of a storm of controversy for many years – ever since its first publication over thirty years ago! A surprisingly high calorie regimen with plenty of fat and lots of protein but very little carbohydrate, the diet was believed to encourage heart disease, boost cholesterol levels and cause the body to go into a state of ketosis which was thought to be harmful. Ketosis is when the body is using fat for energy instead of Glucose. One type of ketone called acetone is bad for the body and usually excreted. It is this enzyme that is checked for when people are using dipsticks in urine to see if they are in a state of Ketosis. This is state is only dangerous when it becomes ketoacidosis which is making the blood more acidic. However what level of Ketosis is safe and what the long term effects of it is are still hotly debated. People with type 1 Diabetes are the group most at risk from this. If you are diabetic and thinking of starting on the Atkins diet or when similar then it is best to consult your health professional.

The author, Dr Atkins, argued the opposite, saying that while cholesterol levels rose initially, they soon dropped down again once the weight loss phase kicked. He added that by cutting carbs and consuming fat the body was being trained to use up fat stores, rather than the easier to burn glucose obtained from the carbs. A state of ketosis, he added, was an indication that the body was successfully burning through those fat stores, and that the side effects of the process (bad breath and constipation in some dieters) were very acceptable compared to the benefits of the regimen.

The first incarnation of the diet was heavily anti-carbohydrate, with very little being allowed, especially during the first two weeks; known as the 'kick start' phase. They were gradually allowed back in as the diet progressed, but many health professionals expressed concerns over the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables allowed in the diet. The regimen has now been re-worked, to allow a slightly more generous amount of carbohydrates to be eaten, which should go some way to alleviating medical concerns.

Debaters on both sides of the Atkins debate have seized on Dr Atkins' heart attack in 2002 and sudden death at 73 in 2003. Detractors claim that his diet 'must' have caused the heart attack and is therefore unhealthy. Those in favor of the diet mention Atkins' assertion, which was backed up by his physician that the heart attack was actually caused by an infection. His death, which occurred when he slipped and suffered a head injury, had absolutely nothing to do with his weight or his diet, despite a host of malicious rumors to the contrary that spread like wildfire shortly after his passing.

While medical authorities are still loath to encourage their patients to follow the Atkins Diet, they have to admit that it does work as regards losing weight. They cannot provide any proof that it raises blood pressure or cholesterol levels. As one doctor said 'It seems to work, but we just don't know the long term effects of such a diet as yet.' There seems to be an air of waiting for the negative side to present itself – surely eating all that fat and protein must have a downside?

This book is a god one for showing you how to incorporate Atkins into your daily life. Fo reviews and pricing have a look here – New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great.

The Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean diet - FishThis diet is widely accepted as being a very healthy and easy to follow regimen. Loosely based on the natural eating pattern of Italy, Greece and Southern France in the 1960s, the diet embraces whole grains, low fat dairy products, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables with generous amounts of seafood, moderate poultry allowance and small amounts of red meat. Wine may be drunk with meals, and the intake of plenty of water is encouraged. It was discovered that despite there being limited medical service in the poorer areas of the above countries, that life expectancy was high, and that elderly people remained fit and active for longer than those in other areas. This was found to be due to the strongly family-oriented society and the wonderful healthy and tasty meals they ate.

The Mediterranean Diet can best be described with a pyramid. The base, which is the widest part, meaning that most of the food eaten should come from this grouping, is made of locally produced and seasonal fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices and evens nuts, seeds and beans. Whole grains appear here too, and this must not be substituted with refined products. Water to drink appears on this base layer too. The next layer of the pyramid comprises fresh seafood, especially fish, caught recently and cooked very simply using only natural ingredients. The middle layer consists of poultry, and low fat dairy products. Eggs and cheese appear here, and are excellent to add flavor and texture to dishes. Wine sneaks in somewhere around this point, as a glass of wine with every meal is considered quite acceptable and even healthy for most. If you suffer from a liver complaint or similar, or even simply prefer not to drink at all, that is absolutely fine. Topping the pyramid, and therefore forming the smallest group, is the naughty but nice foods. Red meat and sweets and treats can be found here. While they are permitted your intake should be carefully monitored and regulated.

Another aspect to the Mediterranean Diet is just as important as watching the foods you eat. The regimen advocates an active lifestyle and puts a strong emphasis on sharing meals with the whole family, with everyone participating in the conversation. Apart from being a great way to have a meal, this daily gathering can help the whole family to de-stress.

Meals made along the principles of the Mediterranean Diet tend to be tasty, simple, made with just a touch of olive oil, and very colorful, enabling everyone to 'eat a rainbow every day!' For a great cookbook this one gets some great customer reviews check it out here – The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: A Mediterranean Cookbook with 150 Healthy Mediterranean Diet Recipes

Paleo Diet Vs. Mediterranean Diet Vs. Atkins Diet  – Which one is best?

To kick-start the weight-loss process and lose those first few pounds quickly, the Atkins Diet seems to be the best. For a long term, sustained healthy lifestyle, especially while raising a family to eat well and enjoy their food, the Mediterranean Diet comes out on top. For those who are more active and sporty, able to concentrate on sourcing food very precisely, the Paleo Diet will keep you trim and well nourished.

All of these regimens can translate to a permanent lifestyle change, or you may want to start with the Atkins Diet to drop the weight, and then switch to the Mediterranean Diet to maintain your progress or dip into the Paleo Diet if you feel that you can get by with less carbohydrates in your diet.

All lifestyle changes should include keeping active, performing some activity at least five times per week that raises your heart-rate for half an hour or so. Essentially you need to create a negative calorie total in your body to lose weight, and exercising boosts your metabolism as does eating those foods that encourage your body to work properly. Taking control of your lifestyle is just the first step in making sure your life goes the way you want it to!

I hope this article has given you some useful insights into deciding which diet to follow. Leave a comment below to let us know who wins the Paleo diet Vs. Mediterranean diet Vs. Atkins diet for you.

Paleo Diet Vs. Mediterranean Diet Vs. Atkins Diet – Related articles

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The Importance of Drinking Water – The Video

I really hope you enjoy this cool video on why we should all be drinking more water to help us stay fit and healthy.

If you enjoyed it be sure leave a comment below.

For a great article on this subject check this out – http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/health-benefits-of-drinking-water-the-top-11-awesome-reasons-we-should-all-drink-more/

Selenium

Selenium - Eggs

UK – 60ug (Female), 75ug (Males)

USA – 55ug (Female), 55ug (Males)

Needed For: Helps to maintain our immune system, prevents damage to cells and tissues.

Found In: Brazil Nuts, fish, meat and eggs. The quanties found in food can vary wildely and depends on the soil they are grown in. For example in the USA it is generally high, in the UK it is generally low.

An excess of Selenium is toxic for the body and can lead to hair and nail loss. This though is not common and rarely seen.

Much more information on vitamins and minerals can be found here

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Zinc

shellfish - zinc

UK – 4 – 7mg (Female), 5.5 – 9.5mg (Males)

USA – 8mg (Female), 11mg (Males)

Needed For: Used for a variety of bodily functions. These included, but not limited by, wound healing, healthy skin, make new cells and enzymes. It can help us process carbohydrates, proteins and fat.

Found In: Whole-Grain cereals, shellfish, seeds, meat and pulses.

Go here to find the essential vitamins and mineral list

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Iodine

Fish - IodineUK – 140ug (Female), 140ug (Males)

USA – 150ug (Female), 150ug (Males)

Needed For: Helps make the thyroid hormones,which in turn help to regulate the metabolism and keep cells healthy.

Found In: Found in seawater, so sea fish and shellfish are a good source. Can also be found in cereals and grains.

For more information on other vitamins and minerals have a look here http://beingfitandhealthyrocks.com/the-essential-vitamin-and-mineral-list/

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Iron

olive oil - ironUK – 14.8mg (Female), 8.7mg (Males)

USA – 18mg (Female), 8mg (Males)

Needed For: Iron is an essential component of blood, or more precisely heamoglobin the substance that carries Oxygen in the blood.

A lack of Iron can lead to aneamia which has symptoms such as tiredness, pale skin and a lack of energy.

Too much iron can lead to constipation, stomach pains and nausea. An excess is classed as over 20mg a day.

Found In: Liver, green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.

Spinach, which due to the Popeye cartoon is thought to be high in iron, is actually fairly low. In fact a checmical in the leaves called Oxalic acid can actually hinder the absorption of both Iron and Calcium.

Click here to find more essential vitamins and minerals

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Sodium Chloride – Salt

Salt

UK – 2400mg (Female), 2400mg (Males)

USA – 1500mg (Female), 1500mg (Males)

Needed For: Used for helping to control the balance of fluids in the body.

The problem most of us face is not that we get to little Sodium, but that we have too much. An excess can lead to high blood pressue, heart disease and heart attacks.

Found In: Salt, processed foods, savoury snacks. It also occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables.

To avoid an excess try not to add salt to your food at the dinner table and limit the amounts you use in cooking.

To learn more about other minerals and vitamins we need you know what to do

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Magnesium

MagnesiumUK – 270mg (Female), 300mg (Males)

USA – 320mg (Female), 420mg (Males)

Needed For: Helps trun the food we eat into energy. It works with Calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth.

A deficiency can lead to tiredness, muscle cranps, appetite loss and abnormal muscle rythmns.

Found In: Whole-Grains, nuts, seeds, brown rice and leafy green vegetables.

The absorption of Magnesium can be hindered by a consumption of two much alcohol.

For more information on the essential vitamins and mineral list Click Here

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Calcium

Orange Juice - CalciumUK – 700mg (Female), 700mg (Males)

USA – 1000mg (Female), 1000mg (Males)

Needed For: Calcium is an essential component of bones and helps to maintain strong healthy bones and teeth.

Calcium also helps in the regulation of blood pressure and it is thought it may help in lowering it. This mineral regulates muscle contractions, including those of the heart. Other areas it helps in include blood clotting and nerve functions.

A defieciency can lead to rickets in young children and oestoporosis in adults, especially women later in life. These areas are where a supplement may be needed, but consult your medical professional first.

Found In: Cheese, Milk, most green leafy vegetables (not spinach), nuts, sardines and pilchards and other fish where you eat the bones.

It has been discovered that only about 40% of the Calcium we eat is actually absorbed by the body. Some foods such as tea and coffee, but also those high in insoluble fiber  such as bran can hinder the absorption of Calcium.

High protein diets can lead to the Calcium being excreted by the body, so if you are following one of these diets you may need a supplement. 

To find more essential vitamins and mineral list click here

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