I have an intolerance to dried fruit and nuts. What would be the best substitute for me to continue getting the good fats that nuts provide?
There are good fats in avocados; olives; canola, sunflower, safflower oils and margarines; olive oil and fish. These foods contain mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, which play an important role in keeping the body healthy.
Make sure you select foods that are low in saturated fat, because your body converts saturated fat in food into “bad” or LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol then gets plastered over your artery walls and makes them harden and this is the start of sclerosis and will eventually lead to blockages and heart attack.
The overall message for healthy eating when it comes to fat is that the calories are the same for both unhealthy and healthy fats; 10 calories or 37kJ per gram. This compares to carbohydrates and protein, which are both 4 calories per gram (protein, 17jK per g; carbohydrates 16kJ per g).
A general guide for a weight loss diet is that having some healthy fats at lunch or dinner is adequate. You do need to keep at least 20g of healthy fats in your daily intake to help reduce your risk of developing gallstones.
For more information on healthy fats and heart healthy eating visit the Heart Foundation website
Are you Australia's healthiest eater? Try the Healthy Eating Quiz developed by the School of Health Sciences in the Faculty of Health at the University of Newcastle.
Dr Clare Collins is a Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle and consultant for The Biggest Loser