Fish, Meat, Nuts and Dairy



Incorporating fish on a regular basis to your diet has many benefits. Especially since it is now well established that dark fleshed freshwater varieties are rich in polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acids. In the long term this equates to maintaining healthy blood cholesterol levels which reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes and other related blood circulatory problems which can happen later on in life.

Other benefits also derived from seafood is their high protein content, furthermore they are a significant source of vitamin D. which aids in the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D is highly important for cell rejuvenation, which the skin manufactures when exposed to sunlight, the downside being that as we get older vitamin D production becomes seriously compromised, resulting in a decline making it necessary to consume more sources of vitamin D within our diet.

One thing to be aware of is unfortunately that various fish can and do absorb contaminants, the most common being mercury which is present in our atmosphere both naturally occurring and also due to industrial pollution. Once it accumulates within our rivers and oceans it becomes methyl mercury which is more harmful. However this is of more concern with those that have longer life spans as they have had time to absorb more into their systems, these species include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish which are all deep sea dwellers.

In summery they are high in protein, nutrients, particularly vitamin D, and rich in antioxidants and are low in saturated fats.

fish omega 3 chart

Omega-3 levels in varying fish species


T-bone steak

Meat is an excellent source of protein,iron and minerals such as zinc and phosphorus and vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B12, thiamin and riboflavin.Meat should always be eaten in moderation due to the fat content which can contain a high percentage of saturated fats. Such levels are naturally dependent on the species or breed of the animal as well which part of its anatomy is used, and to a lesser degree although still important is the cooking method adopted.

Due to widespread growing health concerns, breeding and butchery methods have considerably reduced fat levels in meats, whilst due to the very nature of muscle tissue containing various levels of fatty deposits, total levels have been reduced considerably through selective breeding and to more recently organic farming (also called `free range') of livestock. The latter proving beneficial in reducing toxins e.g. pesticides and phosphates not to mention steroids used to enhance animal growth rates.

So therefore whole lean meat is always the best choice. When it comes to processed meats they should only be consumed occasionally. Generally they can be high in fats (usually saturates), additives and salt, not to mention `other fillers'.


mixed nuts
Undoubtedly a very healthy choice in ones diet, however due to their high fat content they should be used as a replacement in our diet as opposed to an addition to. After saying this though it is worth mentioning that the fat content in question is of the mono and polyunsaturated variety which is naturally beneficial. Nuts do come with varying nutrient profiles so therefore it is necessary to include a variety in your diet. For example Brazil nuts are high in selenium and walnuts do have high amounts of omega 3 - 6 fatty acids. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, cashews are high in magnesium and pecans are loaded with zinc.

All nuts though rank highly in protein and fibre and are a favourable choice within a healthy diet, and for maximum benefit should be consumed in their natural state as opposed to roasted or salted etc.


dairy products
Generally speaking dairy products are all foodstuffs that are derived from milk, and can also be that which is produced by animals, in which case we must include eggs also.

Once again moderation is the key for consumption and also selection should be `free range' as in the case of eggs. The yolks of the egg of `free range' eggs are usually orange and taste much better, as opposed to the pale yellow yolks that are derived from their battery raised counterparts.

In recent times it has been postulated wether dairy products are necessary in our modern diet. There is no denying they have good calcium levels, as well as containing high levels of protein and animal fats unfortunately of the saturated variety.

In the early stages of our development they clearly do benefit us, however in later life our bones are already well developed and should have good density anyhow so the main focus should be on calcium retention as opposed to intake alone. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that large quantities of protein and indeed salt also actually draw calcium from the bones where upon it ends up in our urine.

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Here is an article at EarthSave which covers this in more detail.

FAO supplies some excellent meat facts here.....

The Mayo Clinic website is an excellent destination for all matters dietary, and other related health information facts.

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