Egg, legume, pulses, nuts & seeds
Good news on eggs
Did you know that blood cholesterol levels are more influenced by the saturated and trans fat we eat than the cholesterol in foods? That's why it's OK to eat eggs - you can enjoy up to six eggs each week as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Eggs are very nutritious, always available and easy to cook quickly. Did you know that eggs contain good quality protein and omega-3, plus 10 vitamins and minerals? They are an essential part of any healthy eating plan and also provide a quick delicious snack when time is short. Eggs make great lunchbox fillers for adults and children and are very portable when hard boiled.
Cholesterol in eggs
One egg has about 5 grams of fat – but most of this is the ”good” unsaturated fat that you need to be healthy. An egg contains only about 1.5 grams of saturated fat and no trans fat at all.
The cholesterol in eggs has only a small insignificant effect on LDL cholesterol, especially when compared with the much greater effects that saturated and trans fats in our diet have on LDL cholesterol.
Some people are more sensitive to dietary cholesterol. This means that their LDL cholesterol levels rise from eating foods containing cholesterol more than other people's do. If you want to know your cholesterol level and how to manage it, talk to your doctor or an Accredited Practising Dietitian for individual advice.
Eggs and diabetes
All Australians, including people with diabetes or metabolic syndrome, who follow a healthy balanced diet low in saturated fat can eat up to six eggs each week without increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease. You can eat one egg most days of the week or eat a serve of eggs (two eggs) in two or three meals a week (ideally boiled, poached or scrambled using reduced, low or no fat milk).
Eggs and the Tick
Eggs have the Tick because they are a nutritious food. It’s a similar case with lean meat and avocadoes, which also have the Heart Foundation Tick.
Legumes and pulses
Legumes and pulses are a great source of protein and they are also low in fat. They’re full of fibre and they have a low Glycaemic Index which means they can help you feel full for longer. Beans and lentils are also a useful source of iron for vegetarians.
Try to include legumes and pulses in at least two meals a week.
What is a Pulse?
A pulse is an edible seed that grows in a pod. Pulses are a great source of protein for vegetarians, but they are also a very healthy choice for meat-eaters.
Pulses include the whole range of beans, peas and lentils including:
- Split peas
- Butter beans
- Broad Beans
- Baked beans
- Kidney beans
- Three bean mix
Beans, in particular, have a reputation for causing wind or flatulence, especially those cooked from dried legumes. To stop them causing flatulence, soak them overnight before cooking them in fresh water.
Healthy heart tip
You can add pulses to soups, casseroles and meat sauces to extend the meal and add extra texture and flavour. This means you can use less meat, which makes the dish lower in fat and cheaper - important if you have a big family, are on a budget or catering for a large number.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are both delicious and nutritious. Try to include these in your meals every day using plain, unsalted unroasted varieties:
- Pine nuts
- Brazil nuts
- Tahini -sesame seeds
Healthy heart tip
Replace roasted salted nuts with natural selections. Look for peanut butter made without added salt and sugar. A serving of nuts or seeds is a handful (30 grams) of plain, unsalted nuts.
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