‘Healthy’ isn’t a word we naturally associate with anything fatty, but these latest findings might begin to change this perception. The health benefits of pork crackling might come as a surprise to many. But the top 100 nutritious foods have been revealed, and pork fat surprisingly made the top ten!
Could eating pork fat be the latest unexpected healthy food fad?
The surprising health benefits of pork crackling
According to the list published on BBC, pork fat made the top ten nutritious foods because it is rich in B vitamins and minerals.
Yes, pork fat is also high in calories, but scientists argue that because these are unsaturated fats, pork fat is a better alternative than lamb or beef dishes.
If you think about it, this shouldn’t be surprising, especially with the rising popularity of the Ketogenic diet. This regimen advocates for healthy eating and a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat.
Now before you go ahead and gorge yourself on delicious fat, make sure to consult your doctor first.
Make the most out of the health benefits of pork crackling by making your own! You can find a recipe here.
What other food made the top 100?
Aside from pork fat — number eight on the list with a nutritional grade of 73% — here are other scrumptious and nutritious foods that made the top 10:
- Snapper. Though nutritious, they can have dangerous toxic levels (through mercury). Serve with care.
- Beet greens. These are high in iron, calcium, vitamins K and B.
- Swiss chard. This green, leafy veggie is packed with anti-oxidants.
- Pumpkin or squash seeds. These are high in iron and manganese.
- Chia seeds. These seeds have high amounts of protein, dietary fibre, phenolic acid, and vitamins.
- Flatfish. Rich in vitamin B1, this type of fish has low to zero mercury content.
- Ocean perch. High in protein, low in saturated fats, this is often served as a steamed or deep fried dish in Asian cuisine.
- Cherimoya. This fleshy, sweet fruit is packed with potassium as well as vitamins A, C, B1 and B2.
- Almonds. The healthiest of them all, with a grade of 97%, is packed with monounsaturated fats. It also builds up cardiovascular health and is believed to combat diabetes.
For the complete list, visit the BBC website.
The health benefits of pork crackling for your family: Know the kinds of fat!
The best first step to cultivating healthier eating habits is eating smart. Making smart food choices begins with knowing what goes into what you put in your body.
For instance, you should be able to distinguish between saturated and unsaturated fats.
Our bodies need dietary fat as an energy source; it also helps process vitamins and minerals, like vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Saturated fat can be found in red meat and dairy products, like some types of butter and cheese.
Many nutritionists believe that too much of this fat can put you at risk for heart disease, but more research is needed to back these claims.
Trans fat found in fried chicken, processed snacks, french fries, margarine, pancakes, cakes, and pies should also be served in moderation. Not only does it possess zero nutritional value, it can also be hazardous to your long-term health.
As for unsaturated fat, it is found in fish, vegetables, olives, and nuts. There are two main types: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. The former helps lower heart disease risk, and can help regulate cholesterol and blood sugar. The latter helps blood clotting and improves muscle movement. It is something our bodies can’t reproduce, so we need to get our monounsaturated fats from our diet.
How much fat should your family consume in a day?
Your toddler needs fat for their energy, growth, and development! Just remember: everything in moderation.
Monounsaturated fats can be found in avocados, most nuts, most seeds, and certain types of oils, specifically peanut oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil.
Foods with Omega-3 fatty acids are packed with polyunsaturated fats. Good examples are fatty fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, and mackerel).
You should only be eating 25 to 35% of total dietary fat per day, recommends the American Heart Association.
Saturated fats should be limited to less than 7% of your daily caloric intake. So if you’re on a 1,800-calorie diet, you should only consume 126 calories of fat.
For children aged 2 to 3, the recommended daily fat intake should be about 30 to 35% of their daily calories. One gram of fat = 9 calories.
Once they are past the age of three, their recommended daily fat intake decreases to about 25 to 35% of caloric intake. Why? During their toddler years, fat is a crucial part of their growth and development. It is also a major energy source.