women

Healthy eating isn’t always straightforward, so we’re staging a food face-off to find out which ingredients have the nutritional edge.

Butter VS margarine

Ad campaigns will say marg is healthier, but butter is the winner here. ‘Butter is a natural product made from milk,’ says Stephanie. ‘Margarine iSan unnatural product made from processed oils, which contain hydrogenated fats.’

The winner is... Butter. Spread a light layer on your sarnies or use for cooking.

The winner is... Butter. Spread a light layer on your sarnies or use for cooking.

The winner is... Butter. Spread a light layer on your sarnies or use for cooking.

Frozen veg VS fresh veg

When it comes to veggies, we want nutrients! So does fresh beat frozen? There’s fresh veg - in season, grown locally, picked when ripe - and then there are “fresh” vegetables - picked before being ripe, flown across the world,’ says nutritional therapist Stephanie Ridley (nourishtoflourish. corn). Where your veg comes from, when it was picked and how long it’s been in transit can affect its health- boosting powers. ‘Frozen veg is frozen soon after picking, which helps preserve its nutrient content,’ Stephanie explains. But to get the best veg, grow your own.’

The winner is... Frozen or local veg. Head to the freezer, grow your own or do your veg shop at a farmer’s market.

The winner is... Frozen or local veg.

The winner is... Frozen or local veg.

Rapeseed oil VS olive oil

When it comes to these two, it’s hard to pick a winner. ‘Rapeseed oil is higher in polyunsaturated fats, lower in saturated fat and richer in vitamins K and E,’ says Stephanie. But extra virgin olive oil has its pluses, too. ‘It’s rich in polyphenol antioxidants that have been linked to an array of health benefits,’ says Stephanie, ‘so there are plenty of benefits to be had from both.’

The winner is... Olive oil (just!). It’s best raw rather than heated, so drizzle over salads or use it to garnish pasta.

It’s best raw rather than heated, so drizzle over salads or use it to garnish pasta.

It’s best raw rather than heated, so drizzle over salads or use it to garnish pasta.

Almond butter VS peanut butter

A nutty spread is great for snacking, but which nut comes up trumps? Almond butter is richer than peanut butter in key vitamins and minerals, says Stephanie. ‘It’s high in vitamin E, which protects the skin and prevents free radical damage, and calcium, which benefits bone health and muscle function.’ And the benefits don’t stop there. ‘Almond butter has more anti-inflammatory properties than peanut butter,’ Stephanie adds. So it seems we have a champion’

The winner is... Almond butter. Spread it on oatcakes or use it as a dip for carrots and celery for the perfect afternoon snack.

The winner is... Almond butter.

The winner is... Almond butter.

Raw chocolate VS dark chocolate

Can chocolate ever be healthy? Going raw might be the answer. ‘Raw chocolate is rich in flavonoids, known to have antioxidant effects,’ says Stephanie. ‘It also contains magnesium, iron and calcium.’ So far, so tasty... But isn’t dark chocolate good, too? ‘It’s just processed raw chocolate, but processing can damage its nutrients,’ says Stephanie. ‘Plus, it has added sugar.’

The winner is... Raw choc. Occasionally’

The winner is... Raw choc. Occasionally’

The winner is... Raw choc. Occasionally’

Couscous VS quinoa

‘Quinoa’s protein quality outweighs that of couscous,’ says Stephanie. Great for filling you up - and it’s strong on the nutrient front, too. ‘Quinoa wins hands down when it comes to its vitamin and mineral content,’ says Stephanie.

The winner is... Quinoa. It’s protein-packed and great in a salad or cooked up as porridge.

The winner is... Quinoa

The winner is... Quinoa

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