I’d like to make healthier food choices. What should I keep in mind?

First, eliminate foods that increase oxidative and inflammatory stress in the body such as gluten (wheat, rye, barley and its products), dairy products and sugar. These foods instigate the immune system and keep inflammation elevated. This is the origin of many diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, leaky gut, thyroid issues, PCOS and other hormonal problems. Include clean carbohydrates like rice, sweet potatoes, potatoes, gluten-free muesli, organic fruits and vegetables in your diet. Have more of free-range eggs, grass-fed meat, lentils, fish and chicken as your protein sources. Use coconut oil, ghee or organic butter for cooking. Snack on some nuts or an avocado to ensure good-quality fat intake. Second, start your day with a source of fat. Having 5-15g of good-quality fat first thing in the morning helps stabilise your insulin levels. Organic ghee, organic coconut oil, coconut chunks, avocado, a handful of mixed nuts or a handful of olives can be your fat-first options. Third, get your proteins correct. Just cleaning up your diet and having 30 per cent of your calories from protein is good. If you understand your appetite well, you’ll know when to stop eating. You’ll notice how you feel like eating a lot more meat or lentils some days to feel satiated while on other days half the amount is more than enough.

I was recently told that margarine may not be a healthy choice and I should consider having butter instead. Is this true?

One extremely simple and effective way to check if a particular product is good for you and your family is to turn the pack around and read through the ingredient list. Make this a practice and your body will thank you for it. Margarine will usually contain hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil, both of which are nothing but trans fats that your body cannot process. It’s the type of fat that is strongly linked to heart disease, metabolic derangement and also causes a disrupted lipid profile – in other words high blood cholesterol levels. Margarine is not found in nature and is highly processed. When you have healthier and nutritious options such as virgin coconut oil, clarified butter (ghee), there is no need to rely on margarine. All of the other options are great for hormonal health and have a positive effect on your body.