What is Flexitarian?

The concept is that you don’t need to chose to stop meat.
You can make a moderate decision and reduce meat consumption and be more plant based.

Package Variations For Lifestyle and Budget:

As an alternative to 100% plant-based, vegetarian or vegan diet-styles, there is a plant-based option that allows for some meat: Flexitarianism.

Although vegetarianism is growing, so is the trend to eat mostly plant-based foods but include some quality free-range chicken, lamb, fish, ostrich or grass-fed beef for health reasons.

Moderation is a key principle for diet, exercise and life. Many people also want to avoid the commercial ultra-refined plant-based high-protein foods that have flooded the marketplace.

Real food must be prioritised.

Whether you’re aiming to reduce your meat consumption for health or ethical reasons, or simply want more vegetables in your life (which is a great idea for nutrient density and gut health), the flexitarian diet has something for everyone.

As with all our EatClean Range meals and kits, our Flexitarian options focus on wholefood vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds and exclude processed ingredients, preservatives, refined carbs, and added sugars (apart from the occasion limited use of honey in some meals).

Any animal proteins we do include in our meals come from grass-fed/free-range farms and are free of routine antibiotics and growth hormones.

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Your health is at risk now!

 99% of commercial food

is highly processed,

full of additives & preservatives,

too high in added sugar and inflammatory oils.

This is toxic to your cells, liver & gut.

FitChef is the only food company with the strict EatClean Ethos.

 

Our EatClean solution helps you avoid fake food and ensures
you get 100% real whole food with gut-healthy fibre.

 

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Avoid the common mistakes:

  1. We plan to eat healthy next week (again) but…
    life gets busy.

  2. We plan to buy healthy food but…
    commercial food, restaurants and take-aways serve too many refined foods & additives.

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    overspend on expensive impulse buying. Order upfront for the month.

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What Customers Report:

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    12. Boosted overall health factors

Delicious, calorie controlled, portioned perfectly, convenient, affordable and super user friendly website for purchase. Always delivered properly frozen and packaged well. Great updates on time of delivery so one can pack the meals in the freezer without them defrosting. Not more you can ask for! I just love FitChef!

Nikki - 14 May 2021

I love fitchef food and the way it makes me feel. I usually react to preservatives and other ready made meals but fitchef meals make me feel great! I also love the sourdough bases and burger kits that make entertaining easy and tasty!

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Great food, personalised service, always available to chat and share advice and insights. Feels personal. Food is consistent, well measured and well prepared. Customer for lif

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See what makes our EatClean range so effective?

South African adults are eating a whopping 12 teaspoons of sugar per day, according to research (The USA average is around 17 teaspoons per day).

It is a well-known fact that our food system is overloaded with added sugar. Sugar is nutrient- and fibre-poor yet packed with energy, making it a poor choice, diluting the nutritional value of our diets with loads of empty and wasteful energy (kilojoules/calories). 

Added sugar is broken down in the body into glucose and fructose. The muscles and brain can use and store glucose as glycogen. However fructose is almost entirely processed by the liver. The trouble is that fructose is regarded as the more ‘dangerous’ sugar being linked to fatty liver disease and metabolic disease.

Let’s be sensible about sugar. While we all need to actively watch our sugar intake, we need to especially focus on avoiding added sugars from foods like soft drinks, treats like cakes, cookies, sweets and pastries, and ultra-refined foods. Many people tend to demonise a nutrient, suggesting that we should eliminate all/most whole fruit because of the fructose component. But we need to also realise the incredible benefits of fruit that is rich in nutrients, antioxidants and more. It is important to note though that natural sugar, like that found in fruit, has not been linked to inflammation, behaving very differently to added sugar when consumed and digested in the body. In fact, many foods containing natural sugars, such as fruits and vegetables, are actually anti-inflammatory foods. Fruit and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants that soothe inflammation and are also accompanied by fibre which slow down the digestion and absorption of the natural sugar which prevents blood sugar spikes.

Fruit juices, even when unsweetened, are still unnaturally high in fructose sugar. Drinking large amounts of fruit juice instead of sodas is not recommended as this can certainly contribute to metabolic diseases. Rather choose mostly eating the whole fruit instead of the fruit juice version. At least fruit juices do contain a lot more nutrients than soft drinks or energy drinks. Fruit juices have a place in a balanced and healthy diet, but we need to use them very carefully and responsibly.

 

The FitChef Way

This is why FitChef does not add sugar to any of our foods, rather utilising the natural sweetness of fruit and vegetables in our meals and the occasional touch of honey. FitChef does understand that adding honey is considered adding sugar, which is why we only do it occasionally. However we do regard honey as a better bioactive source of things like antioxidants, flavonoids with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Honey has health properties that other sugars do not, but it is still considered a carb and a sugar that counts towards your daily calories.

 

References

  • Vorster HH, Kruger A, Wentzel-Viljoen E, Kruger HS, Margetts BM. Added sugar intake in South Africa: findings from the Adult Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology cohort study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2014;99(6):1479-86.
  • Jegatheesan P, De Bandt JP. Fructose and NAFLD: The Multifaceted Aspects of  Fructose Metabolism. Nutrients2017, 9(3), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9030230
  • Hannou SA, Hasmal DE. McKeown NM, Herman MA. Fructose metabolism and metabolic disease. J Clin Invest.2018;128(2):545-555. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI96702.
  • Joseph SV, Edirisinghe I, Burton-Freeman BM. Fruit Polyphenols: A Review of Anti-inflammatory Effects in Humans. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr.2016;56(3):419-44. Doi: 10.1080/10408398.2013.767221.
  • Zhu F, Du B, Xu B. Anti-inflammatory effects of phytochemicals from fruits, vegetables, and food legumes: A review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2017;58(1):1-11.

Man-made, artificial sweeteners are chemicals that can have a detrimental effect on gut health, and perhaps even our weight. There is evidence that artificial sweeteners make you hungrier, potentially causing us to overeat. Gut health has become one of the most important aspects of our health. It is important to look after the good bacteria in your gut for overall health. Your body has about 30 trillion human cells and around 40 trillion bacteria cells weighing as much as 200g. Without bacteria we cannot function. Avoid artificial sugars and eat a lot of whole food in order to look after your important gut bacteria.

The FitChef Way

The sweetness in our FitChef meals comes naturally from whole, real foods like fresh fruit. We need to eat for future health, by avoiding compounds that disrupt our gut health, like artificial sweeteners.


References

  • Farup PG. Are Non-nutritive Sweeteners Obesogenic? Associations between Diet, Faecal Microbiota, and Short-Chain Fatty Acids in Morbidly Obese Subjects. Journal of Obesity. 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/4608315
  • Khan TA, Ayoub-Charette S, Sievenpiper JL, Cornelli EM. Non-Nutritive Sweeteners and their Effects on Human Health and the Gut Microbiome. Encyclopaedia of Gastroenterology, 2nd Edition; 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-801238-3.62162-1
  • Rother KI, Conway EM, Sylvetsky AC. How Non-nutritive Sweeteners Influence Hormones and Health. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2018;29(7):455-467.
  • Sender R, Fuchs S, Milo R. Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body. PLoS Biol. 2016;14(8).

It is likely that one of the worst mistakes of modern food is that its fake, based on food that tastes ‘like’ something without containing the real thing. Why not use the real thing? Real vanilla is delicious, and it has all the complex natural aspects of real whole food. Chicken flavour should come from properly roasted free-range chicken.


Artificial flavour come on the form of white powders that mimic the flavour without any of the goodness. In effect when companies use fake flavourants it is because they are 100% after profits before health. You can add fake flavourants to water and refined flour mix to thicken, then add colourants and sugar to create cheese sauce without the cheese, chicken, or roasted onion flavours without any of the goodness of the real ingredient (i.e. vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fats, protein, carbs, or fibre).

The FitChef Way

Variety is the spice of life. At FitChef, we optimise and enhance the natural flavours of fresh whole foods like high fibre starches, grass-fed meat, healthy fats, and fresh fruit and vegetables. Our FitChef meals have an extra kick from natural flavours like lemon juice, mint, ginger, cacao, and healthy fats like peanut butter. This means FitChef is proudly free from added flavours.


Adding real food to create more flavour is far more expensive than just adding a flavour powder, but your health must come first.  The one aspect you need to be aware of is that when using real foods only, our batches of food will never taste the same. Mother Nature is continually changing flavours, colour, sweetness and wateriness slightly based on the weather, seasonal, and environmental factors. We believe this is a good thing and it creates a diversity in your diet.

Food is complex: It is not just about the 13 vitamins, 102 minerals, carbs, fat, and proteins. You actually have over 351 754 chemicals present in your body, called metabolites, that we know very little about. Nature focuses on balanced, change and diversity and the full scope of nutrition. Man-made chemicals generally do not have the full spectrum nutrients at the core and clearly, we know that even the most advanced scientist does not understand a fraction of what makes up food and affect health.


The FitChef Way

With our strict #eatclean ethos our food has no man-made chemicals like artificial sweeteners, preservatives, additives, and colourants. Rather we choose to optimise the natural sweetness, colouring and preserving properties of whole, real food in FitChef meals.


References

  1. The Human Metabolome Project. Accessed 21 April 2021. Available at: https://hmdb.ca/

Preservatives are additives that were not in our food historically. The use of food additives in food production is inevitable in this modern world. While we understand that in modern city life, we need convenience, we cannot allow convenience at the cost of your health. Be smart and use your freezer and fridge which are natures perfect preservative. Studies have shown that food additives like preservatives have a negative effect  on our gut microbiota.Preservatives (like the nitrites and nitrates found in processed meats) has been shown to increase our risk of colon cancer and should be limited in a healthy diet.

The FitChef Way

FitChef meals are preservative free, and we use only natural preservatives like in-land salt, citrus fruit like orange, lemon, and grapefruit, and vinegar to keep our food safe  to eat.

 

References

  • Word Cancer Research Fund/ American Institute for Cancer Research Continuous Update Project Export Report 2018. Preservation and processing of foods and the risk of cancer. Available at dietandcancerreport.org.
  • Gultein F, Oner ME, Savas HB, Dogan B. Food additives and microbiota. North Clin Istanb. 2020;7(2):192-200.

We seem to have this unwritten contract with food companies where the public supposedly expects food to always be the same colour or be bright, even if that means artificial colourants are used to adjust that. In reality some green tomatoes are sweeter than red tomatoes, but we expect red colour.

 

In nature, colour represents ripeness, sweetness, antioxidants, and nutrients. Colourants add colour without the nutrient bomb. Let’s rather be real! People who eat a variety of different coloured fruits and veggies may have lowered inflammation and therefore a reduced risk of certain diseases, such as stroke, diabetes, and cancer. This is because the natural plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables their colour are also important nutrients that may provide health benefits.


The FitChef Way

FitChef is proudly free from added colourants, using only the natural colourants of nature’s real foods, like the deep purple of beetroot or dark brown of cocoa powder. It is important to note that because FitChef is 100% whole food company, we do expect that our meals will never be the same colour, and we are ok with that. Sometimes beetroot is exceptionally dark, other times light. Tomatoes change intensity, sweetness and wateriness and so do all other ingredients like chilli and even salt. Various batches of salt do change the intensity or depth. This is all good, nature embraces change for the sake of diversity and our health.

 

References

  • Joseph SV, Edirisinghe I, Burton-Freeman BM. Fruit Polyphenols: A Review of Anti-inflammatory Effects in Humans. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr.2016;56(3):419-44. Doi: 10.1080/10408398.2013.767221.
  • Zhu F, Du B, Xu B. Anti-inflammatory effects of phytochemicals from fruits, vegetables, and food legumes: A review. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2017;58(1):1-11

Healthy fats should always be on the menu. These omega-3s are beneficial for our health with good anti-inflammatory properties. However seed oils like sunflower oil, corn oil, safflower oil, canola oil and soybean oil have pro-inflammatory properties and may contribute to our risk of coronary heart disease. 

The FitChef Way

Olive oil is without a doubt one of the healthiest oils to use in our diet and why FitChef proudly uses extra virgin olive oil in our meals. Research shows that regular consumption of extra virgin olive oil (compared with refined olive oil) might help in the prevention, development, and progression of type 2 diabetes. In addition, olive oil contains other bioactive compounds and phytonutrients for good health. Seed oils promote inflammation and too much inflammation is a bad thing (causing aging etc). Often coconut oil is either rancid or has additives (often not declared) so we are wary of using coconut oil. We don’t use canola oil in our Strict EatClean Range because of trials that show increased inflammation, oxidative stress and other negative health effects.

References

  • Martinez Gonzalez MA et al. Olive oil consumption and risk of CHD and/or stroke: a meta- analysis of case–control, cohort, and intervention studies. British Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2014;112:248-259.

Schwingshackl L et al. Olive oil in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus- a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies and intervention trials. Nutrition and Diabetes. 2017;e262.

Studies have shown that food additives such as artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, emulsifiers, food colorants, flavour enhancers, thickeners, anticaking agents, and preservatives have a negative effect  on our gut microbiota. We have no control of the quantity of additives we consume, now found in everything and its mostly bad news for our health. Additives like emulsifiers, preservatives, stabilisers, flavours are not used for your benefit (with some exceptions). Additives make the food producers life easier and products cheaper to produce, without the nutrient density. Additives can reduce cooking time, turn water into gel, add flavours without cooking the old-fashioned  nutritious way by slow cooking, reducing, browning, or roasting. Ultra-refined and junk food look and even taste like the real thing sometimes, but always without the long term nutrient density with health benefits.



The FitChef Way

Preservatives, colourants, artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, and stabilisers are all no-go additives in FitChef meals.
Old fashioned techniques usually include the use of whole foods and whole foods have natural colour, flavour, fibre, minerals, vitamins and all the other great nutrients to optimise your body and mind. It is certainly harder to produce FitChef food, way harder. We use more raw whole food ingredients than anyone else… but if you put health first then this is the only way. Real food is the answer. The world is not sick and overweight because of too much broccoli consumption… we are in this state because of fake foods!

References

  • Gultein F, Oner ME, Savas HB, Dogan B. Food additives and microbiota. North Clin Istanb. 2020;7(2):192-200.

Emulsifiers are food additives used to alter the food’s texture and extend the shelf life. Examples of emulsifiers inlcude sodium stearoyl lactylate, mono- and diglycerides, ammonium phosphatide, locust bean gum, xanthan gum, guar gum lecithin, carrageenan, and canola oil.

New research has shown that emulsifiers may impact on  our gut health, weaking the gut microbiota which may drive inflammation and increase our risk of metabolic syndrome. Emulsifiers are generally not considered real food or whole food ingredients. Free from emulsifiers, FitChef sticks to its #eatclean ethos. While emulsifiers are useful to get oil and water to bind (and not split back into water and oil again) it is also used to make cheap sauces that are not reduced the old fashioned way to be nutrient dense. An example of a natural whole food emulsifier is mustard, often used in salad dressings to bind oil and vinegar.

The FitChef Way

Call us old fashioned but we use real ingredients, with slow cooking and reducing techniques to thicken sauces, sometimes using a touch of tapioca after reducing to bind sauces. Our food is nutrient dense because of this.

References

  • Partridge D, Lloyd KA, Rhodes JM, Walker AW, Johnstone AM, Campbell BJ. Food additives: Assessing the impact of exposure to permitted emulsifiers on bowel and metabolic health – introducing the FADiets study. Nutr Bull. 2019;44(4):329-349. doi: 10.1111/nbu.12408

Stabilisers are additive ingredients in foods that increase stability and thickness and maintain it is structure. Studies have shown that food additives such as artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, emulsifiers, food colorants, flavour enhancers, thickeners, anticaking agents, and preservatives have a negative effect  on our gut microbiota.


The FitChef Way

Since FitChef is all about real, whole food, stabilisers are unnecessary and not used in our meals.

References

  • Gultein F, Oner ME, Savas HB, Dogan B. Food additives and microbiota. North Clin Istanb. 2020;7(2):192-200.

While yeast or nutritional yeast are often beneficial, we have found that it can make meals acidic or cause heartburn (We had tested nutritional yeast in some meals but general feedback from customers and industry professionals made us question the side effects).  It is our personal preference not to use nutritional yeast (for now) It is probably not the yeast but that fact that the yeast is in a highly refined carbohydrate, as is usually the case with bread and cakes.

The FitChef Way

We also prefer getting the flavour from whole food, nutrient dense, fibre-rich herbs, spices, and natural inland salt.

Some food processing can be of benefit to our health and minimally processed foods can have a place in a healthy and balanced diet. But the real worry is when food becomes heavily processed with the addition of copious amounts of sugar, salt, preservatives, flavourants and colourants, and the removal of healthy nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Diets high in ultra-processed food are nutritionally unbalanced, and have been linked to a variety of poor health issues such as overweight/obesity, several cancers, diabetes heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and even depression.

The FitChef Way
FitChef is the perfect blend of convenient and healthy eating while avoiding all things ultra-processed.

Developing your FQ (Food Intelligence Quotient) is an important part of healthy conscious eating where you are aware of the impact of your food choice on your long term health, energy, focus, happiness, aging and impact on the world and others.

References

  • Elizabeth L et al. Ultra-Processed Foods and Health Outcomes: A Narrative Review. Nutrients; 2020:12,1955. Doi:10.3390/nu12071955

FitChef proudly advocates for the pursuit of healthy and sustainable dietary patterns. We say no to crash diets and binging, and yes to moderation with healthier treats like our Beetroot Brownie and Amazeballs. One of the most important ideas we believe we can promote is that you need to over the long term build a healthy lifestyle that becomes a habit everyday. This should not be too hardcore and impossible to fit into your lifestyle (within reason, as a lifestyle change like only buying fruit and healthy food for you home will benefit you greatly). Ask yourself, what can I commit to for 10 years? After all, there is evidence that a fat cell can live for just under 10 years. Short term dieting does not eliminate the fat cells – that takes time.

 

Your health is the average of all your combined eating choices over time. Eat with the future in mind. Most people will do better but creating small shifts in calories month by month, to eventually create a balanced long term successful approach to dieting. Hard core diets almost always lead to long term failure and although you may lose weight in the first weeks, you will regain that weight and never reach your goals.

FitChef proudly advocates for the pursuit of healthy and sustainable dietary patterns. We say no to crash diets and binging, and yes to moderation with healthier treats like our Beetroot Brownie and Amazeballs. One of the most important ideas we believe we can promote is that you need to over the long term build a healthy lifestyle that becomes a habit everyday. This should not be too hardcore and impossible to fit into your lifestyle (within reason, as a lifestyle change like only buying fruit and healthy food for you home will benefit you greatly). Ask yourself, what can I commit to for 10 years? After all, there is evidence that a fat cell can live for just under 10 years. Short term dieting does not eliminate the fat cells – that takes time.

 

Your health is the average of all your combined eating choices over time. Eat with the future in mind. Most people will do better but creating small shifts in calories month by month, to eventually create a balanced long term successful approach to dieting. Hard core diets almost always lead to long term failure and although you may lose weight in the first weeks, you will regain that weight and never reach your goals.

Real food is food that is mostly unprocessed, free of the nasty additives like flavourants, colourants and preservatives, and rich in healthy nutrients. Think of real food as the type of foods that humans have been eating for thousands of years, made from ingredients that are as close to their natural state as possible for optimal health.

 

100% real food is the name of the game at FitChef. We proudly follow the real food principles of using whole, minimally processed, raw ingredients to make our meals healthy and nutritious with the convenience our customers have come to love and trust.

Starting before birth and continuing throughout life, we live in harmony with the 40 trillion bacteria and other organisms in our gut, collectively known as the gut microbiota. A fibre-poor diet is a big contributed to poor gut health. With 65% of our immune system is found in the gut, optimising our gut health will help keep our immunity in tip-top shape. Refined, fibre-poor starches are a no-go at FitChef, and we use only high fibre and wholegrain starches  like brown rice, wholewheat pasta, quinoa, oats, and bran.

 

References

  1. Mayer EA, Tillisch K, Gupta A. Gut/brain axis and the microbiota. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2015;125(3):926–38.
  2. Goulet O. Potential role of the intestinal microbiota in programming health and disease. Nutrition Reviews. 2015;73(S1):32–40.
  3. Sender R, Fuchs S, Milo R. Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body. PLoS Biol. 2016;14(8).

No foods are as nutrient dense as fruit and vegetables, rich in healthy nutrients like vitamins A and C, folate, and potassium. These fresh foods from nature also contain gut-healthy fibre, are low in energy, and are virtually free from less desirable nutrients like cholesterol, sugar, sodium, and saturated fat. This is part of why a diet rich in fruit and veg can help manage our weight, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers, and improve gut health.

 

And in case you needed even more reasons to up your fruit and veg intake, low intakes of fruit are linked to over 520 000 heart disease deaths and more than 1.2 million stroke deaths each year. Low veggie intake is estimated to result in just under 810 000 heart disease deaths and over 210 000 stroke deaths. Pumping up the fruit and veggies in your diet is made super easy with FitChef’s nutrient-dense meals.

 

References

Salt, also known as sodium chloride, is made up of 40% sodium and 60% chloride. As an essential nutrient, we certainly need some sodium in our diets for muscle contractions, nerve transmissions, and for the balance of body fluids and electrolytes. For these daily functions, it is estimated that we need about 500mg of sodium daily.

 

With just a touch of inland natural salt, FitChef meals remain mostly low in sodium. Why inland salt? We are specific about our salt because we believe that sea salt is not an option as the sea is sadly one of the most polluted spaces and needs urgent attention. We would prefer to use a real inland salt source. Inland salt has more trace minerals which arguably could have small positive impacts on health. We feel that our dedication to salt selections shows our commitment to find the best version of any ingredient… always trusting nature.

What a cow eats can significantly affect the nutrient composition of its beef. This is particularly evident when it comes to fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. According to local research, grain-fed beef contains less total fat and less saturated fat than beef from grass-fed cattle. The omega 3/ omega 6 ratio was more favourable in grass-fed beef and more healthy fatty acids like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), all linked to great health benefits.

 

References

  • Hall N, Schonfeldt HC, Pretorius B. Fatty acids from grain fed and grass-fed beef in South Africa. Lipid Technology. 2016; 28(12):192-195. Available from https://doi.org/10.1002/lite.201600051.

In the long run convenience of healthy food may be the biggest enabler of long term healthy habits. If you had good food always available in our home its more likely that you would eat it and more likely that you would see positive effects on your life. The FitChef kits are designed for your health and your convenience. Sign up for a recurring order and live the FitChef real food lifestyle from today at www.fitchef.co.za.

What is FitChef doing for long-term eating habits?

Launching early June, we have the FitChef Cravings Range.

Your new tastebuds BFF with healthier favourites
like Chicken Pie, Moussaka, Rich Chicken Soup, Authentic Chicken Tikka
and other ready to roast dinner favourites.

These will satisfy and delight you
with bigger portions and rich flavours.

The 80/20 rule

FitChef Cravings
satisfies all ‘cravings’ (the proverbial 20%).

FitChef EatClean Range
satisfies your body, brain and microbiome (gut)
to achieve your optimal potential (the proverbial 80%).

Welcome to 365 days of healthy food solutions that work!

#FitChef365

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