Volume 10, Issue 7

October 2018

Healthy Comfort Foods

With the cooler weather, comfort foods look really attractive. Feeling stressed, sad or simply being tired can also make us want to turn to comfort foods. But are they healthy? A lot of our favourite comfort foods can be healthy with just a few subtle tweaks that won't reduce our enjoyment of them. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step towards longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®


Healthy Comfort Food Suggestions

The comfort foods that we enjoy so much in cooler weather tend to be heavy, high in fat and/or refined carbs, and sometimes they involve processed food. But they can be modified without losing flavour or reducing our satisfaction with them.

First, most fats aren't bad for us as we've been led to believe, certainly if consumed in moderation. The only fat to avoid totally is trans fat. Some vegetable oils have drawbacks, e.g. canola oil and soybean oil may be genetically modified and contain glyphosate. Many vegetable oils also contain high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. We need some omega-6, it's an essential fatty acid, meaning that the body does not produce it, and needs to obtain it from food. However, omega-6 causes inflammation, so we need to limit the amount we consume in relation to omega-3 to not more than a ratio of 2:1. Extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil are excellent choices. While you can still find a lot of negative 'information' about butter, there is an increasing amount of research demonstrating that it is healthy, preferably from grass-fed, organic sources.


Here are some healthy comfort food suggestions:

  • Grilled cheese tops the lists of many people. You can make it healthier by using organic whole grain bread, and you can even add roasted veggies.
  • Macaroni and cheese is another favourite. You can use organic whole wheat or brown rice macaroni. Also, avoid processed cheese in powder form and use real cheddar (as strong or mild as you like). Another suggestion is to add puréed butternut squash, pumpkin or cauliflower to your cheese sauce.
  • Pasta - for any pasta dish, you can use organic whole grain or brown rice pasta to create a healthier comfort meal. For lasagna, eggplant slices can also be used as a substitute for pasta.
  • Meatloaf can be made with ground turkey rather than beef (or a combination of the two) to decrease calories and fat. It can also include veggies so you use less meat, e.g. chopped mushrooms, celery and bell peppers. Substituting oatmeal for breadcrumbs increases the healthiness of meatloaf, as well.
  • Beef stew can be low-carb if you substitute turnips for potatoes - the texture is similar.
  • French fries can be baked with seasoning. For an even healthier snack, you can bake sweet potato fries.
  • Fried chicken can be baked to give you the same crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside combination without the use of a deep fryer.
  • Mashed potatoes can be creamy if you use olive oil and broth rather than cream and butter. You can add cauliflower to further reduce calories and increase healthiness.
  • Homemade chicken soup actually is healthy and gives you the option of avoiding the excessive salt of store-bought versions. You can increase its healthiness by adding garlic to help prevent colds, as well as adding other healthy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes instead of noodles. 
  • Chocolate is healthy; it contains antioxidants. Stick to dark chocolate that's at least 70% cocoa for maximum benefits - milk chocolate is sweeter and contains much less cocoa.
  • Brownies can be healthy. You can find recipes on the web for various healthy versions of brownies, e.g. flour-free, low or no sugar, zucchini brownies - there is no end of variations that claim to be just as chocolaty and delicious as any less healthy version.
  • Are you craving ice cream? Coconut milk ice cream or almond milk ice cream are healthy substitutes.

As you can see, we're trying to avoid or reduce sugars and other refined carbohydrates, and in some cases, reduce the calories from fat, so you can apply these general principles to any other comfort food that appeals to you.

If all else fails and nothing but the 'real' comfort food will do, don't feel guilty for an occasional lapse. Tomorrow is another day!



  1. Link R. 11 best healthy fats for your body. July 25, 2018. Accessed September 26, 2018.
  2. Steinhilber B. Why we crave comfort foods - and how to make them healthier. January 24, 2018. Accessed September 25, 2018.
  3. Fischer K. 10 tips for healthy comfort foods. September 16, 2016. Accessed September 16, 2018.
  4. Healthy comfort food recipes. Accessed September 16, 2018. 
  5. Glassman K. 5 comfort foods that are actually really good for you. December 11, 2017. Accessed September 25, 2018.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.


There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that would help you to maximize your health now that summer is over. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Colostrum
  • Super Vitamins & Minerals
  • Vitamin D3
  • Zambroza
Milk Thistle

For additional information, please email or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

Ramila created a nutritional plan for me. She also taught me how to balance out my nutritional needs and what kinds of food eat and to avoid. I started seeing major differences in my body and overall health in just 3 weeks. I had more energy, my headaches were fewer to none, and my feet and joints didn’t hurt as much. I stuck to the health plan and went from a size 15 to now a size 9. I have lost 40 lbs. -RG

The Belly of the Beast


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