Welcome to Stellenbosch University

​​​​​The Nutrition Information Centr​e ​​of the 
University of Stellenbosch​ (NICUS)

Food and guidelines for healthy eating

​​​Summarised general guidelines on healthy choices

Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dry beans and nuts ​

Primarily provide protein, vitamin B, vitamin B12, phosphorous, iron, niacin, thiamin and magnesium.​

LEAN CUTS - beef, pork, veal, venisonGround beef (mince; excluding extra lean mince), sausage, hot dogs, viennas, bacon, polony, luncheon meats (cold meats), lamb, fried meats, fish or poultry
ANIMAL ORGAN MEATS - liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, brains
Chicken, turkey, duck, guinea fowlAny poultry cooked in fat or oil
Fish, Choose fresh or canned fish from the green list. Go to seafood cooked in fat or oil
Dried Beans, dried split peas, lentils
Soya and Soya products
Any legumes cooked in fat or oil
Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecan nuts, pistachio, walnutAny nuts covered with coatings (chocolate etc.)
Eggs, Peanut ButterFried eggs
Although this list is COMPREHENSIVE, it is by no means COMPLETE.
  • Give preference to fish, poultry (without skin), and legumes (dry beans, lentils, soya and soya products, split peas), as these are the choices lowest in fat.
  • Try to eat fatty fish (tuna, salmon or snoekl) two times a week as these are rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which is protective against heart disease.
  • Choose lean meats, look for unmarbled cuts i.e. meat cuts not speckled with fat.
  • Decrease fat during meat preparation:
    • Trim all the fat you can see.
    • Remove skin from poultry.
    • Broil, roast, grill, stew, braise or boil these foods instead of frying them.
    • Use a non-stick pan or a vegetable spray to fry and to avoid adding oil.
    • If you do fry, use vegetable or olive oil instead of saturated fats such as lard or shortening. Stir-fry the food rather than deep-fry.
    • Place meat on a rack when cooking so that fat can drip off.
  • Nuts, seeds, and peanut butter are high in fat, so eat them in moderation.
  • Preferably choose fish, which is water-packed; oil-packed, only adds fat.


  • Compare meat prices at the butcher and the supermarkets.
  • Choose meat that has less bones and fat. Soup bones are therefore a bad buy. It is better to buy a packet of dried beans.
  • Buy less tinned meat, polony and other cold meats and sausage, as processed meat is usually expensive, and often contain fillings like fat, gravy, vegetables and/or cereals in large quantities.


  • Buying a bigger chicken usually yields more meat and less bone proportionally than a smaller chicken.
  • Compare the price per kilogram for whole chicken and chicken portions as there is more bone in whole chicken.
  • Chicken liver is one of the cheapest and most nutritious forms of meat.


  • Tinned fish like pilchards is the cheapest form of fish. Other forms of canned fish are expensive.
  • Fresh fish is usually more expensive than frozen, except at the coast.
  • Whole fish is usually cheaper than fish without bones. The head and fins can be used for fish soup. However compare the price per portion and not per kilogram.


  • Dried legumes are not only good substitutes for meat, fish, eggs or cheese, but can be used to make foods go further (meat extenders).
  • It is not necessary to eat meat everyday. Meat alternatives, which are cheaper can be used as substitutes or used to bulk up meals.
  1. o Add cooked dried beans to stewed meat.
  2. o Mix mashed, cooked dried beans with mince or fish to make meat loaf or fish cakes or meatballs.
  3. o Soya beans have been processed to form textured soya proteins that resemble meat in taste and look, and can therefore be used as meat substitutes.
  4. o Textured soya protein products can be used to stretch mince in bobotie, fricadels and other meat or chicken dishes.
  • One kilogram of dried beans yields 33 portions, while 1 kilogram meat yields 9 portions (1 cup dried beans, raw yields ± 8 cups cooked).


  • Peanut Butter can be used as a sandwich filling and can be stirred into porridge. ​