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Brittany Michael

Picking the right fats

Don't you just love this time of the year? No matter what you celebrate or where you visit, there are tempting food choices everywhere! I know it can be very hard to resist all those goodies for me, so I'm sending along some helpful tips to avoid the unhealthy fats and eat the heart healthy fats over the holidays.

If you look at the Nutrition Facts Label on your packaged food items, you will see lots of things listed. Today we are going to focus on the Total Fat which includes heart healthy fats (Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated) and unhealthy fats (Saturated and Trans). The American Heart Association recommends eating 20-25% of fat calories from unsaturated fat (MUFA & PUFA) food sources, and limit saturated fats to 5-7%. Unhealthy fats raise your blood cholesterol level, which after time can create blocks in your arteries (which carries blood and oxygen throughout your body) and later causes heart attacks, strokes and possibly death.

Can you guess what kinds of foods contain heart healthy fats?
Nuts, olive and canola oils, beans and peas, fish, lean meats, eggs and low-fat or fat-free milk.

Can you guess what kinds of foods contain unhealthy fats?
Coconut oil, fatty meats, cheese, butter, lards, whole and 2% milk, baked goods with these ingredients, organ meats and processed luncheon meats.

Healthy ways of cooking to limit unhealthy fats:
• Bake, steam, roast, broil, stew, or boil instead of frying. This helps remove fat. Try these quick tips:
- For crispy fish: roll in cornmeal and bake.
- For crispy chicken: remove the skin; dip in skim milk mixed with herbs and spices; roll in bread crumbs, cornflakes, or potato flakes; and bake.
• Take off poultry skin before eating.
• Use a nonstick pan with vegetable cooking oil spray or a small amount of liquid vegetable oil instead of lard, butter, shortening, or other fats that are solid at room temperature.
• Trim visible fat before you cook meats.
• Chill meat and poultry broth until fat becomes solid. Skim off fat before using the broth. Use skimmed broth to cook greens instead of fatback, hog jowls, or salt pork.

Source:VCE Publication: 348-735
Be Heart Smart! Eat Foods Lower in Saturated Fats and Cholesterol


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Author - Brittany Michael Author - Karen Poff Author - Karen Ridings Family & Human Development Family Financial Management Food, Nutrition, Health

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