2017-11-01 / Living

Not all fats are created equal

Last week, my article touched briefly on diet myths and I want to continue that discussion.

One of the myths I hear about is how fats are bad. We must abandon the notion that low fat leads to less weight gain.

Now, I am not saying you can eat as much bacon as you want so, keep reading. However, some fat is needed in our diet.

Fats serve many functions in the body. In addition to providing more than twice the energy supplied by carbohydrates and proteins and supplying essential fatty acids, fats serve as carriers for fat-soluble vitamins. Fats also add to the aroma, texture and flavor of food and make us feel full.

When reading nutrition labels, it is important to understand there is a difference between saturated fats, trans fats and unsaturated fats.

Overconsumption of fat, particularly saturated and trans fats, is related to six of the 10 leading causes of death.

Animal products and hydrogenated oils include high amounts of saturated fats and trans fats come from a lot of fried or fast food, candy, cookies, etc.

The healthy fats to consume are unsaturated fats, which can improve health, skin softness and metabolism. We want to replace foods high in saturated and trans fat such as butter, whole milk and baked goods with foods higher in unsaturated fat found in plants and fish, such as vegetable oils, avocado and tuna fish.

A simple way to make a healthy change in your lifestyle is to cook foods in olive oil instead of butter or margarine.

We will continue this discussion next week discussing carbohydrates and the truth about them.

If you are interested in finding out more information about being healthy around the holidays, our monthly Lunch N’ Learn will be on Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 12 to 1 p.m. at the County Office Building. We will discuss healthy recipes, recipe substitutions, food safety around the holiday, and you will walk away with a healthy lunch and a healthy holiday cookbook. Registration is only $5 and must be paid by this Friday. Call 336-599- 1195, for more information.

Here is a recipe that can be found on the www.MedInsteadofMeds.com website. For more Food for Thought programs, activities and recipes, check us out online at http://facebook.com/personcountyfcs

Mediterranean Tuna

Salad serves 4

2 (5oz.) cans of tuna packed in water or olive oil, drained and flaked

½ cup minced carrots (~2 carrots)

½ cup minced celery (~2 celery sticks)

½ cup minced yellow bell pepper (~1 small bell pepper; any color is fine)

¼ cup minced red onion (substitute with yellow or green if preferred)

¼ cup minced olives (substitute with pickles if preferred)

1 Tbsp olive oil

¼ tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

In a medium size bowl, combine the carrots, celery, bell pepper, onion, olives, tuna and olive oil. Season with black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Mix well. Serve as a sandwich on whole-grain bread or on top of salad greens.

Nutritional Information: 124 calories, 6g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 15g protein, 5g fat, 559 mg sodium

Recipes submitted by Jennifer Grable, Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) N.C. Extension Service agent. For more information, email her at jbgrable@ncsu.edu.

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