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Saturday, February 9, 2008


I am sure you've heard that there are "good fats" and "bad fats", but maybe wonder "what does that mean?!". Good fats are generally monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that lower cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Bad fats are generally saturated and trans fats that raise cholesterol levels--they are pure evil. So evil, in fact, that there are motivated people who have started a Campaign to ban the use of trans fats!

Now, a word about trans fat--you would be surprised and horrified at how many products and processed foods have trans fat. Avoid purchasing anything that has the words "partially hydrogenated" in the ingredient list, which means that it is made with partially hydrogenated oils. No good can come of this. Go look at stuff in your kitchen!! Also, any product that is so sneaky as to advertise as having "No Trans Fat PER SERVING" is misleading because it contains trace amounts of trans fat that are below the FDA approved threshold for reporting but, in the aggregate, can contain significant amounts of trans fat and should be avoided. For example, take a look at peanut butter. Your average jar of Skippy advertises "No trans fat per serving", is made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (cottonseed, soybean and rapeseed), and adds sugar. Ideally, what you want in a nut butter is the good fats that some nuts provide, so what you want to look for is 100% nut butters that have ONE ingredient: Nuts! (I am in love with almond butter and other raw nut butters, which I will save for another post).

It is best to use fats and oils sparingly, and when you do use oil--pick a good one. Use olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, walnut oil--these oils have low amounts of saturated fats and higher amounts of polyunsaturated and monounstaurated fats. There has also been a controversial debate about coconut oil. Personally, I adore all oils made by La Tourangelle because they are good quality oils that are packed with Omega 3, 6 and 9.

On another note, I once told my mom to think of your body like a machine--if you dont give it the right kind of superior energy (read: foods) then how can you expect it to function on a superior level?! It's true--your body has the potential to be a well-oiled machine!!! I also tried to convince my mother to throw out all items in her cabinet that have "partially hydrogenated" in the ingredient list and she says to me (on the phone): "Since WHEN did you become a crazy health nut???!!". I explained that I am not a "crazy health nut"...I am more like the average health-conscious person who still splurges sometimes but who likes to be aware of what I put in my body....and I love nuts.

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