I have been told that it is easy to tell which food has the saturated
fat in it, and which does not….. If it tastes good… DON'T
However, these days, if you are willing to jump through a few hoops
when cooking at home, there are substitutes which make many foods significantly
more tolerable, even for people like myself who really watch our fat
(and especially saturated fat and trans fat) intake very very carefully.
You probably know already from your reading that meats are generally
high in saturated fats, so reducing or eliminating red meat is a start—chicken
is moderately better than red meat, and fish (even crustaceans with
higher cholesterol in them) is the best. Certain fish have high omega
3 fish oils which are considered by many to actually have a positive
effect on heart health.
If you are pan frying fish (or stir-frying vegetables, for that matter),
using olive oil makes this a dish that is generally good for your heart
instead of bad for it. Olive oil has a relatively low burning point,
though, so it may smoke a bit and you’ll need to keep the temperature
a bit lower than normal. Alternatively, you can find avocado oil which
can tolerate a higher temperature before getting smoky… and it
has absolutely no unusual taste associated with it. You can also experiment
with certain fake butters currently on the market… there is one
product which has NO fat (it works ok on toast, but pretty bad when
it comes to frying) called Fat Free I Can’t believe It’s
Not Butter® and another few that have sterols and use soybean extract
(these have some fat, a smaller amount of saturated fat, and no Trans
fatty acids) such as Take Control Light® which some people believe
is helpful… these products can be used for frying fairly effectively.
Just put a tablespoon or two of any of these oils or fake butter in
a frying pan, and then dredge shrimp, scallops, or any fish fillets
in a light coating of flour (and spices as you choose) and cook for
a few minutes per side (a little less for scallops as they get tougher
with cooking). This gives a nice tasty and browned outside to all these
dishes, without adding any of the bad stuff! Try it.
While we are on the topic of frying, there is a new potato chip product
on the market that I’ve discovered that actually tastes very good
and has NO fat…. I was quite skeptical about this until I tried
them… RufflesWow® potato chips in varieties such as Doritos®
and Lays®-- they have 1/2 the calories and absolutely no fat, no
saturated fat, no cholesterol, etc… they are made with a patented
cottonseed oil and they taste fried and crispy!!!
I still haven’t come up with acceptable French fries, however!
I suspect that deep frying is another story altogether!
I’ll keep you posted on tasty solutions (as opposed to trying
to make you like foods that you never used to eat!) as I find them.
In the meantime, of course, try to like your vegetables, fruits, and
rice & beans… there are some very interesting and tasty ways
of spicing them up as well. That’s for another time.
Our next American HeartHealth Tip will discuss the recent Journal of
American Medical Association article which revised their attitude about
vitamins… they have gone from a stance of recommending proper
diet and no vitamins to a new opinion which is proper diet AND vitamins…
see what they have to say and WHY they have changed their mind…
all in the next Tip next month.
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