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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 22, 2017

Fat: friend or foe

Jul 20, 2017

By Melissa Boncher, Hy-Vee Dietitian

 

Dietary fat is essential to health. They help the body absorb nutrients and fat-soluble vitamins. vitamin A, D, E and K, need fat to be absorbed by the body. If you don’t get enough fat in your diet, you risk getting inadequate amounts of necessary fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. Concentrate on eating healthy fats like monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fats. Monounsaturated fats (MUFA) may help to improve cholesterol levels, which may decrease your risk for heart disease. These fats may also be beneficial to insulin levels and blood sugar control. Olive, canola and peanut oil are all high in monounsaturated fat. Avocados, nuts and seeds are found to be high in MUFA. Polyunsaturated fats are found in soybean, corn and sunflower oils. These polyunsaturated fats may improve blood cholesterol levels. Omega-3 oils may play a role in lowering triglycerides, blood pressure and risk for heart disease. Foods high in omega-3s include salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, walnuts and flaxseed. The omega-3s EPA and DHA may help you focus by boosting brain cells and neurotransmitters.

When cooking, try using different oils for different applications. Extra-virgin olive oil can be used as a salad dressing and for sautéing over low to moderate heat. Soybean oil, often labeled as vegetable oil, can be used in many recipes from baked goods to salad dressings. Avocado oil can be used in salad dressing and for stir-frying or sautéing. Canola oil works well with sautéing, baking and frying.

Remember to always store your oils in a cool, dark place instead of right next to the stove, as heat and light can damage oils. The next time you think “fats are bad,” think again! Make it a priority to build healthy fats into your meals.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Mediterranean Veggie Flatbread (As seen in Hy-Vee Balance Magazine)

Serves 4

 

All you need:

2 whole wheat flatbreads, such as naan

Hy-Vee non-stick olive oil cooking spray

½ tsp. plus ¼ tsp. Cajun seasoning, divided

2 large Kalamata olives, halved

2 mini seedless cucumbers, sliced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 1/3 cup white bean spread, recipe below

2 tbsp. fresh parsley leaves

1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves

2 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

 

White Bean Spread: Pour ¾ cup water into a large saucepan, add 2 cloves peeled garlic and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 2 (15oz) cans Hy-Vee cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, and return to boiling. Drain the mixture, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking liquid. Transfer drained mixture to a food processor. Add 1 tbsp. Hy-Vee Select extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary and process, adding just enough of the reserved cooking liquid to make a thick, smooth paste. Season to taste with a salt and pepper, if desired.

 

What you do:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place flatbreads on an ungreased baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with ½ tsp. Cajun seasoning. Bake 8 minutes or until golden and crisp on the edges. Allow flatbreads to cool 3 to 4 minutes before topping.

3. Combine Kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and shallot in a small bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and add remaining ¼ tsp. Cajun seasoning. Stir well to combine. Prepare White Bean Spread.

4. Spread cooled flatbreads with White Bean Spread and top with chopped vegetables. Reserve remaining spread for another use. Sprinkle with parsley, oregano and feta.

5. Cut flatbreads into slices and serve.

Per Serving: 310 calories, 7g fat, 630mg sodium, 48g carbohydrates, 9g fiber, 14g protein

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