Does the word “fat” send a shudder down your spine? Let’s shed some light and see if it can allay those fears.
Dietary fats are essential nutrients for our bodies. They
Provide energy — about 9 calories per gram
Protect (cushion) our organs and bones
Provide some insulation from the cold
Support cell growth
Have important roles in digestion
They come in different shapes and sizes. The major ones are
Recommended Daily Intakes are
Adults, 20-35% of total daily calories from all fats
Limit saturated fats to less than 7% of these
Limit trans fats to less than 1% of calories
Remaining fats should come from sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, fish and vegetable oils
Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300mg per day
Toddlers (age 2-3) have a need for slightly more fat calories, about 25-35% of calories per day
But by age 4, it drops back to that 20-35% level and remains there for life
Saturated Fats, more specifically Saturated Fatty Acids, are the main dietary cause of high blood cholesterol.
They are found mostly in foods from animals and a few plants. Most often they are solid at room temperature.
Beef, beef fat, veal, lamb, lard, poultry fat, butter, cream, milk, cheeses and other dairy products made from whole and 2 percent milk are the most common sources.
Note that these foods also contain dietary cholesterol.
Coconut, coconut oil, palm oil and palm kernel oil (those so-called tropical oils) and cocoa butter are the plant sources.
Trans Fats are created when oils are hydrogenated to make margarine and shortenings so that they are easier to handle and more shelf stable. They may be present in baked goods and fried foods where these hydrogenated fats are used. Check the Nutrition Facts label on the package, and avoid them as much as possible.
Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats, again, more specifically Unsaturated Fatty Acids, are found mainly in fish, nuts, seeds and oils from plants, e.g., olive oil, almonds, cashews, avocado, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and vegetable oils, such as safflower, corn, sunflower and soybean oil.
According the American Heart Association, “Knowing which fats raise LDL cholesterol and which ones don’t is the first step in lowering your risk of heart disease. In addition to the LDL produced naturally by your body, saturated fat, trans-fatty acids, and dietary cholesterol can also raise blood cholesterol.” So plan for more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and reduce your family’s intake of those saturated fat, trans-fat, and cholesterol bearing foods. There are numerous Low Fat and Low Cholesterol recipes made with California Raisins, and you can grind them to make a paste and substitute that for part of the fats called for in many recipes. Check out these possibilities at LoveYourRaisins.com:
Angostura Entrée Salad has a dressing made with raisin paste that should go with those holiday leftovers as well as chicken breasts.
During the coming busy holiday season, remember California Raisins are always a Wise Choice.
Get Your Bake On!
November 17 is Homemade Bread Day. There’s not much that is better than the smell of freshly baked bread when you open the door after a long day at work or school. So have some ready when your kids come home from school and enjoy it with them while they share their days at school.
Thanksgiving is remembering our blessings and sharing them with family and friends while enjoying all that abundance of food that makes this day so special. To make preparation for Thanksgiving dinner easier, take a spin off the traditional roasted whole turkey, with Breast of Turkey Stuffed with Chestnuts, Pistachios, and California Raisins. If you must, a whole turkey, goose or duck is something special when filled with Golden State Stuffing with its California Raisins and apples, too.
These are just a few of the great ideas and recipes to be found at LoveYourRaisins.com. Whether its home for the holidays or over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house, California Raisins can add to the fun and enjoyment. From Cookies to Breads to Party Foods to that all-important Thanksgiving Meal, they are the Wise Choice for better eating, every time!
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