Foods Your Taste Buds and Heart will Love

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High fat foods may be what your taste buds love, but your heart may not always agree! High fat foods, such as bacon, sausage, potato chips and butter—just to name a few, can cause your cholesterol to go up and lead to unwanted pounds.

Healthy fats, which include monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil, almonds, peanuts and avocados, are better for your heart than saturated fats (fats that are hard at room temperature or are from an animal source).

Here are some guidelines to help your taste buds and heart agree:

Read labels. 

If choosing snack foods, processed meals, frozen dinners or desserts—look for labels that have 3 grams of fat or less per every 100 calories. Also, choose foods that have 1 gram or less of saturated fat per 100 calories.

Avoid deep fat frying.

Bake, broil, boil, microwave or grill foods instead.

Choose lean meats.

Poultry without the skin, fish that is not fried and does not have a cream or butter sauce, and beef or pork that have the words “round” or “loin” listed in the cut are considered lean meats. Trim the visible fat off the meat. An appropriate portion of meat is the size of a deck of cards.

Avoid foods with trans fat in them.

This usually has the words “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list.

Use a vegetable spray to coat pans for cooking.

You may find that different brands offer different seasoned sprays that give your foods a variety of flavors.

Grab low fat, healthy snacks.

Buy fresh fruit, vegetables with low fat dip, low fat cultured yogurt, pretzels or low fat popcorn instead of snack chips, cookies or ice cream.

Go easy on the nuts.

Cut the handful of nuts in half!

Be careful when adding fats to foods.

One teaspoon of margarine, butter, or mayonnaise and one tablespoon of dressing is a serving size.

Look for low fat ways to add flavor to food.

Try salsa on your baked potato; red onion and a spray of lemon in your tossed salad; freshly ground pepper on your entrée; or sprinkled cinnamon on your toast.

Your heart and taste buds will agree!

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Article by: Beth A. Ackerman, R.D.

Beth Ackerman, R.D., is a registered dietitian and a certified diabetes educator with the UofL Physicians – Diabetes and Obesity Center. Beth is on the team of educators of the ADA-approved diabetes education team at UofL Physicians. She has counseled people with diabetes for more than 25 years. Ackerman serves as the Diabetes Prevention Program Workgroup co-chair for the Kentucky Diabetes Network and volunteers at Camp Hendon, a diabetes camp for children.

All posts by Beth A. Ackerman, R.D.
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