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“Fat in food does do your body some good. It is a necessary nutrient. Fat provides essential fatty acids, from which your body makes molecules it needs to function properly. It acts as a wall of protection around your vital organs like your heart and kidneys. It also acts as an insulator for the body. Fat carries essential (fat soluble, meaning they dissolve in fat) vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins cannot be absorbed into your body without fat. Although a diet high in fat is unhealthy, fat is the ingredient that makes most foods taste better, because flavor adheres to fat. Fat can offer a concentrated source of energy because fats have a tendency to pack together if they’re not in water so they become a source for greater energy storage. Fat protects your internal organs from going into shock. It insulates the body in extreme temperature conditions. It also acts as an emergency fuel supply in times of illness. Extremely low-fat diets suck the oil right out of your skin. You need a certain amount of fat in your diet for skin to look healthy.”
Marilu Henner, The Total Health Makeover
Learn more about what “good” fats can do for you and how to incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle filled with delicious, energizing, whole foods. Join us at Marilu.com by clicking here. Take advantage of our special New Year pricing and gain access to our January, Lucky 13, class !
Is that fatty fast food snack worth the risk you’re taking? We know that poor eating habits take their toll over time but did you know that there’s an immediate risk as well?
According to a study published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology three to five hours after eating a 900 calorie fast food meal, containing 50 grams of fat, 38 healthy adults experienced a temporary decrease in arterial dilation.
It’s much easier to prevent poor health than it is to reverse it. Think before you pull the trigger on a full fat “meal” in a bag. We would argue that it’s NOT a great value.
No, we’re not getting political. That’s the percent of heart disease thought to be preventable through diet and lifestyle.
There’s plenty of good news when it comes to preventing heart disease. While saturated fats (think meat and dairy) and trans fats (think fried and processed) will raise your levels of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, there is such a thing as “GOOD” fat.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can lower the LDL levels and RAISE your HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
We’re going to be including information throughout February with specifics about how to make protecting your heart easy, with just a few simple changes to diet and lifestyle.
See how a plant based diet, filled with good whole foods, can give you more energy, more vitality and HEALTHIER HEART !
Marilu.com will give you the reasons why, the “how-to’s” and a community of support to make it easy and fun.
“Fat Free” figures prominently in advertising these days. It seems like a modern day miracle that we can eat what we like without ingesting the amount of fat normally associated with it.
The truth is that flavor adheres to fat so those cookies with “FAT FREE” emblazoned across the box probably have lots of sugar and sodium (and calories) added to make up for the lack of fat.
We need fat in our diet for a great many reasons. It acts as a wall of protection around your vital organs like your heart and kidneys. It’s what allows vitamins A, D, E, and K to be absorbed into your body. It insulates your body in extreme temperature conditions and also acts as an emergency fuel supply in times of illness.
Do your homework. Learn the difference between saturated fats, (found in meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, and any products made with lard) monounsaturated fats (these are a little better for you and are found in oils like olive peanut and canola and also in peanut butter and avocados) and polyunsaturated fats, whch is found in fish, soy, corn and sunflower oils as well as walnuts and some salad dressings to name a few.
The key lies not in eliminating fat but in making wise choices about how you’ll reduce your fat intake. There are simple common sense choices you can make today. Eat your chicken without the skin, and choose broiled over fried. Sub turkey or fish in place of beef or pork. Take a look at what sauces you’re ladling over your pasta. Try dairy free ice creams. There are so many delicious versions on the market now. If it’s been a few years since you’ve given these a try you’ll be thrilled with the variety and the flavor in today’s products.
When it comes to “super foods” walnuts are just that. Super good for you. They contain antioxidants called phytosterols (known cancer fighters) as well as plant based omega 3 fats. Diets rich in omega 3′s also help keep your bones strong and healthy.
Throw some in your oatmeal, muffins, or pasta dishes. Keep a bowl handy for snacking. Walnuts in the shells will keep you busy working for your food…especially good for boredom eaters and TV snackers.
If you’re just beginning your foray into healthy cooking you’ve noticed that the acronym EVOO is everywhere. It stands for Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Most of the time the word “extra” makes you think “more”. In this case it means less in the sense that EVOO is the least processed and the least acidic olive oil you can purchase.
Virgin olive oil is the second least process and both contain monounstaurated fat and may lower your LDL or bad cholesterol. What DO you get extra? You get high levels of polyphenol, a powerful antioxident that promotes heart health.
And we’re not even including quitting smoking or using sunscreen daily. Check out nine more ways you can fight aging.
Not enough sleep * If you’re up watching late night television, you’re probably not getting the 7-8 hours of sleep you need each night to help fight high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, and looking and feeling old.
Too many sweets * Sugar not only adds pounds, it also makes your skin dull and wrinkled. Here’s the biology: There’s a natural process known as glycation, in which the sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules called advanced glycation end products (AGEs, for short). The more sugar you eat, the more AGEs you develop; these damage surrounding proteins like collagen and elastin, which keep skin firm and elastic. Once damaged, springy and resilient collagen and elastin become dry and brittle, leading to wrinkles and sagging. These aging effects start at about age 35 and increase rapidly after that (British Journal of Dermatology), so limit your sugar intake.
Stress! * Stress increases the concentration of the hormones cortisol and norepinephrine in the bloodstream, kicking up blood pressure and suppressing immunity. Over time, stress that doesn’t go away can delay healing, harden your arteries, and possibly shrink areas of your brain involved in learning, memory, and mood. Try deep breathing or meditation to relax consciously.
Sporadic exercise * It’s not just for losing weight. Research shows that vigorous exercisers have longer telomeres—cellular biomarkers that shorten as we age—compared with healthy adults who rarely work out. Being active consistently can help fight brain fog, reduce inflammation, and prevent type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions that crop up over time. Get moving for at least 20-25 minutes a day.
Big sound * Hearing loss usually develops gradually, but the more you play that iPod at full volume, the more quickly you’ll need a hearing aid. Keep the volume as low as possible, and use noise-cancelling headphones so you’re not using the volume to fight ambient noise. Use earplugs when you’re around other loud noises, like the lawn mower.
Setting friendships aside * Satisfying friendships predict longevity better than even close family ties, and they can protect against obesity, depression, and heart disease, among other health problems. Your friends keep you young—simple as that. Make time for friendships.
Skipping fruits and veggies * You’ve likely heard that antioxidant-packed fruits and veggies can help you stay young. These powerful compounds fight free radicals that would otherwise wreak havoc on your body and skin, damaging cells that can lead to cancer and make you look older. Antioxidants remain active for only a few hours and need to be continually replenished, so it’s a daily deal – even better at every meal.
Cutting the fat * Don’t cut out the fat; choose the smart fats. Stopping the artery-clogging saturated and trans fats is a heart-healthy move, and keeping the unsaturated fats, like those found in fish, nuts, and olive oil, is wise. Omega-3 fatty acids are the ultimate anti-aging fat, essential for protecting your brain, heart, bones, joints, skin, and more. Monounsaturated fats can lower bad LDL cholesterol, raise cardio-protective HDL cholesterol, and decrease your risk of atherosclerosis.
Not enough sex * It’s not just fun, sex is great for your health. People with active sex lives have stronger immune systems, less pain, a lower cancer risk, healthier hearts, and less stress. The best news: It can even make you look younger—up to 12 years, a study shows. So rekindle the romance between you and your partner.
So… now we know to watch out for too much fat (most of which comes from animal products) and dairy. Kind of surprising, right?
If eating vegan sounds difficult, why not try it in small doses? More of a “vegan-ish” approach than a fully vegan approach. Start with eating one vegan meal a day, and when that gets easy, go for two vegan meals a day, or 10 vegan meals a week, or vegan family dinners, or ordering vegan food in a restaurant, or bringing vegan food to a picnic or potluck dinner. Challenge yourself a little bit.
Our online class in July is the very popular Viva la Vegan class – where you don’t have to be vegan, but you can get great recipes and reasons to try it out. Learn ways to make a vegan lifestyle (or even a vegan-ish lifestyle) work for you. Sign up now and don’t miss out!
Calories and fat grams can really add up on salad. Here are a few ways to reduce the amount of dressing you use. Enjoy the taste of the actual vegetables in your salad – don’t obliterate them with the dressing.
Dilute salad dressing with a little bit of water and apply it with a small spray bottle.
Use your fork to drizzle salad dressing over your salad, instead of a spoon or pouring from the “on the side” cup or bottle.
At home, put your salad in a clean plastic produce bag (like the ones from the grocery store) and add 1 teaspoon of dressing per serving. Blow a little air in the bag if it’s just for you, or “capture” a little air by grabbing the bag at the top. Twist it closed and shake the bag to distribute the dressing evenly.
Flax seeds are the richest commonly available seed source of alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3′s). Alpha-linolenic acid is one of the essential fatty acids – “essential” because they cannot be produced within the body and must be acquired through diet. Most oils and their corresponding seeds contain more omega-6′s, so it’s good to work on getting more omega-3′s to achieve an optimum balance.
If you are trying to restore the balance between omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids in your diet, you may want to eat a tablespoon or two of flax seeds every day. Some experts recommend eating whole flax seed rather than flax seed oil because you get the whole package: the protein, fiber, minerals and phytochemicals along with the omega-3′s.
20 grams of flax seed (2 Tablespoons) yields about:
7 grams of fat (60% omega-3 polyunsaturated, 18% monounsaturated, 10% saturated)
5 grams of protein
5 grams of fiber (3 grams insoluble, 2 grams soluble)
1 gram of minerals
2 grams of water
Flax seeds are also the best source of the phytochemical lignan (not to be confused with lignins, a type of fiber). Flax contains 100 times the concentration of lignan as wheat bran, the next best source. This phytochemical is believed to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties
Unless you do something to break the hard outer coating of the flax seeds, they may pass through your body undigested. Whirl them in a blender for a few seconds to break them into rough pieces, or mash them with a mortar and pestle. Or you can grind them into a meal with a coffee mill or spice grinder. You can also buy flax meal already ground – although it may go rancid more quickly than the whole seed.
Omega-3′s are the least stable of the fatty acids, so the oil turns rancid quickly if it is exposed to heat, light or air. Grind the seeds shortly before you eat them, and store any surplus in the refrigerator or freezer. Flax oil should also be stored in the refrigerator, with the cap tightly closed. Do not buy flax oil from a shelf, only from a refrigerator.
Sprinkle your seeds on cereal or salads, into smoothies, or on just about any other food. They have very little flavor and just a bit of crunch. If they taste unpleasant, they’re rancid and you need a new batch.
A caution: you should not eat more than three or four tablespoons of raw flax seeds a day (we think one or two is plenty.) They contain cyanogen which is harmless in small amounts, but in large amounts can act to keep your thyroid from taking up enough iodine. Cyanogen is rendered inactive by cooking. But the omega-3′s are compromised, too.
Add 1-2 Tablespoons of ground flax seeds to your daily healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains and other seeds.
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Our recipe today supports vegan baking. Ground flax, when combined with water, makes a flax slurry. This is sometimes called flax eggs, and it can often be used in place of eggs. It has the consistency of egg whites.
Flax Eggs egg replacer for vegan baking
1/3 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup water
Grind flax seeds in spice grinder. Transfer to blender or food processor. Turn processor/blender on, and slowly add the water. Blend till mixed well and consistency of a milkshake. Store in fridge in well sealed container. Use 3 Tablespoons for every egg in baking recipes. Will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.