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Tired of boring steamed veggies and dry chicken breast? Are you still putting fat free dressing on your salad? It’s time to bring on the tasty (and healthy) fats!
That’s right. Not only is it “OK” to cook with healthy oils and to add fats in other ways to our foods, but it is actually recommended to do so… and for good reasons!
For starters, there is the matter of taste. Veggies just taste better with a bit of added fat. Imagine salad with a drizzle of extra virgin olive, a squeeze of fresh lemon, pepper and a bit of salt. Or sliced zucchini, yellow squash and onions sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, canola oil or avocado oil. Steamed broccoli is stepped up a notch with a bit of real butter. A generous brushing of olive – oil based Italian dressing tastes SO good on a chicken breast. You get the idea!
Then there is the issue of absorption. Veggies are packed with thousands of compounds called “phytonutrients” (let’s call them “phytos”). These “phytos” keep us healthy by boosting immunity, fighting off cancer cells and keeping our eyes sharp (just to name a few of the jobs they perform throughout the body). But here’s the catch... there must be some fat with the meal in order for “phytos” to be absorbed (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2004). “Phytos” aren’t able to do their work if we cannot absorb them!
Still another reason to add some healthy fat to your meal is to help boost HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels. It could be as simple as adding crunchy sliced almonds to the green beans or a few slices of avocado to the salad.
Your Taste Buds will Appreciate these Delicious Ways to Bring on the Healthy Fats:
Try mashed avocado on your toast tomorrow morning.
Enjoy your baked sweet potato with a small amount of real butter (skip the heavily processed margarine). A dash of cinnamon is optional!
Sprinkle roasted sunflower seed kernels or sliced almonds onto your salad for a delicious crunch (instead of croutons!)
Brush whatever you are grilling with extra virgin olive oil. Avocado oil or canola oil also work well.
Toss seasoned chunks of veggies with extra virgin olive oil and roast them in the oven. Here is a super – simple recipe for preparing roasted veggies: http://www.chopchopmag.org/recipe/roasted-vegetables