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The finer fats

Not all fats are created equal. Although fat should only account for 25 to 35 percent of your daily calories, the kind of fat you consume is just as important as the quantity. Most of what you eat should come from unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Primarily found in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and fish, these oils can have a positive effect on your health — helping reduce “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels and lowering risk of heart disease and stroke. Here are some tips:

  • For cooking, dressings, or baking, use monounsaturated oils such as canola, olive, and sunflower. Or try polyunsaturated oils like safflower, soybean, and corn.

  • Avoid foods with saturated fat or trans-fatty acids, such as partially or fully hydrogenated oils like shortening, which can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

  • Get your omega-3 essential fatty acids from cold-water fish like salmon, or from flaxseeds and walnuts. These anti-inflammatory fats have been shown to lower risk of cardiovascular disease, improve cholesterol, and help keep your joints and skin healthy.

Foods which are high in monounsaturated fats — such as avocados, peanut butter, nuts, and seeds — are also often high in vitamin E, a key antioxidant.

Recipes Honey-Soy Broiled Salmon

A sweet, tangy and salty mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar and honey does double-duty as marinade and sauce. Toasted sesame seeds provide a nutty and attractive accent. Make it a meal: Serve with brown rice and sautéed red peppers and zucchini slices.

 

Makes 4 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dinner

Ingredients

  • 1 scallion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of minced fresh ginger
  • 1 pound of center-cut salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip) and cut into 4 portions
  • 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds, (see Tip)

Directions

  1. Whisk scallion, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and ginger in a medium bowl until the honey is dissolved. Place salmon in a sealable plastic bag, add 3 tablespoons of the sauce and refrigerate; let marinate for 15 minutes. Reserve the remaining sauce.
  2. Preheat broiler. Line a small baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
  3. Transfer the salmon to the pan, skinned-side down. (Discard the marinade.) Broil the salmon 4 to 6 inches from the heat source until cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes. Drizzle with the reserved sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.

Tip

How to skin a salmon fillet: Place skin-side down. Starting at the tail end, slip a long knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either. To toast sesame seeds, heat a small dry skillet over low heat. Add seeds and stir constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and let cool.

Nutrition information

Per serving: 161 calories; 5 g carbohydrates; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 23 g protein; 53 mg cholesterol; 0 g dietary fiber; 457 mg potassium; 252 mg sodium. Nutrition bonus: Selenium (60% daily value), excellent source of omega-3s.

Provided by EatingWell.com © 2013 EatingWell® Media Group

Milk it

Most milk is fortified with vitamin D, which helps boost immunity and strengthen bones — in fact, it’s required for normal absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Otherwise, calorie, fat, and calcium content varies depending on the type of milk you buy. Check out the nutritional details below. The information listed refers to one serving, which equals eight ounces or one cup.

  • Whole milk: 146 calories, 7.9 grams of fat, and 276 milligrams of calcium

  • 2-percent (reduced-fat) milk: 121 calories, 4.7 grams of fat, and 297 milligrams of calcium

  • 1-percent (low-fat) milk: 102 calories, 2.6 grams fat, and 300 milligrams of calcium

  • Skim (fat-free) milk: 83 calories, zero fat, and 306 milligrams of calcium

But you don’t have to limit yourself to cow’s milk. Nowadays, you have your choice of many delicious and nutritious alternatives:

  • Goat’s milk. Offering as much calcium as whole cow’s milk, the protein in goat’s milk may be easier to break down for many people. But it does contain lactose, which some people can’t digest at all.

  • Soy milk. This lactose-free, soybean-based drink packs protein and calcium, and has no saturated fat. However, most brands have added sugars. Be sure to get the unsweetened variety.

  • Almond milk. This non-dairy mixture of soaked, ground almonds and water is a creamy alternative offering healthy doses of many vitamins and minerals. But it’s low in protein compared to cow’s milk. Like soy milk, it often contains sweeteners, so look for unsweetened versions.

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