Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Healthy Fats

Why we need them:
- We need fats for the formation of cells in brain, nerves, glands etc and hence fats are an important part of our diet

- We have small amounts of fats in the lentils, grains, vegetables

- In addition, we can use small amounts of nuts, seeds, coconut in our cooking for our fat intake

- All these contain fats that are heart healthy and do not harm us. In addition to fats they have nutrients such as fiber, lecithin that aid the digestion of these fats

How to use these fats in our improved eating:
- Kids and those trying to gain weight can eat them for a snack

- If you trying to gain weight, (or not trying to lose weight), eat some peanuts or sesame seeds or any other nuts or seeds along with your sprouted seeds for breakfast. You can also soak and drain the peanuts and sesame seeds – do not sprout them.

- Flax seeds – these are very good for us. To get the most out of these, do not cook them, just eat uncooked. We eat a tablespoon of ground flax seeds with a couple of dates for breakfast every day. Eaten alone, you might find them a bit too bland in taste in the beginning. You can buy the ground flax seed in Whole Foods Market or Trader Joes. Always store the ground flax seeds in the refrigerator in an air tight container.

- Peanuts: always soak or boil or roast them before eating. Roast peanuts, grind them and add this powder to your side dishes at the end of cooking. If a recipe calls for them, you can also add whole peanuts, roasted, to your recipe. NO NEED to take the skin of the roasted peanuts.

- Sesame seeds: always soak or roast them before eating. Roast sesame seeds, grind them and add this powder to your side dishes at the end of cooking.

- Almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts etc – you can use them as is without needing roasting.

- You can use any of the nuts or seeds of your choice in your cooking. Always try to add them towards the end and avoid overcooking.

- If you are allergic to nuts, you probably might be able to use seeds such as sesame seeds etc or coconut

- Coconut – Use fresh or frozen coconut in your cooking. Add coconut to your recipe "after" cooking is complete – after turning the stove off. Do not spoil something that is exceptional to start with by cooking it.

- Don't forget avocados. You can eat them fresh!

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