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Changing what you eat: fats and oils


As we get a bit further down this road, I am well aware that I risk losing your loyalty at this time. Most people do not like to be told how they should eat, and of all the gall, I pick CHRISTMAS season to start talking about dieting?!? I implore you to hang in there with me.{{more}}

A lot of the business of taking care of ourselves is not much fun, but it needs to be done. Like maintenance on your house or your car, if you do not keep up with it, things start going wrong early and can be really hard to fix in the end. Hopefully you are (perhaps grudgingly) agreeing with me at this point….

While most of what I will be saying applies to those with diabetes, pre-diabetes, cholesterol and heart problems, I think that anyone who is overweight or simply wants a healthier way of eating can benefit. I apologize if this seems basic, but sometimes it is best to start from the very beginning.

Last week we touched on groups of foods and what should be avoided. I am sure that most, if not all, of the people reading this know that fried food is not the best for you. So limit it! Yes, I know that Tri-Tri cake is no good any other way but you can find ways to cut back on the oil.

I have tried cooking plantains probably five ways and the way I enjoy it best is fried. Nothing tastes even nearly as good to me. So what do I do? I fry in as little oil as possible, I use olive or canola oil, and pat it with a paper towel before I eat it. Not perfect, but a lot better than having it dripping in oil. General rule for food preparation: baking, broiling, boiling, barbecue are all better than frying. If you must use oil, try to opt for canola or olive oils instead of butter and lard, and use as little as possible.

When it comes to picking meats, always chose fish over anything else if you can. There are few protein sources that can beat fish for being healthy and delivering good nutrients to your body. So you like beef, chicken and pork, eh? Me too, but I have three words for you: keep it lean.

Yes, I know that little bit of fat on the beef makes it taste better and souse is still a favorite thing to eat. Everybody wants a piece o’pork this Christmas, but carve off the fat before you eat it, okay? My favorite kitchen utensil is my poultry scissors-I cut off all the fat I can see on any meat I cook and make it as lean as possible. It will taste a little different the first time, but later you will not miss the taste.

The crash course continues next week: we will discuss good and bad types of oils. So stay tuned.

Anita Ramsetty, MD
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group