Jena DeMoss: Hy-Vee dietitians put the focus on fats

Published 5:49 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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It’s time for an oil change – and we’re not referring to your vehicle! Healthy fats are back, and they’re here to stay! But after years of fearing fat (thanks, low-fat diet craze), it’s important to refocus and fill up on healthy fats. Why? Fat is one of the most important macronutrients our brain and body need each day. Fat also helps us absorb important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K; provides energy for physical activity; and supplies essential fatty acids which our bodies cannot make but are needed for healthy skin and hair.

But beware of fake news! Trust a nutrition expert and turn to your Hy-Vee dietitian. Below are three common myths about fat that are debunked:

Myth No. 1: Eating fat will make you fat.

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Truth: “Fat” used to be a bad word when it came to eating well. Luckily, times have changed. Not only does fat help keep you fuller longer than anything “fat-free” ever could, but it can actually help improve cholesterol quality, cognitive function and your metabolism.

Myth No. 2: All fats are created equal.

Truth: Certainly trans fats or “partially hydrogenated oils” are not good for overall heart health, but luckily they’re leaving the food supply more and more. Read ingredient lists and double check food labels to identify types of fat.

Healthy fats include unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and omega-3 fatty acids. Top picks include Hy-Vee natural peanut butter, peanuts, Perfect Bars, avocado and chia seeds.

Fats to limit/avoid include saturated fats and trans fats. Common foods may include microwaved popcorn, frosting, margarine and frozen pizzas. But remember: It’s important to look at the whole food makeup vs. single nutrient approach. (ie: hot dog vs. dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains more saturated fat, but is a better choice for overall health.)

Myth No.3: Fat-free is the way to be!

Truth: If you take out the fat it is often substituted with more sugar. Skip the fat-free ranch and pour some fat on your salads like olive oil-based vinaigrettes, avocado and nuts/seeds. Your body will thank you because it will be able to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) much better.

Hungry for more? Follow your favorite Hy-Vee dietitians on Facebook and Instagram @HyVeeDietitians to learn more!

Peanut Noodle-Vegetable Buddha Bowl

Serves 4

All you need

• ½ (16-oz) pkg That’s Smart! spaghetti

• ¼ cup Hy-Vee natural peanut butter

• 2 tbsp That’s Smart! honey

• 2 tbsp soy sauce

• 1 tbsp sriracha sauce

• 1 tbsp lime juice

• ½ tsp ground ginger

• 1 (12-oz) pkg That’s Smart! frozen mixed vegetables

• 1 cup thinly sliced cucumber, divided

• 1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper, divided

• ¼ cup chopped cilantro, divided

• ¼ cup chopped Hy-Vee dry roasted peanuts, divided

All do you

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. While spaghetti cooks, whisk peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, sriracha sauce, lime juice and ground ginger in a large mixing bowl.

3. During the last two minutes of boiling, add frozen mixed vegetables. Drain cooked pasta and vegetables, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Transfer pasta and veggies to a bowl with tongs and toss to coat with dressing. If needed, drizzle 1 or 2 tablespoons of pasta cooking water to thin out. Divide the noodles and vegetables between four serving bowls.

4. Top each bowl with ¼ cup thinly sliced cucumber, ¼ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, and 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts.

Recipe source: