Trans fat and your heart are like oil and vinegar, they just don’t mix. This fat raises bad cholesterol levels while lowering the good ones. It also increases your risk of heart disease, and ultimately sends you tumbling down to an early grave. Trans fat is mostly found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, which turns solid at room temperature. Restaurants tend to use this type of oil for most of their frying since it doesn’t need changing that often. So, if you’re eating out this Thanksgiving Day, be mindful of the amount of fried food you’re ordering.
Like most of us, you’ll probably be dining in with friends and family this Thanksgiving—you’re not off the hook. Trans fatty acids are found in butter, especially the good kind–that salty, creamy stick margarine that you enjoy putting in everything. You know what they say, “Butter makes it better.” Wrong, butter makes your heart cry! Additionally, trans fat is found in vegetable shortening and lard as well. These fats are often used in the cooking and baking process on Thanksgiving. As a result, foods that are naturally healthy becomes tainted with unhealthy fats.
Turkey is low in fat and high in protein. It also contains vitamin B-6 and 12, iron, and potassium. Without a doubt, it’s good for us. However, when the turkey is deep fried, glazed with honey butter or drenched in lemon butter sauce, then all the health benefits get buried in fat.
‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, and I love it. This hearty fruit (yes, fruit) is low in calories, but it keeps you full. Not only that, but it has vitamin A, it lowers blood pressure, and it’s good for your heart. Nevertheless, it’s not the healthiest choice at the Thanksgiving table when it’s made into butter laden main course and desserts.
Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin A and they lower the risk of heart disease. But additionally, they are a good source of vitamin C, B-1, and 6, they include potassium, and are loaded with fibers that keeps you fuller for longer. Just try and steer clear of saturating them with milk and butter.
This Thanksgiving Day, keep your healthy foods healthy by changing the techniques you use to prepare them. Choose to broil, bake, boil, steam and grill instead of fry. And when fat is called for, use low or nonfat versions, and sparingly use healthy oils such as olive, sesame, and peanut oil. You can have all the “yumminess” that Thanksgiving dinners have to offer, without all the trans fat and calories.
“Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” (3 John 1:2)
How will you “Health-ti-fy” your Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday?