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Know How, Know More

Connecting You with Your Food, Farmers and Community

Fat: Beyond the Basics


It's still February and American Heart Month.  This week in "Know How, Know More" it is time to explore fats and heart health.

Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) Eating Plan

Heart-healthy choices and managing blood markers of cholesterol can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as high cholesterol and stroke. Learn more about the TLC Diet from the National Institutes of Health and National Cholesterol Education Program. There are also phone apps to help you follow and track your progress with the recommended daily foods.

Where Are Fats Found?

  • Animal-based fats are in skin and flesh of animal foods, like meat, poultry and seafood. Dairy foods (like milk and cheese), and solid fats (like butter and lard) also contain fat.
  • Plant-based fats come from nuts and seeds (peanuts, sunflower seeds, etc.), olives, avocado, chocolate, and oils made from plant foods.

Fat Trivia

Most foods have both saturated and unsaturated fats. Learn more about how each fat impacts heart health in this trivia video.

Butter, Margarine, and Coconut Oil?

Butter, margarine, and coconut oil are all fats. So what is a better choice?  Watch the video "Butter, Margarine, Coconut Oil."  Hint:  Butter and coconut oil are high in saturated ("solid") fats. Some margarines contain trans fats.

Lower and Healthier Fat Meal Plan

Simple swaps can lower total fat and add healthier fats to your diet.  Download the handout for the post to see an example menu, and read about ways to meal plan, shop, and cook to reduce sodium.

Recipe Ideas

From lower-fat to more heart-healthy fats, try these recipes ready for printing in the handout.
  • Heart-Smart Oven Fish
  • Avocado and Basil Bruschetta
  • Pumpkin Whole Wheat Bread

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Today's post was written by Caitlin Huth. Caitlin Huth, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She teaches nutrition- and food-based lessons around heart health, food safety, diabetes, and others. In all classes, she encourages trying new foods, gaining confidence in healthy eating, and getting back into our kitchens.



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