Happy Spring! I enjoy slow-cooking chili and baking muffins in the winter
months, but I miss the lighter fare. Here in Florida, warm weather has returned
to the Hasty Tasty Kitchen. It’s time to leave behind heavy stews and get back
What in the world are MUFAs?
I avoid fad diets, or any diet for that matter, but I pay attention to advice
for healthful eating. The latest information on reducing belly fat (too much of
a spare tire is an indicator of increased risk for heart disease) concerns
eating fats. That’s right. We need to add fat–the right kind of fat–to our
diets. PREVENTION magazine recommends eating four meals a day, with each meal
including a serving of a MUFA-rich food. MUFA=MonoUnsaturated FAts.
What foods should we include in our diets to obtain MUFAs? Olives, nuts and
seeds, avocados, fish, oils (safflower oil is highest, but olive and canola oil
are good), and dark chocolate. Chocolate! Don’t you love it? Of course, this
information is meant to augment, not replace the other advice for healthful
eating. You still need your 5 servings of vegetables and 2-3 servings of fruit
per day, and you need to eliminate saturated and trans fats as much as you can.
If you’re trying to lose weight, watch your calories and keep each of your four
daily meals around 400 calories for women/ 500-600 for men.
For more information on how to enrich your diet with MUFAs, see the February
2008 issue of PREVENTION, or read the FLAT BELLY DIET by Liz Vaccariello with
Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. Or visit http://www.flatbellydiet.com.
Sauté vegetables, fish, or chicken by rubbing a MUFA on the food rather than
coating a skillet to reduce the amount of fat. Although you want a MUFA with
each meal, you still should exercise portion control. Fat is high-calorie.
Another way to get a MUFA in your meal is to drizzle a Tablespoon of flaxseed
oil over your salad (You can’t cook with flaxseed oil). Experiment with herbs
to jazz up the flavor. Eat a serving (½ cup) brown rice cooked with toasted
nuts. Or add an avocado slice to your chicken breast along with a sprig of
fresh cilantro or basil.
Bean Salsa Salad
Take this one to your next picnic! It’s high fiber, healthful, and contains a
serving of a MUFA!
1-16oz. can black beans rinsed and drained
1-16oz can navy beans rinsed and drained
2-11oz. cans Mexi-corn drained
2-4oz. cans chopped green chiles drained
1-small can jalepenos (optional)
1-red bell pepper chopped
1 cup cilantro finely chopped
combine all in a non-metallic bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together 2/3 c apple cider vinegar, 1/3 c safflower
oil, and a pinch of cumin to taste. Add mixture to the bean salsa, toss well, then chill. Best if
made a day ahead. Enjoy!