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Taking Action: Eating Smart; Eating Healthy

Beware of Trans Fats

Trans fat is considered by many doctors to be the worst type of fat you can eat. Some meat and dairy products contain small amounts of naturally occurring trans-fat. But most trans fat is formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature. Get in the habit of reading ingredients labels when you’re at the grocery store.

Trans fat can be found in many of the same foods as saturated fat. These can include:

  • Coffee creamer
  • Crackers, cookies, cakes, frozen pies, and other baked goods
  • Fast food
  • Frozen pizza
  • Ready-to-use frostings
  • Refrigerated dough products (such as biscuits and cinnamon rolls)
  • Snack foods (such as microwave popcorn)
  • Vegetable shortenings and stick margarines

Instead, try these healthier alternatives:

  • Unsaturated fats, such as butter, but in much smaller amounts.
  • Substitute saturated vegetable fats, including palm and coconut oils.
  • Use a blend of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated vegetable oils to get the shelflife, taste, and texture of trans-


How to Incorporate More Whole Grains at Meals

  • To eat more whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined product:
    • Use whole-wheat bread instead of white bread for sandwiches.
    • Substitute brown rice instead of white rice.
    • Whole Wheat Pasta instead of White Pasta. There are a number of different varieties available, each with different texture and taste.
  • Prepare mixed dishes with whole grains, such as:
    • Barley in vegetable soup or stews.
    • Bulgur wheat in a casserole or stir-fry.
    • Whole-grain bread or cracker crumbs in meatloaf.
    • Rolled oats or a crushed, unsweetened whole grain cereal as breading for baked chicken, fish, veal cutlets, or eggplant Parmesan.
  • Try substituting whole wheat or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle, muffin or other flour-based recipes. There are many recipes and cookbooks available that substitute healthier flours for white flour.
  • Try an unsweetened, whole grain ready-to-eat cereal as croutons in salad or in place of crackers with soup.
  • Freeze leftover cooked brown rice, bulgur, or barley. Heat and serve it later as a quick side dish.


Tips for Adding More Vegetables to Your Family’s Diet

  • Buy fresh vegetables in season. It is most cost effective and they are likely to be at their peak flavor.
  • Stock up on frozen vegetables for quick and easy cooking in the microwave.
  • Buy vegetables that are easy to prepare. Pick up pre-washed bags of salad greens and add baby carrots or grape tomatoes for a salad in minutes.
  • Prepare and cut your veggies such as baby carrots or celery sticks in the beginning of the week so you can grab them for quick snacks.
  • Use a microwave to quickly warm up your vegetables. White or sweet potatoes can be prepared quickly this way.
  • Try crunchy vegetables, raw or lightly steamed.
  • Add grated or chopped vegetables to meatloaf, burgers or pasta sauces.