Word of Wisdom Living covers 13 topics, revisiting and adding to these topics each quarter of the year. The first discussion of fats was Healthy Change #2: Never eat deep fat fried foods. That’s a tough change for some—no French fries, no donuts, no corndogs, and none of those fast food chicken or fish fillets.
This week we’ve discussed the importance of balancing omega-3 and omega-6 fats and Healthy Change #15 advised including some omega-3 in every meal. Next quarter Healthy Change #28 will address the fried refined starch found in the chip aisle of your supermarket. Then in the last quarter Healthy Change #41 will recommend eating traditional fats (olive oil, butter, etc.).
Last year a post addressed the health of your brain. Want to give yourself the best chance of avoiding age-related dementia? Eat the long-chain omega-3 fat known by the acronym DHA. DHA is 25% of the fat in your brain and essential to avoiding depression.
The irony of the omega-3 fats is they’re everywhere present—they’re the most abundant fats on the planet—yet America, the richest nation in the world, eats the least. Imagine, a famine in the midst of plenty. Basically, omega-3 fats are incompatible with processed foods because they have a short shelf life once refined. So if you want to take care of your brain, eat real food.
Healthiest Cooking Oils
Most of what you’ve heard (outside of this blog) about fats is wrong. You need to eat saturated fats, in moderation, because they perform essential roles in your body. The refined oils and margarines—once touted as being “heart healthy” because they contained polyunsaturated oils—are actually bad for your heart. Foods that carry “low-fat” or “reduced-fat” claims aren’t necessarily good for you.
Basically, the traditional fats your great-grandmother ate are good for you; the modern factory fats are not. It’s confusing so here’s a guide to the cooking oils you see in the store:
Week #15 Menu
We start our menu writing by searching the refrigerator and pantry for food that might go bad. This week we had leftover scalloped potatoes, ham, butternut squash, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, asparagus, and radishes. In the freezer we had the remains of a Costco rotisserie chicken, some Copper River wild salmon (1.3 lb.) and a 9”x 9” pan of Beth’s Vegetarian Enchiladas from two weeks ago.
- Chicken with Asparagus and Roasted Red Peppers (The beautiful wife cooked this dish for the first time, see the recipe here.)
- Brown rice, long grain
- Leftovers from Monday (we really liked it)
Wednesday (We had guests so finished off the Easter leftovers.)
- Skip’s Scalloped Potatoes
- Ham with pineapple
- Dessert: strawberry shortcake
Thursday (The girls were planning a wedding so needed an easy meal)
- Beth’s Vegetarian Enchiladas (from the freezer)
Sunday (A little fancy but a totally healthy meal; we had guests.)
- Poached Copper River Salmon (It's in season, and on sale locally.)
- Roast butternut squash
- Skip’s Homemade Applesauce
- Spinach salad
- Dessert: Skip’s Omega-3 Carrot Cake
In the next post we'll build on the Healthy Change to write weekly menus and talk about Shopping Lists.