Does this recipe make me look fat?

Published 4:15 pm Friday, November 3, 2017

Fat is great. Fat is not great. With all the food diets out there, what is a person to believe?

There is a lot of misinformation, unscientific speculation, opinion and anecdotes about dietary fat.

I would like to take this opportunity to share that N.C. Cooperative Extension presents research-based information – not opinion, personal anecdotes, or what seems to be working for a small select group of people. The controversy about dietary fat is at such a high level in the media and on people’s minds that the American Heart Association convened an esteemed group of scientists to look at all the evidence. They took into consideration the totality of the scientific evidence, satisfying rigorous criteria and causality and conclude strongly that:

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This is not to say that red meat or all saturated fat is off the menu – absolutely not. Real foods, including full fat dairy and red meat, can have a place in a healthy diet. However, evidence is clear that saturated fat should be limited if we want to lower the risk of CVD. I will also add that the folks that did this review are the tops in the field and did not cherry- pick research but looked at the totality of the evidence.

Bottom line: eat real food, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, enjoy vegetable oils especially olive and canola, and eat meat if you choose. If we want to demonize any foods, it should be the foods that are highly processed and full of added sugars and refined grain. 

As we begin the holiday season, and we think of our traditional holiday foods, we should keep  two things in mind. First, all things in moderation. When we take a healthy option – like turkey – and fry it, we have now turned it into an unhealthy saturated fat food. Second, look to add more fruits and vegetables on your plate. Apple pie is not a fruit, but an apple salad would be a healthier option. •

Jimmi Buell, Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, Polk County Center of the NC Cooperative Extension Service, teaches cooking and nutrition classes with a focus on improving health with better food choices. She can be reached at or 828-894-8218.