Does Fat Make You Fat?

News flash: a low-fat diet can actually cause weight-gain, not a diet high in fat. So, what is fat anyway and why do we assume that fat is what makes us fat?

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Fat is a nutrient that our bodies need, in fact, about 30% of your daily calorie intake should come from fat. This may surprise you, but it’s true!

There’s a catch, though, sort of. We should be eating good quality fats, just like we should be eating good quality foods in general. That means no trans fats. Deal?

So, what are the healthy, good quality fats that we should be eating? Good question. Nuts and seeds, avocado, fatty fish like salmon, coconut, olive oil, unprocessed lean meat, flax, dark chocolate (yay!) and dairy. These healthy fats do not cause obesity, heart attacks, or high-cholesterol, but actually promote nutrient-absorption, raise immunity, and actually burn fat. Really!

Fat also makes us feel satisfied for longer. For example, adding a spoonful of nut butter to your apple or half an avocado to your eggs will make you feel more satisfied, help your body absorb the nutrients it needs, and ward of hunger longer. Win/win!

One Healthy Breakdown: do not fear the fat, eat the fat!

Healthy Holidays with Lifeway Kefir

Lifeway Kefir is helping to keep us healthy this holiday season! Kefir, sometimes called the “champagne of dairy” is a cultured probiotic dairy beverage that’s been around for more than two thousand years. With the consistency of drinkable yogurt and a tart and tangy taste, kefir’s versatility ranges from granola to smoothies, salad dressing, to holiday treats.

Here are the health benefits of kefir plus a delicious recipe for “Strained Kefir with Fresh Pear, Nuts and Seeds,” brought to us by Lifeway Kefir.

  • Kefir contains live and active probiotics, live organisms that provide a myriad of health benefits. Like other fermented foods, including miso, sauerkraut and kimchi, kefir supports a healthy gut, where 70-80% of the cells that make up the immune system are located.
  • Kefir may help to maintain a healthy weight. It is high in protein, which increases satiety and reduces hunger cravings throughout the day.
  • Kefir can improve your skin, as it contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), a popular ingredient in skin care products.
  • The live and active probiotic cultures found in kefir may help support healthy digestion.
  • Not all brands of kefir are lactose free, but Lifeway Kefir’s unique fermentation process and specific cultures ensure their kefir is 99% lactose-free. Unlike other dairy products, it is suitable for most people who are lactose intolerant.
  • Kefir can improve mood, as it contains tryptophan, the amino acid that helps raise levels of serotonin in the brain.
  • Kefir supports bone density, as one serving provides 30% of your daily calcium needs.

Strained Kefir with Fresh Pear, Nuts and Seeds by Lifeway Kefir

Kefir_parfait_pear_nuts_fbIngredients:

  • 1 32 oz bottle Lifeway Plain Whole Milk Kefir
  • 1 ripe pear, sliced*
  • 1/4 cup mixed nuts and seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Ground cinnamon, to taste
  • Ground nutmeg, to taste
  • Honey, to taste
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

The night before, or up to three days in advance, line a fine mesh strainer with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Rest the strainer over a deep bowl, careful to make sure the bottom doesn’t touch, and pour in the kefir. Cover the bowl and strainer with a lid and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least eight hours, to strain. After the kefir has strained, transfer the thick cream to a container with a lid and place in the fridge until ready to use. Discard the liquid whey, or save for use later. You will have 2 – 2 1/2 cups of thick kefir cream. To prepare the pears: clean, slice and remove the core of the pear. Add to a bowl with lemon juice and toss to coat. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

To serve: add 1/2 – 3/4 cup strained kefir to a bowl or parfait glass. Top with sliced and seasoned pears, nuts and seeds of choice. Drizzle with honey, if desired, and serve cold. Feel free to use sweet or sour apples, plums, bananas or berries – whatever is in season and you have on hand!

One Healthy Breakdown: a super healthy sweet treat – the best of both worlds!

Trail Mix for Everyone!

Place  Setting at ChristmasTrail mix is a great on-the-go snack to sustain energy. Instead of buying trail mix, make your own at home to ensure it’s exactly what you like, plus you’ll avoid all of that extra salt and sugar. Just combine your favorite nuts, dried fruit, and even chocolate! Here are a few faves:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Unsweetened coconut
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Carob chips
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Goji berries
  • Raisins
  • Favorite healthy cereal or granola
  • Wasabi Peas
  • Dried chickpeas
  • Dried mango
  • Dried Pineapple
  • Dried ginger
  • Dried apple
  • Figs
  • Apricots
  • Prunes
  • Fresh berries
  • Banana chips
  • Pretzels

One Healthy Breakdown: combine your favorites and snack on!