While we’re all about vegetables here at MDA, we have a special place in our stomachs for clean, lean meat. Yes, it’s the ultimate primal picture-caveperson (O.K.-caveman, but can we get points for trying?) returning from the hunt with dinner for the family.
Fun illustration aside, it’s more than the image. Meat, of the MDA-approved variety, means protein, omega-3s, iron, and a host of other nutrients. And, yes, there’s that gastronomical, savory satisfaction. (Apologies to the vegetarian set. We’ll stop now.)
Nonetheless, as we say here at MDA, not all meat is created equal, especially in the current era of antibiotics, hormone injections, grain feed, factory farms, and cloned animals-coming soon to a neighborhood store near you. (Yes, our friends at the FDA are expected to approve cloned meat and milk in the coming days, according to the Wall Street Journal.)
Purslane belongs in your diet! This abundant “weed” is a deliciously sour green that makes a wonderful addition to salads, stir fries, vegetable dishes, soups, and salsas. It pairs nicely with citrus and melon. It’s a tasty complement to pork, fish, and protein-rich beans such as lentils.
Purslane is the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids of any green, leafy vegetable. Interestingly, purslane contains the EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) form of Omega-3, which is rare for a plant source of fatty acids. Purslane is also naturally high in magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and iron. Pretty incredible, isn’t it!
A prescient excerpt from the Times – it’s what we’ve been saying all along:
“In the case of fatty foods, that confident voice belonged to Ancel Keys, a prominent diet researcher a half-century ago (the K-rations in World War II were said to be named after him). He became convinced in the 1950s that Americans were suffering from a new epidemic of heart disease because they were eating more fat than their ancestors.
There were two glaring problems with this theory, as Mr. Taubes, a correspondent for Science magazine, explains in his book. First, it wasn’t clear that traditional diets were especially lean. Nineteenth-century Americans consumed huge amounts of meat; the percentage of fat in the diet of ancient hunter-gatherers, according to the best estimate today, was as high or higher than the ratio in the modern Western diet.
Sara here. As many of you know, I eat a lot of fat on a daily basis, and one way I accomplish this scandalous health goal of mine is to add nut butters to my meals. Reader Donna got me hooked on cashew butter atop fried eggs (I fry them in butter or – ready for this? – bacon grease, to maximize the morning fat intake). If you’re not appalled yet, please keep reading, because it just. gets. worse. I am not a huge fan of olive oil. I think it tastes good, but I prefer savory, spicy, or earthy flavors to olive oil. To that end, I use organic raw almond, peanut, and cashew butters to fatten up my broccoli, brussels sprouts, and eggplant. I also really like that nut butters have some protein and fiber in addition to the fat, unlike vegetable and seed oils. But mainly, I just like having another interesting way to get fat in my diet.
Sara here. Alert the press, for I am going to share with you the best ways to eat a lot more fat. That’s right (whew…you can stop stressing now).
Your weekly health challenge: eat more fat.
I want you to get greasy with it.
But this isn’t a license to hit up the candy aisle or to stop in at McDonald’s. I want you to eat more healthy fats this week. Here are some tips and types. Try them out and then give all your fellow apples a hand by talking about your favorite fats in the forum (we narrowly missed a tongue-twister there, didn’t we?).
Fats to eat:
- Cream, eggs, butter
That’s right – I’m recommending saturated fat. Irresponsible of me, I know. Actually, provided you’re eating organic dairy and eggs, and you’re not getting crazy with the portions, saturated fat is not the monster it’s made out to be. I personally am more concerned about triglycerides and inflammation than I am about cholesterol, and refined fat and sugar have the most impact on these two health wreaking balls. I’m not saying cholesterol doesn’t matter; it does. It just doesn’t matter as much as you think. You can enjoy a little saturated fat.
- Nuts, avocados, fish
Omega 3′s, people!
- Coconut oil, walnut oil, avocado oil, olive oil
Put down the corn, soybean and canola oil. These may be unsaturated, but that doesn’t make them healthy (they are still refined, and contain some undesirable fatty acid chains). Liven up your meals, give your tastebuds something to live for, and try out new, omega-3-rich oils. Go and drench thyself. Stat.
Fats you’re too good for:
- fried anything, breaded anything, processed anything, packaged anything, not-natural anything. Keep these junk fats away from your precious body! I mean it!
Why eat fat:
Well, for starters, fat doesn’t make you fat. Fat also helps with stress management, cognition, mood, sleep, energy, weight management, healthy tissues, skin and hair – even digestion and nutrient absorption.
Why I know what I’m talking about:
I’m not a scientist and I’m not a doctor, so while I hope you consider my thoughts to be helpful, just remember that if you tell your doctor “But my homegirl Sara told me…” you might not have her immediately convinced of the glories of your newfound decadent fat consumption. I have spent the last several years reading endless studies and articles, so in my own defense I am pretty darn educated on the subject. Please don’t let all those nights your editor spent reading go to waste. But what probably matters most and is ultimately most insightful is my own health story. For several years there, I was quite the little frumpalump, and I wasn’t very healthy, either. Thanks to what I’ve learned from Mark, I dropped 20 pounds of literally depressing and unattractive grad-school pudge (the impossible “last 20″ stubborn clinger kind), and got rid of my horrendous migraines and “adventures” with mood imbalances. That was just the beginning, too. Thanks to BFFing dietary fat, I now enjoy all kinds of other incredible health benefits which I’ll be sure to regale you with in future posts (but only because I really, really think you will benefit).
What you can do right now:
- It’s lunch time for a lot of us right now. Eat some fat.
- Share your personal faves and tips in the forum so we can all eat more fat.
- Recite: “Fat is fun.” Rinse, repeat.
- Check out my article (and give it a Digg if you like it!)
Mark’s views on fat
Are you up for the challenge?
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