Dr. Gourmet Newsletter: November 3, 2008

Dr. Tim Says....

Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.We've known for some time that saturated fats are one of the key elements in increasing the risk of not just heart disease and stroke, but also promoting some cancers. Unfortunately, people have gotten the idea that all fat is evil, especially saturated fat.

Up until about ten years or so ago folks were simply told to eat a low fat diet and so all fats became "bad." There were studies at the time showing that very low fat diets helped to prevent disease, but over time further research has figured out which fats are a problem and which ones are actually really good for you. At the same time it's also become well known that the balance of fats is what is really important.

The main problem, actually, has been trans fats. This class of fatty acids do occur naturally in small amounts, but most of what is found in foods today has been manufactured. Food producers began using vegetable oils by saturating them in a process called hydrogenation. One byproduct of the saturation was trans fats, which provide a longer shelf life, offer good baking properties and a slick texture. Saturated Fats

Featured Recipe

Potato and Three Onion Gratin | Low Sodium Version

Everybody loves Scalloped Potatoes and this is a main dish variation with sweet, rich caramelized onions and lush gruyere cheese. It is so warming and comforting and familiar but with the twist of the browned onions.

Even though this is full fat gruyere cheese, that ounce and half goes a long way to making this a rich, luscious dish without tipping the scales too much as far as saturated fat is concerned. Remember, it's about the quality of the calories you eat.

This will work using rice flour and have about the same nutrition, but it will be gluten free.

This recipe is safe for those who are gluten-sensitive provided that they use gluten-free ingredients. Coumadin (warfarin) users, those with GERD / Acid Reflux and those who are lactose intolerant should avoid it.

Leeks

LeeksLeeks are a member of the onion family but with a milder sweeter flavor. They look like overgrown green onions or scallions. The white part grows below ground, so leeks are usually pretty dirty and need plenty of washing.

Cut the leek at the lower end of the green top and run water over the leaves as they separate. Usually the rings of the white part have dirt embedded in them towards the top. Slice the leek in an X across the top and gently clean the dirt from between the rings under cold water.

4 ounces leeks = 69 calories, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 0g mono fat, 2g protein, 16g carbohydrates, 23mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol

Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!

Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.
Dr. Gourmet

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