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February 2006 Newsletter!
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Thoughts from Dr. Steelman
Just What is this Trans Fat Stuff All About?

     You read about it. You hear about it. And certainly not a very exciting topic to talk about! But does it really sink in to your brain as to what they’re really talking about and why it affects you on a day-to-day level?
     Put as simply as one can without making it too complicated, trans fat is a fat product that is created through a process called hydrogenation. Ordinary vegetable oils (that are normally considered “healthy” for you) are put into tanks with a reactive metal and hydrogen gas is bubbled through the oil until the contents partially solidify. The product that results is called partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil.
     When this process was first created at the turn of the 20th century, it was hailed as the ultimate fat because they made food taste sooo good, last longer on the shelf, make crisp foods crunchier and creamy foods creamier – at a lower cost!
     But now, doctors are coming to realize that this “wonder fat” isn’t so wonderful. They’ve come to realize that trans fats can be quite damaging to the heart.
     Recent studies have found that trans fat products can:
  •  Increase LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
  •  Decrease HDL (good) cholesterol levels
  •  Increase arterial plaque in the arteries (increasing risk of heart attacks)  
  • Cause general digestive disorders
Where oh where are these trans fats now?
     In just about everything you eat! You can find them in most processed foods, including cookies (darn!), popcorn, margarines, shortenings, baked goods, crackers, doughnuts, chips, frozen waffles, french fries – all those yummy foods we love to eat!
     So how do we cut down or figure out what amounts we’re eating? Well, the good news is that the FDA has helped us out here by requiring all manufacturers to list the amount of trans fats in foods starting 2006.
     Shift from the fat-laden processed foods to the more natural, wholesome foods which have loads of disease-fighting nutrients. So it’s up to us to read the labels and make wise choices!

And remember, you’re always worth it!

diet tips
Are there no winter foods that are healthy?

Absolutely - Try Legumes!
We don't always remember that these little morsels are packed with nutrients - all waiting to be added to your winter soups and stews! A few that are great additions are kidney, garbanzo, and  pinto beans, lentals, and white and black beans - great for a hearty, meaty tasty addition to your winter fare!

Gobble, Gobble- Eat More Turkey!
Yep, that's right. This tasty meat is lean, a great source of protein and comparatively low in calories.  Use it for turkey soup, turkey sandwiches on whole-grain breads for a great treat on a cold winter day - and it doesn't even have to be Thanksgiving for you to enjoy it!

Citrus Fruits
- Winter is Their Season!
Tangerines, oranges, grapefruit - all are terrific sources of vitamin C, folate, fiber, and potassium - a tasty way toget more nutrients!

Winter Squash, Cabbage & Kale - Don't Count Them Out!
This is their season too with the market in abundance of acorn and butternut squash, cabbages - all of which are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber and low calories. Just don't smother them with high calorie condiments like too much butter and syrup!

Happy Healthy Eating! 
diet humor

A Touch o' Humor to Brighten Your Day

Inside me there's a thin person struggling to get out, but I can usually sedate her with four or five cookies!

How can anyone say that I'm not in shape? Round is a shape!

recipe of the month
Plum Apricot Crisp

1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/4 cup old fashioned oats (not instant)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 1/2 pounds plums and apricots, quartered and pits removed
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Set rack in the center of the oven. Combine all of the topping ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture forms crumbles the size of small peas; do not over process. Set aside.
Pour the plums and apricots directly into a large, shallow baking dish and sprinkle with sugar and flour to coat evenly. Spread crisp topping over entire surface of fruit. Bake until fruit is bubbly and the top is golden brown, approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature, plain or with ice cream.

Make the topping ahead. In fact make a double or triple batch and freeze it in single recipe size packets so you can whip up a crisp on the spot, anytime.

Nutritional Analysis per serving Calories 239
Fat 7.2 g Saturated Fat 3g
Carbohydrates 43 g Fiber 2.8 g
Protein 3 g  

Courtesy of

This Month's Question for the Doctor:

I have an18 month old, still nursing, but not for much longer.  Is this product safe?

Answer from Dr. Steelman: It's probably safe, but I would advise against it until you stop nursing just to be on the safe side.

Note: You can view/print off the list of ingredients at:

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