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Fill up on complex carbohydrates.


Whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits are the foods that can help your heart.

Apples, apples, apples. Apricots, bananas, mangoes, melons, peaches, pears, prunes, raisins, potatoes, yams, corn, rice, wheat, beans, and many other vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes contain a large number of complex carbohydrates.

These are the good guys.

When you start eating less bad fat, you may lose some weight unless you make a conscious effort to eat more of other kinds of food. If you need and want to lose weight, great! If you don't, be sure to fill up on complex carbohydrates.

You can lose weight and feel better on a decreased intake of saturated fat, but be certain to keep your energy level up with a good balance of vegetables, fruits and legumes.

If you are about the right weight--or once you get to the weight you want to be--go ahead and fill up on complex carbohydrates.

By complex carbohydrates we mean foods like those listed above. These have various carbohydrate chains rather than simple sugars.

Don't fill up on candy or other straight sugar sweets. When they are eaten in great excess, these simple carbohydrates may actually raise your LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This is exactly what you don't want to happen.

Many of the good, wholesome, basic high-fiber grains and legumes are high in complex carbohydrates.

Granola is a very popular breakfast cereal. Because it contains grains, many people think of it as a health food. But as healthful as granola is thought to be, it has a big problem. It contains a lot of saturated fat from coconut, one of its main ingredients. Unfortunately, granola may also contain a coconut oil and palm oil. A better choice is a high-fiber cereal with something other than coconut.

Oats Help Reduce Cholesterol

Oats are particularly helpful in reducing total cholesterol levels and the unwanted low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Additionally, oats either reduce or do not affect HDL cholesterol levels. Some people call oats the miracle food because of the role it can play in reducing cholesterol levels.

So if you are in any way concerned about cholesterol, or have high triglycerides, eat a sizable serving of oatmeal or another oat cereal every morning. Or eat the same amount of oats in other things, such as low-fat oatmeal cookies or oat-bran muffins. Instead of serving oatmeal with regular milk or cream, use nonfat skim milk. Try other combinations of oatmeal with equal parts of applesauce. Or cut up fresh fruit with sweeter added to taste. (Raisins make an excellent sweetener for oatmeal.) Another variation is to pour maple syrup on the oatmeal or serve it with jam or preserves. Two other ways to serve oatmeal without milk are with sugar and sprinkled with grated orange rind or cinnamon.

Eating such whole-grain cereals as oats and wheat used to be a standard good old-fashioned breakfast. Somehow many people got away from this very healthful habit. Let's face it, the aroma of bacon and eggs cooking is enticing--and along with biscuits and butter, they taste wonderful. But they are loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol--particularly egg yolks. When folks started choosing bacon or sausage and eggs instead of old-fashioned rolled oats, the cholesterol problem really started picking up steam.

The big hurry people are in, the availability of cold cereals, and the impression that it takes a long time for oatmeal to cook are also reasons why oatmeal's popularity waned. Fortunately, today many people are getting the word and are going back to eating oats for breakfast. But the tide has just begun to turn--and not nearly fast enough.

Oats are a very good source of protein, but interest has focused lately on the fact that oat fibers help to lower the bad LDL cholesterol levels and raise the good HDL cholesterol levels.

Oats manufacturers have microwave and stove-top instructions on their boxes. Add raisins or other fruit before cooking. Sprinkle some of your favorite seven-grain cereal on top of your oats for flavor and crunch.

Concoct whatever combination you want--as long as you get the oats --and don't ruin everything by putting cream or butter on the top.

Oatmeal costs only a few cents--far less than you'd pay for an egg on a muffin.

All oats are not the same. It's not hard to figure out. Oats start out with a tough outer husk that is scoured off. Then the oats are partially cooked with steam and crushed in a roller, so they are called rolled oats.

If rolled oats are chopped, sliced, or cut up so the cereal cooks faster, they are called one-minute or quick oats. Rolled and quick oats are packaged without additives. Both rolled oats and quick oats contain oat bran. You can buy oat bran as a flour made from the outer seed casing or bran of the whole-grain oat. It can be cooked as a cereal or incorporated as an ingredient in many recipes.

Some "instant oats," especially individual-serving packages, may contain added oils--frequently coconut, palm, or palm-kernel oil, plus salt and extra vitamins. You don't want any of these oils because they have the highest saturated fat content of all the oils. Some instant oatmeals contain almost a gram of saturated fat per serving.

It's back to reading labels. Be sure your oats are just plain--without coconut oil.

Oat-based cereals without added fats are excellent choices if you want to enjoy the benefits of oats without cooking. Here again, read the labels to make sure the oil used in manufacturing is not coconut, palm, or palm-kernel oil.

Other Complex Carbohydrates

Other complex carbohydrates include wheat, rice, beans, peas, other legumes, and grains. These complex-carbohydrate foods contain essential proteins. These are the foods that sustain millions of people throughout the world who eat little or no meat or other saturated fats.

Eating other high-fiber complex carbohydrates helps to lower cholesterol levels, as does eating oatmeal. So it also helps to eat such high-fiber complex carbohydrates as beans, split peas, or other legumes. Many people not accustomed to eating legumes every day may find these dishes enjoyable as well as healthful.

Fruit is a great group of complex carbohydrates. Unfortunately, candy bars and other such snacks that contain a lot of saturated fat have taken the place of fresh fruit as treats for many children and adults.

Imagine you were a director of a large advertising agency and someone offered plenty of money wanting you to create a series of radio or TV commercials for an apple--not the computer, the fruit!

With a little thought and imagination, you could create a fantastic commercial--because the product is so perfect. Think about it--a self-contained, crunchy, delicious snack. The trouble is, kids don't know this--and many grownups have forgotten.

Can you imagine what you could do with enough resources to create a commercial for oranges, pears, bananas, strawberries, and other fruits? When you really think about it, fresh fruits are more appealing than candy or almost any snack or fast food.

After a distinguished doctor's talk about reducing the fat intake for children to prevent coronary-artery disease, someone asked the question: "Which are the best fast foods for kids--McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King's, or Arby's?"

Unfortunately, the speaker really missed the boat. What a perfect opportunity to answer, "Apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, pears!" But he didn't.

These and other high-fiber, complex-carbohydrate fruits help prevent the plugging of coronary arteries with fat. But high-fiber foods also help digestion. When these fruits and raisins, prunes, or figs are eaten wisely, such problems as constipation may disappear, and the risk of cancer of the colon decreases.

Fruits, legumes, vegetables, and grains rich in high fiber and complex carbohydrates can provide multiple benefits. These are the real natural health foods.

Black-Bean Salad

(Makes 4 servings)
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 cup cooked and drained black beans
3 green onions, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1/4 cup sliced green olives

3 tablespoons chopped pimientos

In salad bowl, mix vinegar, oil, and cilantro. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Chill before serving.

Chili Barley with Turkey

(Makes 6 servings)

1/2 cup barley

1 1/2 cups fat-free broth

1 cup chopped, skinned, cooked

1 cup chopped broccoli
1 green onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped pimiento
1/2 cup fresh-frozen or fresh green peas

Salt and pepper, if desired Combine barley and broth in large pot. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 45-50 minutes. Stir in next 11 ingredients. Season to taste. Spray 2-quart baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Spoon barley mixture into casserole. Bake in 350 [degrees] F. oven about 35 minutes.

Meat Loaf with Chives and Dill

(Makes 4-6 servings) 3/4 cup Nutri-Grain

Nuggets 1/3 cup buttermilk

1 cup minced


2 cloves garlic, pressed

1/8 teaspoon ground

allspice 1/4 teaspoon ground

ginger 1/4 teaspoon ground

nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground white


1 tablespoon fresh

chopped dill

2 tablespoons snipped

chives 1/2 pound chicken breast,

no skin 3/4 pound extra-lean

ground beef Preheat oven to 350 [degrees] F. Spray 9" x 5" loaf pan with vegetable oil spray.

In large bowl mix cereal and buttermilk. Let soak 5 minutes. Add onion, garlic, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, white pepper, dill, and chives. Mix lightly with hands. Grind chicken breast in blender. Cut into 1/2" pieces before placing in blender jar. Process until smooth. Add ground chicken and ground beef to cereal-spice mixture. Mix well to distribute ingredients evenly. Lightly pat into loaf pan. Bake 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Broiled Tomatoes

(Makes 4-6 servings) 1/2 cup nonfat plain

yogurt 1/4 cup crushed

wholewheat bread crumbs

1 teaspoon each chives, parsley,

and dill 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard Salt and pepper

4 tomatoes

Preheat broiler. In small bowl, mix yogurt with remaining ingredients except tomatoes. Cut tomatoes into 1/2" slices; place on broiler pan or baking sheet. Spread mixture evenly on tomato slices. Broil until topping begins to brown. Serve hot.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Title Annotation:diet for a healthy heart; includes recipes
Author:Griffin, Glen C.; Castelli, William P.
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Oct 1, 1989
Previous Article:Lake Michigan fishing: no shore thing.
Next Article:Pour salt-free freshness on salads.

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