How to choose healthy fats

Fat has quite the reputation as a dietary super villain, but there’s more to fat than that.

A little dietary fat is essential for good health. In addition, some types of fat (in modest amounts) may even help protect your health. Other fats, however, may harm your health if you eat them too much.

Here’s a closer look at these bad and good fats.

The bad guys: Saturated and trans fats

These two fats raise LDL blood cholesterol—and with it your risk of heart disease and stroke:

Saturated fat. This is found mostly in animal products including red meat, lamb, chicken with the skin left on, butter, cheese, and full-fat or 2 percent milk. It’s also in some plant foods, such as coconut oil, palm oil and cocoa butter.

Trans fat. This is found in foods with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, including baked goods such as cookies, pies, doughnuts and snacks. It helps them have a long shelf life. Trans fat is also in some fried restaurant foods.

The good guys: Unsaturated fats

Eating healthy, unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat may help improve cholesterol levels. The two main unsaturated fats are:

Monounsaturated. Examples of foods that contain monounsaturated fats include olive and canola oil, nuts, peanut butter and avocados.

Polyunsaturated. Examples of foods that contain polyunsaturated fats include salmon; tofu; and safflower, sunflower and corn oils.

Serve up some good health

To help keep your diet focused on the good fats:

• Plate up more fruits, veggies and whole grains, and less red meat

• Switch to low-fat or non-fat milk

• When sautéing or stir-frying, use olive, canola or other oils

• Eat fish at least twice a week

• Choose soft margarine instead of butter. Look for “0 grams trans fat” listed on the label

• Save sweets like doughnuts, cookies, pies and cakes for the occasional treat

 All fats are rich in calories, even the healthier ones. So stick with moderate amounts.

Sources: American Heart Association; American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

 

Your health, your decision

Shared decision-making with your doctor can help you choose a treatment that’s right for you.

When you make a big purchase or have an important decision to make, you’re likely to seek others’ opinions. You might ask, “What are the pros and cons of this choice or that?” Or you might read up on the topic so that you feel informed. The same process is important when it comes to your health care.

When people are involved in their health care decisions and talk them through with their doctor—a process called shared decision-making—the benefits can be big.

Research shows, for example, that people often feel less anxious when their treatment plan reflects their personal preferences. They also tend to have a quicker recovery and are more likely to comply with their treatment.

How it works and when it helps

With shared decision-making, the conversation goes two ways. Your doctor explains your choices—such as for a treatment, test or procedure—plus the risks and benefits of each. (You might also talk about the option of not having any treatment.) And you share your questions, goals and concerns.

You might benefit from a shared decision-making conversation if your medical care includes:

• Taking a medicine for the rest of your life

• Having a major surgery

• Getting genetic or cancer screening tests

Shared decision-making is especially important when there are several options that are reasonable or when no one choice has a clear advantage.

To help you further, your doctor might also point you to written material, websites or videos that can help you decide what’s right for you. You can bring your friends or family in on the discussion, too, if you think they can help.

The goal of shared decision-making is to help you make the best treatment choice for you.

Sources: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; American Cancer Society; HealthIT.gov; National Institutes of Health

Support YouthWorks and celebrate National Coffee Day at Dutch Bros. Coffee

YAKIMA – Dutch Bros. Coffee is getting in the spirit for National Coffee Day on Friday, Sept. 29, with Buck for Kids Day. This Friday, for every drink sold, Dutch Bros. will donate $1 to The Memorial Foundation’s YouthWorks program.

Look for YouthWorks students out in front of the Dutch Bros. outlet that day, at 6520 W. Nob Hill Blvd. National Coffee Day starts early and runs late at the Yakima Dutch Bros. Hours are 4:30 a.m. until 11 p.m.

YouthWorks promotes the involvement of youth in philanthropy and volunteerism. The program empowers young people in the Yakima Valley to use their ideas, talents and sweat equity to raise funds for local projects supporting children with special healthcare needs.

Because all funds raised stay local, students see the positive effects of their efforts right here in the Yakima Valley. Funds raised are distributed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Virginia Mason Memorial, Children’s Village and health outreach programs for Valley children.

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Virginia Mason Memorial offers no-cost cooking class for local chefs

Calling all Yakima Valley restaurant chefs for a no-cost, plant-based
cooking workshop at Virginia Mason Memorial hospital

YAKIMA — Virginia Mason Memorial is inviting local restaurant chefs to a no-cost, hands-on workshop that focuses on plant-based cooking. This workshop is being held in conjunction with Food Day, a day set aside each year to inspire Americans to make healthy changes to their diets and food policies.
The workshop will be held Monday, Oct. 23, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 8 a.m. until noon. Chefs are requested to come only with an open mind and willingness to adapt a plant-based menu item.

The typical American diet is contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems that are prevalent nationally and here in the Yakima Valley. Those problems cost Americans more than $150 billion per year.
Evidence shows that eating a plant-based diet has health benefits. This impacts professional cooks as customers with special requests are now seeking establishments where they can obtain a whole-food, plant-based option on a regular basis or on a catering menu. Virginia Mason Memorial’s workshop aims to offer chefs the tools to bring these customers into their dining establishments.

The workshop will be held at Virginia Mason Memorial hospital. To register, contact Virginia Mason Memorial’s Executive Chef Jason Patel by Oct. 6 by calling 509-249-5357 or via email at jasonpatel@yvmh.org. Space is limited.