The Good Fats

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

Natural Weight Loss

nutrition bar

The Good Fats

It’s just another sign of the benefits of a plant-based diet:  plant-based fats, like nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, and vegetable oils, tend to be low in saturated fat and rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Try to include a small amount of these foods in your diet every day.

There’s one exception:  tropical oils, like palm kernel oil, palm oil, and coconut oil, are high in saturated fat.

Palm oil is increasingly popular as an ingredient used by food manufacturers, and a lot of hype has been made over coconut oil’s potential health benefits.

However, there’s not enough research to support all benefits, like weight loss or brain protection, for these types of fat, and they’re not as heart healthy as unsaturated vegetable oils like extra virgin olive oil.

Our suggestion is to enjoy small amounts of tropical nuts as part of your saturated fat budget, like coconut milk in a curry, but don’t switch to their oils in an attempt to gain better health.

Regardless of oil choice, remember fat is a concentrated source of calories – a little goes a long way.

Limit your servings to a handful of nuts, a couple of tablespoonfuls of seeds, and 1/8th of an avocado.

And when you use vegetable oils, such as extra virgin olive oil, in salad dressings, side dishes, and entrees, use just a drizzle to add wonderful flavor and healthy fats.

Recipe of the Day:  Pecan-Cherry-Chia Nutrition Bars

Active Preparation Time:  14 minutes

Total Preparation Time:  14 minutes (not including chilling time)

Don’t shy away from nuts and seeds just because they have rich supplies of fat.

Remember, these are heart-healthy plant-based fats, so let them star in these homemade nutrition bars.

Who needs to buy prefabricated granola bars when you can make a batch of these naturally sweet goodies in minutes – no baking required?

Sweetened with dried cherries and raisins, these bars are packed with wholesome goodness, thanks to pecans, oats, whole grains, coconut, chia, sunflower seeds, and cinnamon.

Pack them in your gym, lunch, or travel bag, as well as your kids’ backpacks.

You can even change up the ingredients to use your favorite fruits, seeds, and nuts.

Makes 16 servings (1 bar each)

1/2 cup finely chopped dried cherries (see Notes)

1/4 cup finely chopped raisins (see Notes)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup unsweetened whole grain flaked cold breakfast cereal, like wheat or buckwheat

1-1/2 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut

1-1/2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seed butter

1/4 cup honey or agave nectar

3 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

*Use as many organic ingredients as possible.

1.  Line a 9″ square dish with plastic wrap, leaving enough extra to cover the top of the dish later.

2.  Mix together the cherries, raisins, pecans, oats, cereal, coconut, and chia seeds in a medium bowl.

3.  Combine the sunflower seed butter, honey, and water in a small pot over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, until thin and smooth.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon until well blended.

4.  Stir the sunflower seed butter mixture into the fruit mixture.  Mix with clean hands to distribute all ingredients.

5.  Transfer the mixture into the lined dish and pat down firmly.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours, until firm.

6.  Slice into 16 bars.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes:  These bars freeze well.  Wrap them individually in plastic wrap for convenient snacks.

Don’t skip chopping the raisins; it’s necessary to hold the bars together.

Neither the raisins nor the cherries should be packed when measured out.

Variations:  You can substitute chopped apricots for the cherries; peanut or almond butter for the sunflower seed butter; and walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, or macadamia nuts for the pecans.  To make this gluten-free, use gluten-free oats and breakfast cereal flakes, and check that the nuts and seeds are gluten-free.

Per serving:  136 calories, 8 g total fat (1 g saturated), 13 mg sodium, 17 g total carbohydrates (10 g sugar), 2 g fiber, 3 g protein.

If you have any questions, send us an email!

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com

from Plant-Powered For Life by Sharon Palmer, RDN

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join us on our natural weight loss journey.

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