Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ever Heard of MUFA Foods?

Yesterday I was cleaning out a drawer and stumbled across a copy of Prevention magazine from 2 years ago. On the front cover they were advertising a diet that claims I can lose 7 pounds in 4 days - so I had to read it. After reading the article, I was surprised to find that this is a diet I actually think I can do. Tomorrow I will post the instructions for the actual diet, but today I am going to tell you a little about this mysterious MUFA food.

MUFA is short for "Monounsaturated Fats." MUFAs are good fats that come from plant foods like nuts, avocados and olives. MUFAs have been found to help people lose small amounts of weight and overall body fat - all without exercising or lowering their calorie intake! Not only that, but MUFAs prevent the build up of that unsightly belly fat - which also lowers our heart disease risks and type 2 diabetes.

So, just what qualifies for a MUFA food? There are 5 different types of MUFAs. The first basically consists of any type of oil with a plant base. Examples are: Flaxseed oil, olive oil, walnut oil, canola oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil or peanut oil. This can easily be incorporated into a daily meal just by cooking with the oil. You can also drizzle it over salads and grilled meat. One serving is equivelant to 1 Tablespoon.

The second type of MUFAs are from Nuts and Seeds. These include, but are not limited to, Almonds, Peanuts, dry-roasted cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, and walnuts. You can even get this particular type of MUFA from chunky natural peanut butter and sunflower seed butter. One serving size is equal to 2 Tablespoons.

The thrid type of MUFAs come from Avocados. I am not a huge avocado fan, but thought it went pretty nicely with the Spicy Steak Taco recipe I posted on here a while back. Prevention magazine provided the idea of mashing it with lime juice, salt and pepper and serving with chips, or even chopping and folding in with store-bought salsa. One serving size is 1/4 cup.

The fourth type of MUFAs are Olives! This is probably my favorite type right here. I am a HUGE green olive nut. I go to the fridge regularly for a snack of green olives. It's nice to know that these are healthy for me. Both green olives and black olives are great. A serving size is 10 large olives or 2 Tablespoons of tapenade.

Finally, the last type of MUFA is found in - drumroll please - CHOCOLATE! Yep, you read that right - I did say chocolate! I imagine I have several of you on the other side of the screen smiling now while thinking this may be possible to do after all. The best types of chocolate are dark or semisweet chocolate chips, shavings or chunks. One serving size is 1/4 cup.

Be sure to check back tomorrow and find out how Prevention magazine claims you can "Lose 7 pounds in 4 days" by incorporating these MUFA foods in your daily diet.

* Information was found in the February 2008 issue of Prevention magazine.

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