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MENA MINUTE
Eating fats will not make you fat!

WRITTEN BY MENA SPODOBALSKI
PHOTO BY JACI GOODMAN

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I know this may come as a shock to you, but it really is true: Eating fats will not make you fat — if you are making the right choices in fats and, of course, eating them in moderation. You have a variety of fats to choose from, so it can be hard to distinguish between what is healthy for you and what is not. It’s true that all fats contain about nine calories per gram; however, not all are created equal. Let’s discuss the differences between a healthy fat and a fat you should avoid.

You want to stay away from saturated and trans fats, which increase your risk of heart disease and cholesterol level. Think processed foods such as cheese, cookies, and crackers. Trans fats also can occur naturally in our foods, such as in whole dairy products and red meats. Try to keep these to a minimum in your diet — no more than 10 percent of your caloric intake.

Healthier fat options are monounsaturated fats. According to the Seven Countries Study, Grecians were not dying of heart disease, despite eating high-fat diets. Researchers found that monounsaturated fats were behind their good health. You can find these healthy fats in nuts, peanut butter, avocados, olive oil, and sesame oil.

Another healthy fat option is polyunsaturated fats, which can help improve cholesterol levels. These are omega-6 and omega-3 foods. You can find these healthy fats in walnuts, sunflower seeds, salmon, tofu, and trout.

Eating the right fats can help you feel fuller longer, which, in turn, helps you to not overeat and to be successful in maintaining and losing weight. The key here is to watch your portions. I advocate measuring your foods and knowing exactly what you are eating and how much. If you sit at your desk or watch TV while mindlessly eating nuts, you most likely will find yourself gaining weight, even though they contain healthy fats. Don’t just drizzle your olive oil from the bottle, but, rather, use a tablespoon.

Avoid processed foods, measure out your portions, and add regular exercise to your week, and you will be on the right track to being fit and healthy!

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Photo of Mena Spodobalski by
Chris Holloman

Mena Spodobalski owns and is an advanced fitness trainer at Evoke Fitness in Reno. She also is a state champion and nationally qualified fitness competitor. For details, visit Evokefit.com.

Avocado Breakfast Toast

(courtesy of Mena Spodobalski, owner and advanced fitness trainer, Evoke Fitness in Reno. Serves 1)

Avocados are my favorite healthy fat. Not only are they delicious, but they’re a great source of omega-3, vitamin K, fiber, and potassium. Try this breakfast toast and start your day off on the right foot.

1 piece bread, whole wheat or sprouted wheat

½ avocado, ripe and soft

1 tablespoon cottage cheese (optional, for creaminess)

1 egg

Salt and pepper, to taste

Wedge of lime (optional)

Toast bread. Add avocado and cottage cheese to small bowl. Smash avocado and stir to combine. Smear avocado spread on toast.

Spray pan with olive oil spray. Gently crack egg into hot pan. Reduce heat to medium and allow egg to cook for about 2 minutes. Cover pan with lid for an additional minute to finish — do not flip egg. Loosen sides of fried egg with spatula, then slide out of pan to top toast.

Sprinkle cracked black pepper and sea salt over the top, to taste. Finish with squeeze of lime wedge (if using).

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