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Savor Heart-Healthy Foods -- and get the facts on fat

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Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

(Family Features) - Confused about the role of good fat versus bad fat in your diet? A little knowledge can go a long way toward helping you make confident choices for a heart-healthy eating plan.

First -- we all need a little fat in our diets -- it provides energy and helps absorb important nutrients. But most of us get more than we need, and that can be bad news for your heart and blood vessels. There are four major types of fat in foods: saturated and trans -- the "bad fats"-- and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated -- the "better fats." Saturated and trans fats tend to be more solid at room temperature, (like a stick of butter), while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to be liquid (like liquid vegetable oil). The "bad fats" raise bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in your blood. The "better fats" don’t seem to raise bad cholesterol levels and are beneficial when consumed in moderation.

A heart-healthy diet also means eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. These all contribute to an overall low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, contributing to healthy blood lipid levels.

While you are in the grocery store, shop smart. Look for the American Heart Association’s heart-check mark on foods. The mark is your assurance that the food is low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

You can also build your personalized heart-healthy grocery shopping list for free at heartcheckmark.org.

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Spicy Buttermilk Dressing

  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup no-salt-added canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup canned tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (kosher preferred)
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    1. In a blender, process all the ingredients for 1 minute, or until smooth. Transfer to a jar with an airtight lid and refrigerate until ready to use.
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Calories: 26g     Total Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 1mg     Protein: 2g
Carbohydrates: 4g     Sodium: 72mg

Serves 14; 2 tablespoons per serving
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Notes, Tips & Suggestions
This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Face The Fats program. Recipe copyright® 2007 by the American Heart Association. Look for other delicious recipes in American Heart Association cookbooks, available from booksellers everywhere.

SOURCE: American Heart Association

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