I'm from the South. Southern cooking used to always include bacon fat and/or frying! When I was a kid, every meal
included frying something - bacon and eggs, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, chicken, floured hamburger steak, and fish! And if it wasn't fried, then it was seasoned with bacon grease. I remember my mother keeping bacon grease in a small canister beside the
stove. She would use it to season corn, green beans, cabbage, peas, squash, and any other vegetable she happened to cook. Then years later, we found out about the connection between grease and heart disease.
In order not to clog our arteries, we went the opposite direction. We learned to bake our chicken coated with corn flakes or baking mix or a mix of parmesan and bread crumbs instead of frying
it. We used cooking spray to coat our dishes to make for easy clean-up instead of using butter or shortening. We also used chicken broth instead of bacon grease to season the vegetables.
But it seems things are always changing. We're always making new discoveries about the connection between what we eat and what our bodies need. When I joined Weight Watchers just a few years
ago in 2012, I found out that we actually need "good fats." They recommended we get 2 teaspoons per day of healthy oils like olive oil, sunflower, safflower, or flaxseed so that we get vitamin E and essential fatty acids. Until then, I thought I needed to
eliminate ALL oils.
As I said, thing are always changing. What we thought to be right all of a sudden is challenged. For instance, Mazola is now saying their corn oil is a heart-healthy cooking oil and has more
cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than other cooking oils - 4x more than olive oil and 40% more than canola oil. To be perfectly honest, I'm confused by everything I can read now on the Internet. One thing most sites do have in common, though, is they say
to avoid high levels of saturated and trans fats.
So, what do I eat to have a heart-healthy lifestyle? I avoid a diet where everything is fried. I no longer season using bacon grease. Often in baking, I substitute apple sauce for high amounts
of oil. And when I do use oil, I use as little as possible. Two recipes I've made lately are perfect for my diet and follow the guidelines I just listed. PORK CARNITAS
WITH CILANTRO TOMATILLO SAUCE and SWEET AND SPICY SALMON WITH GRAPEFRUIT SALSA both use 1/2 tablespoon and 1/2 teaspoon of oil per serving, respectively,
which falls within the daily guidelines.
PHOTO OF PORK DISH (may have to click on ? to see photo)
PHOTO OF SALMON (may have to click on ? to see photo)
For more Mazola recipes, click HERE.
To learn more about the healthy benefits of cooking with Mazola, click HERE.
I'm sure more information will come out next week which will make me have to read up again and decide for myself which
foods to eat and which ones to avoid. But I'm glad I live in an age where I have access to that information and can decide for myself what is best for my family, my finances, and my lifestyle.
I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I'm not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com.
I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mazola®. I received a sample to facilitate my review in Celebrating Life with Paula as well as a promotional item as a thank-you for participating. The
reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Paula.