Thursday, September 8, 2011

Trans fat – is it really bad, and crispy kang kong

Semolina with lentils
Food Diary (September 07, 2011)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with plums, flax seeds and sunflower seeds
Lunch: Semolina with lentils
Dinner: Rolled oat sourdough toast with honey, pickled apples

The semolina was almost like couscous. I toasted it first and then added water. As a result it was not mushy like semolina normally is. Other than semolina having smaller grains the taste and texture was not very different from couscous.  The recipe is available here.

Today's Favourite Photo
Source: Sparklette
Crispy Kang Kong topped with cuttlefish

Today's Favourite Blog
It has been a long battle to eradicate trans fats from our diets, and the battle is being slowly won. Global fast food chains such as KFC have eliminated trans fats from their food and even some cities such as New York  have banned it. Trans fats must be really bad, but is it really. Before I get to the point, perhaps a reminder about coconut, butter and few other ingredients that were previously considered bad and now they are being embraced with open arms.

A University of Alberta nutrition expert says that not all trans fats are created equal. According to Spencer Proctor, perhaps not related to Proctor & Gamble, natural trans fats produced by ruminant animals such as dairy and beef cattle are actually good for our health, and some evidence even links these natural trans fats to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Naturally occurring trans fat has a different fatty acid profile than industrial trans fat. 

To continue this research one scientific program headed by Proctor was recently awarded a $1 million research grant from the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency.

It seems the message on moderation is becoming increasingly stronger. According to Proctor natural trans fat is good for you while almost the rest of the world thinks otherwise! This will add to further confusion.  With so many conflicting news I think the consumers face a real risk of developing tumor if they try to maintain a healthy diet that meets the scientists expectations. If the studies showing natural trans fat is healthy is really correct, then it will be back to square one. KFC with healthy good for the heart trans fat could be back.

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  1. natural trans fat may not show a harmful significance BUT it all ties back to simple concept- consume whole, fresh, lean foods and less processed, packaged garbage...

    natural trans fat cannot be isolated/removed - there will be some in foods BUT that is such a tiny tiny portion - I've never known it to be generalized to " being good for health" .... it might not be have as strong of associated risk for disease as trans fat does...

  2. It's great to hear that some restaurants are actually taking this seriously and eliminating trans-fat. Though I still wouldn't eat at KFC, ha! That first dish looks delicious. :)

  3. dulce de leche lava cakes?!? drooling! :D

  4. I'm not sure if I like cuttlefish, but that is one gorgeous dish. I still vote that trans fat is not good for you said, everything in moderation is the key.

  5. Semolina gives me a sore throat ... not kidding. In cakes or anything, each time I eat it, sore throat. Strange, that's me.
    Oh gosh, I haven't had kangkong cuttlefish for yonks. That looks gorgeous altho I'm not a great fan of cuttlefish. I'd go for the veg tho. Yum!
    Yup, 'moderation' ... good word that.

  6. Laural: Agree. I suppose natural trans fats is not harmful, in the amounts it exist in whole foods. Research can find all sorts of links, and they influence policy makers and consumers. BTW I agree with consuming less garbage, I would even go to the extent to saying consume no garbage. Its not delicious, usually smelly…:) Kidding

    Caroline: maybe KFC in future will have healthy good for the heart trans fats:)

    Tiffany: thank you, it was awesome!

    Lizzy: cuttlefish looks great, very well designed dish:)

    ping: really? Semolina comes from wheat but you are fine with flour, couscous etc. Could be a childhood traumatic incident, maybe some kid stole your semolina cookie:)

  7. I think moderation has been making such a large push lately as a health theme, especially with trans fats and high fructose corn syrup.

  8. I have always thought the trans fats obtained by chemical fat solidification (margarine) were dangerous... I think most natural things are good, but of course everything depends on doses.
    I have noticed a long time ago that you often combine two different carbs in your meals (even though usually one of them has also proteins, e.i. beans, lentils, chick peas etc.). This is something very exotic for me (an avowed carni-and piscivore)! It looks very unusual every time I see your description.
    Toasting semolina sounds like an excellent idea.

  9. semolina reminds me of millet or quinoa!!! yay for whole grains. hmmm this whole trans fat issue is so interesting, but one thing is for sure, all fats and all calories are NOT created equal!

  10. I've never had semoline because of my mum's wheat allergies! This recipe is so intriguing though!

  11. That's the problem with listening to food scientists. You NEVER get a straight answer and what was bad 10 years ago is good today and vice versa. Just eat smart, that's my rule :)

  12. I love the idea of toasting the semolina---looks delicious. I agree with Junia, not all trans fats/calories are created equal. The debates in food and nutrition will swing one way, then the other---but I think we all know that when we make our food with fresh ingredients that we are taking better care of ourselves.

  13. Not all trans fats are the same. Naturally made fats in moderation is key. People sometimes forget that fats are key to a healthy diet but the type of fat counts. Nice read and info!

  14. Rolled oat sourdough toast just sounds delicious! And great topping choices!!

  15. Yummychunklet: exactly, moderation is key. It’s a pity the researchers, policy makers etc haven’t quite grasped it, and they probably won’t

    Sissi: We have too much knowledge/information and hence we can over analyse. I’ve met people you are less exposed to research etc and they have a simple view, and in many cases its correct. Eg beef fat – we can discuss in detail pros and cons of saturated fat, whether there is naturally recurring trans fat etc but the simple view is that its natural so its good in moderation.

    I look at beans not as carbs but similar to vege/meat. And when I see meals served with beans and meat (with no other carbs like rice) it looks unusual to me!

    Junia: example, they are all unequal!

    Hannah: you should try it, semolina is nice

    Parsley Sage: eat smart and be happy, good rule!

    Nancy: but the scientists don’t really understand that unfortunately. I guess its their job

    SweetSavoryPlanet: example, fat is good and necessary for us

    Erica: it is delicious!

  16. Amazing you found out a dish made out of krispy kangkong, I love that and it is becoming popular in the Philippines before I left there nearly 10 years ago