Issue 22 • March 2014Recipes

Running On Fats

Most runners talk about the importance of carb loading; however, fat plays a critical role in a runner’s overall health and performance. Eating good fats in moderation has some nutritionists and dieticians talking, Registered Dietician Alexia Lewis filled us in.

Running well requires a healthy heart. For heart-healthy eating, change up your fat intake!

Did you notice I didn’t say reduce your fat intake? That’s because there are different types of fats and some are heart-healthy. Fats are necessary in our diet and they give food flavor and texture. Skipping on fats is not healthy or yummy! Studies show that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats reduces the risk of heart disease. So skip on the saturated fats – one way to remember which fat to skip is to think “if the fat is saturated, it saturates your heart with fat”! Trans fats also increase risk of heart disease and should be avoided as much as possible in a heart-healthy diet.

To reduce saturated and trans fats

Choose lean cuts of meat and trim all visible fat
Watch portion sizes of meat – use the palm of your hand as a guide and only eat a palm-sized piece of meat at your meal
Add a vegetarian meal at least once a week – try Meatless Mondays or some of the vegan/vegetarian recipes on my Web site
Choose reduced fat or non-fat milks, cheeses, and yogurts
Trans fats are in many baked goods and packaged products –don’t trust the front of the package or the nutrition facts panel; check the ingredients list for the words “partially hydrogenated _____ oil” with the blank being the type of oil (soy, corn, palm, etc.)

To increase unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated including omega-3 fats)s

Add a fatty fish twice a week – good choices are salmon, blue fin tuna, mackerel, canned anchovies or sardines
Choose at least one vegetarian source to include with every meal – almonds, avocado, walnuts, ground flaxseed, and olive or canola oil – just watch your portion sizes since these are still high in calories

Alexia Lewis, MS, RD, LD/N, is a registered dietitian licensed in Florida. With a focus on “heart healthy nutrition made easy,” she combines the nutrition science and health management with coaching to help you bring easy, delicious, heart-healthy food to your table. Find her on the web at

Healthy Burrito Recipes

Whole wheat wrap or tortilla
2/3 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and mashed
1/4 cup low-sodium salsa
1/4 medium Haas avocado, mashed
1/3 cup cooked brown rice
Sprigs of fresh cilantro
Squeeze of fresh lime juice

Mix mashed black beans, mashed avocado, and salsa together in a small bowl
Lay out burrito and place a line of bean mixture just off-center of the middle of the burrito
Lay rice in a line next to the bean mixture
Top mixture with cilantro sprigs and drizzle with lime juice
Roll burrito up, lay seam-side down, and cut in half to serve

Top with plain Greek yogurt, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, or your favorite hot sauce

Nutrition information per serving (without options)
340 calories
10 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 trans fat
0 g cholesterol
390 g sodium

Alexia Lewis

Alexia Lewis

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