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September is National Cholesterol Education Month, and I'm here to tell you  A few years ago, the hot topic was cholesterol…..we were told that if we eat too much cholesterol, it was going to plug up our arteries and cause a heart attack.

Today, the emphasis has changed slightly.  We are still concerned about the fats we eat, however, we emphasize the kind of fat.  Some types of fat are healthier for you and your heart.  Choose these fats more often.

  • Monounsaturated fats like olive, canola, and peanut oil as well as polyunsaturated fats help lower your cholesterol and your “bad” cholesterol.
  • Omega 3 fats help by reducing plaque buildup in the arteries and decreasing triglycerides. Examples of these include walnuts, flaxseed, and fatty fish.

The unhealthy fats are the saturated and trans fats.  They tend to increase total cholesterol.  Try to avoid stick margarine and solid fats and check labels to help avoid the trans fats.

There are no daily limits for cholesterol anymore, but you should still try to watch your cholesterol intake.  Generally, foods high in cholesterol are high in saturated fat.

To be more heart-healthy, we continue to encourage people to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.  Eat a rainbow of colors to provide all the essential nutrients. 

Here are some tips for replacing unhealthy fats with better choices.

--Switch your oil to olive or canola oil for starters.

--For a snack, consume 1 ounce of unsalted nuts.

--Add ground flaxseed and berries to low-fat yogurt for a quick and easy breakfast.

--Put a slice of avocado on your sandwich instead of mayo or butter.

--Chose lean meats like round or sirloin for beef and loin for pork.

--Eat seafood twice a week, as it is an excellent source of Omega 3 fats.

Below is a healthy recipe for you to try. Enjoy! 

- Karen Bunnell, RD, LMNT


Corn and Black Bean Burritos


These burritos are high in flavor and easy to make

Recipe Source: Deliciously Healthy Dinners


¼ C scallions (green onions), rinsed and sliced into ¼-inch wide circles, including green tops

¼ C celery, rinsed and finely diced

1¼ C frozen yellow corn

½ ripe avocado, peeled and diced

2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (or substitute 2 tsp dried coriander)

1 can (15½ oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

¼ C reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese

¼ C salsa or taco sauce (look for lowest sodium version)

12 (9-inch) whole-wheat tortillas


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  2. Combine scallions, celery, and corn in a small saucepan.  Add just enough water to cover. 
  3. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium.  Simmer for 5 minutes, until vegetables soften.  Drain vegetables.  Set aside to cool.
  4. Combine avocado, cilantro, and beans in a large mixing bowl.  Add cheese and salsa, and mix.
  5. When corn mixture has cooled slightly, add to the avocado mixture.
  6. In a large nonstick pan over medium heat, warm each tortilla about 15 seconds on each side.  Place each tortilla on a flat surface.  Spoon ⅓ cup of the mixture into the center of the tortilla.  Fold the top and bottom of the tortilla over the filling.  Fold in the sides to make a closed packet.
  7. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  8. When all tortillas are wrapped, continue heating in the oven 5 minutes, until all are warm and cheese is melted.