Healthier choice recipe: Meaty Yuletide treat

Healthier choice recipe: Meaty Yuletide treat
Homemade pork meatballs with carrot cream sauce.
Wednesday, Dec 25, 2013
Mind Your Body, The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Make merry this Christmas with meatballs, without letting them weigh on your mind and body.

Traditionally, this dish is served in Western countries on this day, which Christians believe marks the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God.

Create better meatballs from a mix of minced lean pork and toasted wholemeal bread crumbs, rather than fatty pork and white bread.

Wholemeal bread is made from whole wheat, which has only the husk peeled off, while white bread is made from refined wheat, which is the carbohydrate-rich endosperm left after the husk, bran and germ have been removed.

For this reason, whole wheat and other whole grains contain more vitamins, minerals and fibre than refined grains.

Whole grains take longer to be digested and promote a feeling of fullness. This lowers a person's likelihood of overeating and keeps his blood sugar level steady, which is especially beneficial to diabetics.

Eating whole grains has also been shown to reduce a person's risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

Using lean pork, by removing the skin and visible fat, lowers the amount of fat, especially saturated fat, in the meatballs.

Baking them, rather than frying, also reduces the fat content because this cooking method requires less oil.

When consumed, saturated fat is converted into low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or "bad" cholesterol.

This is distributed through the bloodstream to tissues to make hormones. Any excess is deposited on artery walls, narrowing the arteries and raising the risk of heart disease and stroke.

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