‘Stay off the SoFAS’ this holiday season with right choices

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It’s the holiday season. If you hear, “stay off the SoFAS” during this holiday season, it doesn’t mean to stay off the sofa or get active. “SoFAS” are calories from solid fat and added sugars and is a new term used in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Solid fats are found in animal-based foods such as fatty meat, poultry skin, bacon, sausage, butter and whole milk products or found in foods made with vegetable oils like cookies, donuts, pastries and crackers. These products are normally high in trans fats and saturated fats. Look for foods with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats — liquid vegetable oils, like canola, olive, peanut and soybean or high-fat plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, olives and avocados.

Sugars are added during processing, preparation or are consumed separately. Names seen on the label include brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, raw sugar, turbinado sugar, trehalose and sucrose. These do not include naturally occurring sugars such as those in fruit or milk.

So how can you “stay off the SoFAS” this holiday season?

• Choose foods prepared with little or no added sugars or solid fats. Find the calories from added sugars and solid fats in foods and drinks at www.myboodapedia.gov.

• Choose smaller portions of foods and drinks with added sugars and solid fats.

• Eat fewer and smaller portions of refined grain products that have added sugar and solid fat — cakes, cookies, other desserts or pizza.

• Drink few or no regular sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks. Drink water, fat-free milk, 100 percent fruit juice or unsweetened tea or coffee.

• Save high-calorie desserts for special times such as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and then choose smaller portion sizes.  

In cooking:

• Reduce sugar. The amount of sugar in recipes can often be reduced by 25 to 30 percent without much change in flavor and resulting in significant calorie savings. Adding cinnamon and vanilla can give the impression of sweetness.

• Use low-fat or fat-free milk and cheese for holiday recipes.

• Substitute one-third to one-half of the butter or oil with unsweetened applesauce.

• Use oils to replace solid fats where possible.

Upcoming Programs

Beginning knitting. There is still room in our knitting class that we are having tonight, and tomorrow, Wedneday and Thursday, Nov. 16-17 from 6-8 p.m. at the Extension office.

We will be teaching you to cast on, knit, purl and bind off as you knit a nice scarf for yourself or to give as a holiday gift. Fee is $10.

First aid and CPR training

Jennifer Dickow, Carroll County paramedic and basic life support instructor, will teach a program through the American Heart Association 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17 at our office. 

The course includes general first aid, how to take care of a person having a seizure, stroke or heart attack, AED and CPR.

Participants completing the course will become certified in first aid and CPR through the American Heart Association which is good for two years.  Fee is $35.


Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.