Health Tip of the Day
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Should you avoid fats? No way! Fat is a vital nutrient! Just because it’s called “fat” doesn’t mean it makes you fat. With the same thought Fat-Free doesn’t techincally mean it is good for you or won’t make you fat. Most foods labels with those so welcomes two words “Fat Free” actually can be worse for you. Most packaged foods make up for it with added sugar and chemicals, which can make you just as fat, if not fatter, than fat can. But I believe this misconception comes from the fact that fat is so easy to overeat. With nine calories per gram, protein and and carbs have four, it’s very easy to overeat these tasty fatening foods. For example: A recipe calls for two tablespoons of peanut butter at 190 calories. But like me, you take two HEAPING scoops of peanut butter for your afternoon snack. That’s now close to 400 calories. OOPS…
So what should you do? So you want to moderate dietary fat intake, but you don’t want to eliminate it. It’s an essential fuel source you need for almost every human activity, including brain function. It adds structure to cell membranes; acts as a hormone regulator; transports fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, and K; promotes the feeling of fullness; and slows the absorption of carbs. Basically, it does everything short of wash your dishes and walk your dog, so you absolutely, positively should not avoid it. Your best bet is to get 20% to 35% of your calories from fat. So, for example, if you’re eating 1,800 calories, that’s somewhere between 40 and 70 grams of fat. Despite what you may have been told, fat isn’t always the bad guy in the waistline wars. Bad fats, such as saturated fats and trans fats, are guilty of the unhealthy things all fats have been blamed for—weight gain, clogged arteries, and so forth. But good fats such as the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s have the opposite effect. In fact, healthy fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight.
Myths and facts about fats Myth: All fats are equal—and equally bad for you.Fact: Saturated fats and trans fats are bad for you because they raise your cholesterol and increase your risk for heart disease. But monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good for you, lowering cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart disease. Myth: Lowering the amount of fat you eat is what matters the most. Fact: The mix of fats that you eat, rather than the total amount in your diet, is what matters most when it comes to your cholesterol and health. The key is to eat more good fats and less bad fats. Myth: Fat-free means healthy. Fact: A “fat-free” label doesn’t mean you can eat all you want without consequences to your waistline. Many fat-free foods are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and calories. Myth: Eating a low-fat diet is the key to weight loss. Fact: The obesity rates for Americans have doubled in the last 20 years, coinciding with the low-fat revolution. Cutting calories is the key to weight loss, and since fats are filling, they can help curb overeating. Myth: All body fat is the same. Fact: Where you carry your fat matters. The health risks are greater if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen, as opposed to your hips and thighs. A lot of belly fat is stored deep below the skin surrounding the abdominal organs and liver, and is closely linked to insulin resistance and diabetes.
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health. Monounsaturated fat:
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Peanut oil
- Sesame oil
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
- Soybean oil
- Corn oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds Flaxseed
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
Saturated fats and trans fats are known as the “bad fats” because they increase your risk of disease and elevate cholesterol. It’s worth noting that not all “bad fats” are completely unhealthy; some, such as whole-fat dairy products which are a good source of calcium and protein, can have positive health benefits as well, when consumed in moderation.
- High-fat cuts of meat (beef, lamb, pork)
- Chicken with the skin
- Whole-fat dairy products (milk and cream)l
- Ice cream
- Ice cream
- Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
- Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
- Stick margarine
- Vegetable shortening
- Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish)
- Candy bars
Should you avoid fats? Get it now? You realize you need to avoid saturated fat and trans fat… but how do you get the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats instead? The best sources of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish.
- Cook with olive oil. Use olive oil for stove-top cooking, rather than butter, stick margarine, or lard. For baking, try canola or vegetable oil.
- Eat more avocados. Try them in sandwiches or salads or make guacamole. Along with being loaded with heart and brain-healthy fats, they make for a filling and satisfying meal.
- Reach for the nuts. You can also add nuts to vegetable dishes or use them instead of breadcrumbs on chicken or fish.
- Snack on olives. Olives are high in healthy monounsaturated fats. But unlike most other high-fat foods, they make for a low-calorie snack when eaten on their own. Try them plain or make a tapenade for dipping.
- Dress your own salad. Commercial salad dressings are often high in saturated fat or made with damaged trans fat oils. Create your own healthy dressings with high-quality, cold-pressed olive oil, flaxseed oil, or sesame oil.
Did you like this tip? If so please comment below and I will add more like it. Thank you for stopping by Duffitness.