I saved the best macronutrient for last! The much loved and hated Fats.
I say, love the Fats. It’s like dating, there are some good men out their and some good fats. The bad boys and bad fats just block the view sometimes.
Fats are needed for the body to function properly. Yesterday, I told you not to do the low carb diets anymore. Same for fats. The 90’s brought us the low fat/non fat craze and manufactures went nuts creating all kinds of low fat and non fat products. I have to admit I jumped into that craze and purchased many of the products. I still use some of these products, as not all of them are bad. Unfortunately, most were filled with extra sugar or sodium to make the product taste as good as the fat version. So my warning here is to read the labels carefully.
The key here is to start switching out fats in your diet for healthier fats. So how do you do that?
Here is what you need to know. There are two types of fats, saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels. This can cause heart disease and also some cancers. Here are the types of foods that contain saturated fat and should be limited in your diet; fatty meats, whole milk, egg yolks, butter, coconut and palm oils, poultry skin.
Unsaturated fats are plant and seafood based and come in two forms, monosaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats are known as heart healthy and can contribute to lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) levels. Olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds are all great monosaturated fats. So slice some avocado into a salad or sandwich, spread some almond butter on whole grain toast, cook with olive oil. I know you can do that!
Okay, I know you have heard to get your Omega-3 and Omega-6. These are the two polyunsaturated fats. Omega-6 is found in vegetable oils, Omega-3 in fatty fish, like yummy salmon, other seafoods, flaxseed and walnuts. Studies have shown the Omega’s to increase immunity and reduce inflammation.
I am going to end today with the fat to avoid. The biggest bad boy of them all, Trans fat (hydrogenated oils). Trans fats have been shown to cause the same negative affects as saturated fats and many would say worse, as trans fat is not in its natural state. It is an unsaturated fat that has been processed into a saturated fat. Manufacturers are required to list trans fats on the label, so read your food labels closely. Particularly labels on chips, bake goods and cookies. Trans fat is also found in french fries and other fried foods.
Up to 30% of your diet can be from fat, so enjoy the good fats!