Eat More Fat!

by: Suzanne Jenkins

 

For years, nutritionists and dieticians alike have been telling their clients to eat a low-fat diet in order to stay healthy or lose weight. As part of this trend, low-fat foods have become a staple on grocery store shelves. Unfortunately, without knowing, many dieters are shorting themselves of the health and dietary benefits of fats by avoiding them at all costs. While too much “unhealthy” fat such as saturated fat and trans fat  (trans-fatty acids) can lead to heart problems in the future, choosing healthy fats such as monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and omega-3 fatty acids can help avoid heart and other health-related problems in the future and be part of a healthier, more balanced diet.

 

Trans fats and saturated fats raise your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and lower your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. You can find these bad fats in processed foods including cookies, cakes, crackers, French fries, shortening, and margarine among many others. You can determine the amount of saturated fat in your food by simply reading the label (For more help with this, check out our article Reading Labels). You will find “Saturated Fats” under the Nutrition Information. You will be able to find Trans fats in the Ingredient List. It will often times be called “Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil” or “Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil”. While some Saturated fats can also be healthy fats, like coconut oil, most are not. I will mention some more healthy saturated fats later in the article.

 

Monounsaturated fats (MUFA) are found in a variety of foods, and studies have shown that eating foods rich in MUFAs have lowered LDL levels and increased HDL levels. MUFAs have also been proven to help regulate insulin levels in the blood. Polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) are found mainly in plant-based foods and oils. PUFAs have also been proven to increase healthy cholesterol levels and lower LDL levels. Omega-3 Fatty Acids, a type of Polyunsaturated fat, and essential fatty acid, can be found in abundance in fish and fish oils, flax seeds, walnuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Those who maintain diets rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids have been proven to have a lower risk of heart disease, inflammation, arthritis, lupus, asthma, breast cancer, colon cancer and diabetes, just to name a few. Eating the daily-recommended value of Omega-3s will also lower your insulin levels. From a weight-loss standpoint, this means that many of the extra calories you may eat will be burned off for energy instead of being stored as body fat.

 

Here is a list of the Top 10 foods high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids that should be incorporated in your daily diet to maintain healthy levels of essential Fatty Acids:

  • Flax Seeds
  • Salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Sardines
  • Grass-Fed Pasture-Raised Beef
  • Halibut
  • Soybeans
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Tofu

 

For more information regarding Healthy Fats, check out our articles about Cholesterol, Reading Labels, and Weight Loss. Also, check out some of our great recipes using Healthy-Fat foods!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>