For years you’ve heard what the so called weight-loss Guru’s, & self proclaimed Diet experts have been telling us about eating less fat & weight loss. Now, all of a sudden the focus has switched. Today we know that, just like calories, not all fats are created equally. The types of fat you eat are more important than the overall amount. But in order to stay healthy and even lose weight,we need to educate ourselves and eat more healthy fats. We need to become more conscious of what we’re actually putting in our bodies. Why? Because everything affects everything, and in order to maintain homeostasis/balance on an optimal level we need to give our bodies what it needs. It’s like servicing your car, or taking care of your pets. Some people take better care of their possessions, than their bodies. We always put the right gas in our automobiles.I mean we may not always make the optimal choice, but we should never treat our bodies like a thing that’s on lease or like we can trade it in at the end of the year. What we put in as far as nutrients and fuel, is what we get out as far as cell reproduction and energy. Also the amount of information out there can leave us confused at times and therefore we just revert to what’s the norm. But one thing I know is that there is No one more qualified to tell you whats right for you to eat, than YOU. But we must be receptive to what’s going on around and in us. Below are some tips to get you on the right track.
Understanding Healthy Fats
1. First step would be to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fats. There are four major types of fats. Eat more of the good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The two bad ones to cut down on are saturated fats and trans fats.
2. Recognize the benefits of good fats. Polyunsaturated & Monounsaturated fats lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. They're found in foods like plant based oils, nuts(like almonds, pistachios & walnuts) and soy beans.
3. Appreciate the special powers of omega-3s & 6s. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that reduce your risk for cancer and other serious conditions. They also play an important role in your cognitive functions and emotional state. Good sources include fatty fish such as salmon, and flaxseed or walnuts.
4. Guard against the impact of bad fats. A diet high in saturated fats and trans fats makes you prone to heart disease and weight gain. Saturated fat comes from animal products like red meat. Commercial baked goods often contain loads of trans fats.
5. Get familiar with how fats affect cholesterol. Cholesterol levels
depend more on the types of fats you eat than on dietary cholesterol. Enjoy an egg for breakfast while you're focusing on eating more good fats.
6. Learn about refined carbohydrates. Products labeled fat-free & low- fat are processed & often high in sugar & refined carbohydrates. They actually raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes just as much as the saturated fats they're replacing.
Eating More Healthy Fats
1. USDA recommendations. Suggest that you limit your total fat intake to 20 to 35 percent of the calories in your diet. Try to keep saturated fats under 10-15% percent of the calories in your diet, and trans fats under one percent. * (But if for some reason you’re not feeling like your energy levels are appropriate up your fats a little keeping a record of how you feel like an hour after eating to find the optimal amount for you)*
2. Measure portion sizes. All fats contain about nine calories per gram while proteins and carbohydrates are only about four calories. Eat even good fats in moderation.
3. Check labels for trans fats. Many restaurants and food manufacturers have stopped using trans fats but check for yourself. Read all the ingredients on the label to see if they contain any partially hydrogenated oils. This is a dead give-away for the presence of trans fats.
4. Eat more whole foods. Fill up your plate with natural foods including vegetables and whole grains. It's the simplest way to avoid the unhealthy fats in fast food and processed snacks.
* A whole food is basically something your grandparents would recognize as a single food item. For example, a potato is a whole food. Potato chips, which have multiple ingredients and aren't recognizable as potatoes, are not.
5. Opt for liquid oils. Healthy fats tend to be liquid at room temperature, so reach for oils instead of butter or margarine. Dip your bread in olive oil and cook with canola oil at home.
6. Find substitutes. Look for alternatives to red meat and dairy products. Dine on three bean chili instead of hamburger. Drink almond milk or coconut milk instead of the low-fat or fat-free products. Pizza and cheese are the biggest sources of saturated fat in the typical American diet, so satisfy your cravings for Italian food with pasta in marinara sauce. Or make your own pizza from scratch and use a healthy alternative to cheese, there are a bunch of choices depending on what you can & can’t eat.
7. Eat seafood 2-3 times a week. Many experts recommend eating fish at least twice a week as a way to cut back on saturated fat. Fatty fish like salmon, albacore tuna, and mackerel will have the highest omega-3 content.
You can lose weight and live a better quality of life by cutting down on saturated fats, eliminating trans fats, and eating more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. That translates into a little less red meat and cheese and more beans, fish, flaxseed, plant based oils and full fat dairy products. You'll love how you look and feel!