Healthy vs Not Healthy Fats
Hearing the word, fat, I think many of us automatically go to one frame of mind. It seems just hearing the word adds five pounds to our waistline. I even remember in Middle School I brought an avocado for lunch and a girl automatically looked at that and goes, “Are you really going to eat that? There’s so much fat in those”. Middle School is already a rough time in life, so I never brought one again, and I actually ended up not eating it that day out of embarrassment.
The problem with our culture these days is that we outweigh the health benefits just because of the word, “fat”, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing; at least not in the way we consume it. I wanted to take some time debunking these rumors and why eating fats is a good thing, and they actually can help maintain your waistline, instead of adding to it.
Lets start by getting rid of the notion that all fats are the same, they are not. The fats to stay away from are artificial or processed Trans fats such as, fried foods, margarine, vegetable shortening, baked goods or any processed snack foods.
There are small amounts of naturally occurring Trans fats that may be found in meats and various dairy products, but the key is to avoid the artificial fats. Artificial Trans fats will increase weight gain and clog arteries creating a higher chance of heart disease.
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However, healthy fats will do the opposite. Unsaturated fats have the ability to improve your mood, fight fatigue and manage a healthy weight. Monounsaturated or plant based fats include various nuts, veggie oils, avocados and peanut and almond butters. A mix of these along with polyunsaturated fats including Omega-3s found in Salmon, Herring, Sardines, Trout, etc. may improve blood cholesterol levels, prevent and reduce ADHD, bipolar disorder and depression, ease arthritis, joint pain, inflammatory skin conditions and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. For those people who are not a fan of fish and would rather not eat them there is also an alternative in just taking Omega-3 supplements.
So how do you incorporate more healthy fats into your diet? Well we’ve provided a few tips on easy ways to enhance these fats into your diet.
- Start cooking with Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
- I know there’s something about butter and the flavor it adds, but both oils provide a healthy fat alternative to butter or margarine.
- Eat more Avocados
- Yes, they may be a super high-fat food, but they are a healthy fat that is essential for a healthy lifestyle.
- Opt for Nuts
- Especially if you are someone who needs a snack throughout the day, nuts are a great option. They’re not only a protein and healthy fat, but they provide a great snack in the middle of the day, or an added pairing to any dish.
- Go for Olives
- Olives are great because they are low calorie, can be great for snacking on plain or made into a dip. As well as a great source of monounsaturated fat.
- Eat Fish
- The fattier the fish the more Omega-3s they contain. If you’re someone who likes fish opt for this as a meal about twice a week.
- Remember Omega-3s Everyday
- More than just fish has Omega-3s, so get either supplements or go for plant sources like, flax seeds or walnuts.
Just remember fat doesn’t have to be a bad thing; it’s not always about what you see in the mirror. Instead, to benefit your lifestyle and help manage your weight add some healthy fats into your diet. I promise your body will thank you.
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