Is Fat Secretly Good For Me?
Low-fat diets are popular and touted for helping prevent heart disease and obesity. But here’s the truth about fat that people don’t always talk about: fat is actually good for you.
Does that mean it’s open season for french fries and flautas? Unfortunately, no, but here’s a simple guide to fats that improve your health and those that don’t.
Not all fats are created equal
Fat is essential for your body, especially your heart and brain. It also helps you absorb vitamins.
But because some fats are dangerous to your health, good fats got dragged down onto the naughty list—let’s clear their reputation.
When to say yes fats
Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are critical because they reduce your risk of heart disease and help regulate blood pressure. Not only that, they help fight obesity, diabetes, and are good for your brain, eyes, and bones.
Foods that have Omega-3s:
Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, or sardines
Flax and chia seeds
Let’s be honest, most of us are not eating these foods daily and are not getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids. An Omega-3 supplement is an effective, reliable, and easy way to get this essential, heart-healthy fat.*
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats: These fats—usually liquid at room temperature—are found in avocados, nuts, olive oil, and vegetable oils. They can lower cholesterol levels. Though good for you, these fats are still high in calories, so keep an eye on your calorie intake.
When to say sometimes
Saturated fats: Saturated fats are naturally solid at room temperature—think of butter, coconut oil, fatty cuts of meat, and full-fat dairy products. A small amount of saturated fat is fine, roughly 10% of your daily calories. Frequently subbing saturated fats for mono- and polyunsaturated fats is a good idea.
When to say no
Partially hydrogenated oils, a.k.a. trans fats: These fats are chemically altered to stay solid at room temperature, which gives them a longer shelf life. This is great for food manufacturers’ pocketbooks but not so great for you, since they increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Foods to avoid that contain partially hydrogenated oil:
Shortening and margarine
Baked goods such as pies, cakes, and donuts
Watch out—even seemingly innocent foods like microwave popcorn, bread, and frozen pizza contain trans fat, so check those food labels before you buy!
Now that you have the facts about fat, you can shop and dine confidently knowing that you’re making great strides toward a healthy heart and body.
Let’s get healthier, together,
Your friends at Santo Remedio
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