Healthy Fats Eliminated in Non-Fat Diet

Understanding Healthy Fats

Unhealthy and myth-based diets of the past have given fat a bad name that has had a negative lasting impact on the weight loss. Fat should not be considered a deep, dark enemy. It is not a dieting “F-word”! In fact, you need a good amount of the right types of fat in order to make sure that you can effectively lose weight, maintain a healthy immune system, improve your mood, and look great (with healthy hair, skin, and nails).

The Problem with Diets That Eliminate All Fat, including Healthy Fats

So here’s the scoop: there is a destructive dieting myth that is misleading all too many dieters, suggesting that if you want to lose fat, you shouldn’t eat fat. As it turns out, though, if you try to achieve a non-fat diet and always pick fat-free alternatives, you could be working against your own efforts. Fat, as it turns out, can actually be an important friend when you are trying to lose or maintain weight.

Your body requires healthy fats to achieve its best function levels:

  • They are vital for the absorption of vitamin A (an antioxidant), vitamin D, vitamin E, and other nutrients.
  • They are also a critical part of the health of your nervous system, including your brain, spinal cord, and nerves.

An Explanation of Healthy Fats vs. Unhealthy Fats

What fats are considered unhealthy?

First off, saturated fats are the type that you should work to avoid from now on. They come with the increased risk of heart disease and obesity, and make it very difficult to lose weight, while also increasing your bad cholesterol levels.

These unhealthy fats can be found in:

  • Meat and poultry
  • Dairy products like cream and butter, as a couple of examples
  • Palm and coconut oils

What about trans fats? According to the American Heart Association, these should be avoided as best as possible because they can reduce your good cholesterol level, while increasing your bad cholesterol level. Plus, they can contribute to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Yikes!

What are some of the foods that contain trans fat? Well, there are trans fats that are naturally occurring, and you would get these from animal products like meat and dairy. In addition to that, however, there are artificial trans fats, which are also known as trans fatty acids. These are made through a process that takes vegetable oil and adds hydrogen to it. This process makes the oil more solid, and it creates what’s known as “partially hydrogenated oil.” If you come across a food that lists this ingredient on the label, do not buy it!

The bottom line is simple: avoid unhealthy saturated fat and trans fat, and pack your diet with foods that are high in beneficial fats, such as the following:

Monounsaturated Fats

The key is to choose the right, healthy fats. Focus on eating monounsaturated fats. They will not only help with weight loss and overall health, but studies have also shown that they have considerable benefits in lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. They are also known to help to lower bad cholesterol levels while increasing good cholesterol levels, lowering your risk of built up plaque in your arteries. And, they can help with the maintenance of the health of your cells. Plus, research even suggests that good fats help to prevent fat from being stored in your belly area!

Some of the foods that are high in monounsaturated fats include:

  • Sesame oil
  • Nuts
  • Sunflower oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Peanut oil

Polyunsaturated Fats

In addition to monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat is also considered one of the healthy fats that you should aim to get from your daily diet in order to maintain wellness. That’s because this type of fat can help reduce your bad cholesterol. Also, because polyunsaturated fats include omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, your cells, heart, and brain can use this type of fat to maintain proper function.

Some of the foods that are high in polyunsaturated fats include:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Soybean oil
  • Flax oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Corn oil

The Right Amount of Healthy Fat, and Where to Get It

You should also pay attention to the amount of fat you’re eating. After all, while there is a great deal of benefit to healthy fats, they still contain a large number of calories. Therefore, try to make up about 25 to 30 percent of your daily caloric intake with fats.

So where do you find these elusive healthy fats? In very flavorful foods that are affordable and easy to find. They include:

  • Olive oil and olives
  • Almonds
  • Canola oil
  • Peanut butter
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Avocados
  • Sesame seeds

You’ll also find walnuts, flaxseeds, mackerel, salmon, and herring to be high in the types of fats your body loves. Those foods also contain omega-3s, which come with another whole range of health benefits.

It’s All About Balance!

When it comes to consuming a healthy diet, it is all about balance. Focus on getting all of the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) that your body needs to thrive. And, when it comes to fat, in particular, don’t be so afraid of it anymore. Instead, just use your new knowledge about healthy fats versus unhealthy fats to make wiser choices when it comes to what you eat on a daily basis.

5 Nutrient Rich Vegetables

5 Nutrient Rich Vegetables

The vast majority of people know that the healthiest foods can be found and consumed unaltered in Mother Nature’s garden. Fruits and vegetables are, by far, the most nutrient rich foods that have been known to rid our bodies of toxins, repair our cells, and essentially strengthen our immune system. Continue reading “5 Nutrient Rich Vegetables”

You’re Probably Not Getting Enough of These Essential Nutrients

Get Enough of These Essential Nutrients

Have you been trying really hard to eat better for your health and your waistline? Well, according to WedMD, even those with the best intentions might end up making eating choices that lead them down the path towards not getting enough of a few essential nutrients.

What essential nutrients are most people lacking? Check out the information below to learn more. Then, start making meal plans that incorporate foods that can help increase your intake of these nutrients.

You’re Not Getting Enough of These Nutrients

Most Americans fail to get enough calcium, potassium, magnesium, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E in their diets. Sure, you can take supplements to bring these levels up and fill in nutritional gaps, but you can also start adding healthier foods to your meal plans every week in order to bring the levels of these nutrients up.

Foods That Contain Vital Nutrients

No matter what diet you follow, you can eat a variety of foods to boost your intake of the many important nutrients that your entire body needs to stay strong and energized. For example, you can get plenty of calcium from spinach, and you can get loads of potassium from bananas, tomato paste, and sweet potatoes. Brazil nuts and almonds are great sources of natural magnesium, while carrots and winter squash are just a couple of examples of foods that are high in vitamin A.

If you want to get more vitamin E, you can simply up your intake of peanut butter, roasted sunflower seeds, and tomato sauce, as a few examples. And, to get more vitamin C into your daily diet, you can eat fruits like strawberries, oranges, and cantaloupe, as well as veggies like red pepper and broccoli. Finally, when it comes to getting more fiber, you can do so easily with foods like black beans, pears, and bran cereal.

Knowing what essential nutrients your body needs most can help you make smarter choices at every meal. If you aren’t sure if you are deficient in these nutrients, talk to your doctor, as a simple blood test can reveal a lot.