Keep the Healthy Fats in Your Diet
By Donna Stark
We have been hearing about low-fat diets for years. In fact, you can find low-fat items in nearly every aisle at the grocery store, can't you? Low-fat yogurt, low-fat cereal, low-fat milk, low-fat salad dressing ... even the bakery has low-fat items as well! They have seriously invaded every inch of our grocer's shelves and because of that, many of us have become trained to believe that a low-fat diet is the way to go. Well, I'm here to tell you that low-fat isn't all that it is cracked up to be, and that there are many high-fat superfoods that you should still include in your healthy diet!
What's the Difference?
So, the big question now is, "What's the difference between good and bad fats, and how can you tell the difference?" Well, let's do a quick review.
- Unsaturated - These fats are generally described as the good, heart-healthy kind because they can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk for heart disease. They can be found in many foods, such as nuts, seeds, fatty fish, avocado, and peanut butter, and are quite easy to incorporate into your diet.
- Saturated - Be careful with these. Saturated fats are often deemed unhealthy, and over-consumption of them can lead to serious heart issues, but if eaten in moderation, some sources are actually good for you. They can be found in meat, dairy, and baked goods products.
- Trans - These fats are considered by many specialists to be the worst type of fat you can eat, so avoid, avoid, avoid! They are typically found in fried foods, baked goods, and processed snacks.
Keeping the Good Fat in Your Diet
Obviously, to improve your health and wellness, there are some fats that should be reduced or eliminated from your diet, but that doesn't mean every fat should be taken out. Here is a list of high-fat foods that should definitely find a place on your dinner table.
- Olive oil - The original healthy fat, olive oil helps lower your risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes
- Fatty fish - Knows as "brain food," fatty fish such as salmon and anchovies are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function
- Avocados - The foundation for any great party, avocados can help lower inflammation which is linked to heart disease
- Nut butters - These are a great source of heart-healthy fats and protein, but be sure to avoid those that have added sugar or vegetable oils in them
- Seeds - With so many benefits to their name, seeds such as pumpkin, hemp, flax, and chia should be consumed every day
Healthy Fats, Healthy Body
Our bodies need fat for energy, vitamin absorption, and proper functioning of our nerves and brain, but the key idea here, and what really matters, is where the source of fat is coming from. So be intentional about what you are eating, and definitely, enjoy the fats that are good for you!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Mesa, Ariz.