Let’s get this straight, not all bad fat is bad, researchers and doctors have discovered that calling all fat bad is unfair. Today, they have identified two kinds of fat: good fat such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; and bad fat in the forms of saturated fats and trans fat. The challenge for many people who want to lose weight is to eat the right kinds of food with the right kinds of fat. The good news is that this is not really that hard. A commitment to live healthy means being conscious not only of your workouts but also about the food you put inside your mouth.
There are many simple ways to banish bad fats from the diet. The trick is to get to know your fat. Examples of good fats include Omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; you don’t have to be afraid of these fats. Nutritionists advise that good fats should comprise 20-30% or less of your diet. Good fats can be found in extra virgin olive oil, flax seed, avocado, nuts, peanut butter and fatty fish such as salmon. Bad fats such as saturated fat are usually found in processed food and fried food. Over consumption of bad fats can lead to heart disease, obesity and cancer.
Choosing healthy over bad fats can be daunting, so here are some tips that could help.
Choosing low fat products
The first step is fairly easy: choose low fat products over regular all the time. Before you complain that low fat taste different from regular, give your taste buds time to adjust to the new taste. After a few weeks you will get used to the taste and stop noticing the decline in richness. Start with:
Milk – 1% milk is healthy and has fewer calories than regular milk, what’s even better is that it tastes the same too. For an even healthier option, turn to Skim Milk, which has the lowest fat percentage, it will take time to get used to the taste however, so stick with it!
Ice cream – many low fat versions taste the same as regular ones so you’re not really going to notice the difference.
Yogurt – most people eat theirs flavored whether it is low or no fat. The flavor in the yogurt will mask the absence of fat. For an even healthier option, try low fat, natural yogurt with fresh fruit which can replace the flavoring.
Ground Beef – simply pouring off the grease does not make it low fat since the fat is bound with the beef. Go for 90% lean ground beef or a ground sirloin cut which is lower in fat. For an even healthier meal, try rinsing ground meat in hot water after cooking to wash away fat.
Cheese – ask your local pizzeria if they have low fat cheese. Low fat mozzarella cheese is just as delicious as the regular variety.
Revamp your butter
Some people find it hard to live without butter. The trick to making butter a bit healthier is to cut it with extra virgin olive oil. Allow your stick of butter to soften at room temperature. Once it is soft enough beat in ¼ to ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil. Mixing in olive oil will cut the amount of saturated fat you slather onto your toast every morning.
Health Tip: The greener the olive oil the healthier it is as it is contains more cancer fighting phytochemicals.
Choose the right meat
Meat is the main source of saturated fat. Both red meat and white meat are also good sources of protein. The trick is to go for healthy meat such as sirloin beef with 2.4 grams of fat, chuck pot roast with 3 grams of fat or ½ small chicken breast with 2.66 grams while 3 oz of canned white tuna in water contains .674 grams of saturated fat.
Another healthy alternative is to eat an exotic meat in lieu of pork or beef. A 3 ounce serving of bison, ostrich, venison, emu, and boar contains 1 gram of saturated fat, is rich in protein and tastes excellent.
Watch out for trans fat
Trans fat can lurk in unexpected places. For example, health foods like granola bars can contain trans fat. Be on the lookout for trans fat in frozen pizza, frozen waffles, cereal, peanut butter and even graham crackers. Always read the label before purchasing.
Order pizza without fat
This seems hard but it is possible. Ask the pizzeria to substitute low fat mozzarella instead of the regular. Do away with sausage and pepperoni and opt for the veggie topping and mop up the excess oil with a paper napkin. When you feel like it, go for a cheese-less tomato pizza!
Fat is getting some bad press, but we really do need fat in order to live. Fats are an important part of a healthy diet. Fats keep our skin soft and help in the delivery of vitamins around the body. They are also a good source of energy. Good fats and bad fats play a role in heart health. Choosing the right kind of fat means better health and heart.
If you are looking to learn more how you can improve your diet, or more about improving your nutrition, contact us today to see how we can help.