Not all fats are bad for your health. And besides, fats are necessary for a number of body processes and this is primarily why you cannot just eliminate fat from your diet. It is just a matter of knowing which fats are good for you and which are bad. Here is a quick summary of the fats you need to limit your intake and which to include in your diet.
Reduce intake of saturated fats
Saturated fats are called the bad fats because they cause your body harm. Saturated fats raise your LDL or the bad cholesterol level and increase your risk of developing hypertension, obesity and heart diseases. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fats like lard, fatty cuts of meat, chicken skin, butter, dairy, potato chips, fried foods and processed-prepackaged foods.
Modify recipes that call for butter and whole milk for healthier substitutes such as skim milk and low-fat butters. Or skip dairy products altogether and instead season your food with spices and herbs to flavor your dishes. Top your fruit plate with a dollop of whipped cream instead of eating fruit salads filled with heavy cream.
Avoid trans fats
Trans fats are the worst fats. Trans fats are fats that have been hydrogenated so that they become stable and less prone to rancidity. Trans fats are made solid for ease in handling and transportation. Restaurants and fast-food chains so love trans fats because of these properties. The bad news is trans fats are unhealthy for the body especially the heart. Eating meals rich in trans fats leads to build up of fatty deposits in your arteries which can cause heart attacks and strokes.
Cook meals at home instead of eating out. Most restaurant dishes are so full of trans fat because many restaurants especially fast food chains use hydrogenated fats in preparing their menu especially fried dishes. Trans fats are commonly found in shortening, butter, commercially baked goods, French fries, some breakfast cereals and fried food from fast food chains and restaurants.
Choose foods rich in unsaturated fats
Some fats are actually good for your health. The unsaturates – mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – are called the good fats because they are precisely that, fats that are good for your health. The good fats reduce your risk for heart diseases by raising your good cholesterols (HDL) and improving your overall cholesterol profile.
- Eat fish such as salmon, herring and sardines as these fish are rich in Omega-3. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to the body’s health.
- Eat healthy servings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. These food groups are great cholesterol busters and also loaded with plenty of vitamins and minerals needed by your body.
- Grab a handful of nuts and stave off your hunger. Nuts such as walnut, almonds and Brazil nuts are packed with mono-unsaturated fats that are good for your health.
- Use Argan oil as your drizzle to dishes. Argan oil is pressed from nuts of the rare Argan tree from the southwestern parts of Morocco. It became popular globally because of its high content of healthy nutrients such as essential fatty acids, Vitamin E and antioxidants. The oil from Morocco has rapidly become popular with chefs all over the world due to its rich nutty flavor that goes well with any dish. This oil is best as drizzle to salads, grilled fish and grilled meat. Don’t heat this oil but just drizzle it over cooked dishes.
Knowing which fats are good for your health will help you learn how to eat healthy.