When attempting to eat better, most people immediately begin cutting fat from their diet. However, we do need some fat, but we need to eat the right types of fat for our bodies to benefit.
Let’s start with the bad fats:
The fat culprits that cause high cholesterol and heart disease are saturated fats and trans-fat. Saturated fats can be found in foods such as beef, milk, and cheese. Trans-fats can be found in fast-food, most cakes, cookies, pies, and other packaged baked goods.
If you are a meat eater, there are ways to lower your saturated fat intake. Choose cuts of beef that are labled “lean”, “loin”, or “round.” Trim the fat whenever possible from meat. Chicken is lean as long as you remove the skin and you are not deep frying it. Fish is a great alternative to red meat or poultry. Plus you get those Omega-3 fatty acids from fish. Decreasing the amount of dairy you eat also helps. Choosing low-fat milk and cheese can help. Put down the butter and cook with olive oil or canola oil.
Now what are the good fats and what do they do?
The good fats are monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats help to lower your total cholesterol and your LDL (bad cholesterol). It also helps increase your HDL (good cholesterol). Not too shabby. These fats can be found in canola, olive, and nut oils.
Polyunsaturated fats also help lower your total and LDL cholesterol. These fats can be found in fish, corn, soy, sunflower, and safflower oils. Omega-3 fatty acids are also in the polyunsaturated fat category.
Make wiser food decisions by reading labels and choosing more natural foods rather than the stuff you could get through a drive-thru. I’ve heard more than once that when shopping at a supermarket, choose foods from the outside perimeter rather than what is in the aisles. This makes sense since the types of foods in that area are mainly produce.
[tags]good fats, bad fats, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, trans fat, low fat, omega-3 fatty acids, cholesterol[/tags]