Good Morning everyone!
How often have you been told that a low-fat diet is the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol or preventing health problems? I bet more than once, right? But it is not only the amount of fat that you eat that matters, it is also the type of fat that matters.
Bad fats increase cholesterol and the risk of certain diseases, whereas good fats actually protect your heart and support your overall health. Some fats are essential for physical and emotional health. In today's post I want show you the difference between good fats and bad fats.
Let's start with some common myths about fats:
- All fats are the same and are therefore bad for you:
FACT: The only fats which are bad for you are trans fats and some saturated fats because they raise your cholesterol and increase the risk of heart diseases. Whereas monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are good for you. They lower your cholesterol and reduce the risk of getting heart diseases.
- What matters the most is lowering the amount of fat you eat:
FACT: What matters most, when it comes to cholesterol and health, is the MIX of fats you eat, not the actual amount. The key is to eat more good fats and less bad fats.
- Healthy is equal fat-free:
FACT: Many fat-free foods are high in sugar , refined carbs and calories. So eating a lot of 'fat-free' products doesn't mean that you can eat as much as you want, if you care about your waistline.
- The key to weight-loss is a low-fat diet:
FACT: The only key to weight loss is cutting down on the calories you don't need. And since fats are filling, they can even help to curb overeating.
- Body fat is equal body fat:
FACT: Not every body fat is bad.What matters is where you carry your fat The health risks are bigger if you have body fat around your abdomen. A lot of belly fat, which is stored below your skin, and surrounding the abdominal organs like the liver , which is closely linked to insulin resistance and diabetes.
Here a list of the GOOD FATS:
- Monounsaturated fats:
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Sunflower oil
- Peanut oil
- Sesame oil
- Nuts like almonds, peanuts, macadamia, hazelnuts , pecans and cashews
- Polyunsaturated fats:
- Soybean oil
- Corn oil
- Safflower oil
- Sunflower,sesame and pumpkin seeds
- Fatty fish like salmon, tuna , mackerel, herring, trout and sardines
- Soy milk
These fats are GOOD for you as they protect and improve your heart, your cholesterol and your overall health.
Here a list of the EVIL FATS:
- Trans fats:
- Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, donuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
- Packaged snack foods like crackers, microwave popcorn and chips
- Stick margarine
- Fried food like french fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets or breaded fish
- Candy bars
And a list of rather QUESTIONABLE FATS:
- Saturated fats:
- High-fat cuts of meat from beef, lamb or pork
- Chicken with the skin
- Whole-fat dairy products like milk and cream
- Ice cream
- Pam and coconut oil
How many fats do you actually need?
This actually depends on your lifestyle, your weight, your age and most of all the state of your health. This is what the USDA recommends:
- Keep your total fat intake to 20-35% of your calories
- Limit saturated fats to less than 10% of your calories, which would make 200 calories for a 2.000 calorie diet.
- Limit trans fats to 1% of your calories, this would make 2 grams per day for a 2.000 calorie diet.
Now if you want to cut down on the bad fats, I got some good alternatives for you.
- Butter -> Olive oil
- Cheese -> Low-fat or reduced-fat cheese
- Red meat -> White meat (chicken or turkey)
- Cream -> Egg whites, and egg substitute or tofu
- Ice cream -> Frozen yogurt or reduced fat ice cream
- Whole milk -> Skim or 1% milk
- Sour cream -> Plain or non-fat yogurt