A while back a reader asked if I could supply more information on good fats vs. bad fats,inparticularly monounsaturated fats(MUFA”s).Now that we are past the craze of the holidays and the new year I thought it would be a good time to touch on the subject.
When we talk about the fats we consume they are considered dietary fats.Dietary fat is one of the 3 macronutrients that provide energy for the body,the other 2 being protein and carbohydrates!Although most think they would like to eliminate all fats from their diets,fat is actually essential to your health as it supports a number of your body’s functions. If you try to avoid all fat, you risk getting insufficient amounts of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. Also, in attempting to remove fat from your diet, you may wind up eating too many processed foods touted as low-fat or fat-free rather than healthier and naturally lower fat foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Instead of doing away with fat in your diet, enjoy healthy fats in moderation.
Good vs. Bad
When we talk about dietary fats,they are broken into two catagories.The two catagories fats are broken into are good fats and bad fats.The Good fats are Polyunsaturated fats and Monounsaturated fats.The Bad fats are Saturated fats and Trans fats.Most fats that have a high percentage of saturated fat or trans fat are solid at room temperature. Because of this, they’re typically referred to as solid fats. They include beef fat, pork fat, shortening, stick margarine and butter.Foods made up mostly of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, such as olive oil, safflower oil, peanut oil and corn oil.
Monounsaturated Fats-Studies show that eating foods high in MUFA’s improves blood cholesterol levels,which can decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.Also may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control,which is helpful if you have type 2 diabetes.Foods high in MUFA’s include;macadamia nuts,olive oil,olives,hazelnuts,pecans,almonds,dry roasted peanuts,cashews,chicken & turkey.
Polyunsaturated Fats-Mainly found in plant based foods and oils,foods high in PUFA’S improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease,may also help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. One type of polyunsaturated fat, omega-3 fatty acids, may be especially beneficial to your heart. Omega-3s, found in some types of fatty fish, appear to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. They may also protect against irregular heartbeats and help lower blood pressure levels.
How Do I Calculate What I Need?(Source: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010)
Need help calculating what your daily fat intake should be in grams? Multiply your daily total calorie intake by the recommended percentage of fat intake. Divide that total by 9, which is the number of calories in a gram of fat. For example, here’s how a 7 percent saturated fat limit looks if you eat 2,000 calories a day. Multiply 2,000 by 0.07 to get 140 calories. Divide 140 by 9 to get about 15 grams of saturated fat.
Here are some tips to help you make over the fat in your diet:
- Read food labels and ingredient lists and avoid products with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil listed among the first ingredients.
- Saute with olive oil instead of butter.
- Use olive oil in salad dressings and marinades. Use canola oil when baking.
- Use egg substitutes instead of whole eggs when possible.
- Sprinkle slivered nuts or sunflower seeds on salads instead of bacon bits.
- Snack on a small handful of nuts rather than potato chips or processed crackers. Unsalted peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios are good choices.
- Try nonhydrogenated peanut butter or other nonhydrogenated nut-butter spreads. Spread them on celery, bananas or whole-grain toast.
That’s all for today,for more info on this or any other post please leave a comment.Also please retweet and share on facebook.