For many years, we have heard we need to reduce our intake of fats. This can be true- however it depends on which fats we are talking about. Limiting or completely cutting out fried foods and saturated fats will improve your cholesterol, mood, cardiovascular health and your weight management. However, we need to have about 5-7 teaspoons a day of the good kinds of fats.
Many people buy reduced fat or low fat foods in order to keep their fat intake down. Often these foods have a reduction in fats, but they increase the sugar, sodium and “flavorings” to make up for it. For example: Reduced fat peanut butter has 187 calories and regular peanut butter has 191. Check out this great comparison chart for more examples click here.
A great reason to buy foods that have healthy fats is that some fats actually help you absorb the nutrients better. Salad is a great example. If you buy a fat free salad dressing or don’t put oil on it, you will miss out on a lot of the nutrients lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin (believe me, they are good for you!)
And one of the most powerful things you can do to heal your body and increase your mood is taking in regular Omega 3 fatty foods. This protects you from free radicals and also will help lower cholesterol and help in weight management. (I have listed them below). Taking a supplement of quality Omega 3 is always a sound choice, but we need to get it in our foods too.
Good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated:
• Olive oil
• Walnuts and walnut oil
• Sesame oil
• Flax oil
• Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds
• Fatty fish like wild salmon, tuna and sardines
Avoid or limit the saturated and trans fats:
• Meats like beef and pork (head for chicken and fish instead)
• Palm oil and shortening
• Processed snack foods like microwave popcorn and chips
• Butter and margarine (use either organic butter in moderation or olive oil)
• Candy bars
Stop buying fat free anything. Get some healthy fats into your diet! Your mind and your body will thank you!