As you develop your diet around your weight loss goals, you may be considering calorie, nutrient, and fat content in the foods you consume. Think dieting is as simple as cutting out fat in your food to lose fat on your body? Think again. Not all fats are created equal.
While consuming too much fat can lead to excess calories and health problems such as high cholesterol and obesity, your body needs certain fats to perform properly. In fact, "good fats" like omega-3s and unsaturated fats can actually help reduce high cholesterol when consumed in moderation.
Here are 5 excellent ways to add healthy fats to your balanced diet:
1) Have fun with flaxseed and feel good too! People are finding that flaxseed, high in omega-3s, is a great way to help stabilize blood sugar and lower the risk of different cancers. With its nutty flavor, flaxseed works really well on top of cereals and salads, as an alternative to traditional breading on different meats, and as a flavorful ingredient in all sorts of baked goods.
2) Avocado, anyone? Avocado isn't just the key ingredient in guacamole anymore. Avocados contain monounsaturated fats which help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Try replacing slices of cheese, which is high in saturated fat, with slices of avocado next time you're building a sandwich! Avocado is delicious in salads too, or simply by itself with a little bit of salt and pepper.
3) Salmon is super for omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol and may reduce the risk of blood clots. Next time you're dining out, give salmon a try as an alternative to burgers or chicken. Grilled salmon with a little lemon is the perfect light entrée to keep you satisfied.
4) Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is not only a healthy choice for cooking, but also deliciously flavorful on many foods. Rich in monounsaturated fats, olive oil could help reduce the risk of heart disease. Try replacing heavier, creamy salad dressings with olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar. Instead of cooking with butter, which is high in saturated fat, use olive oil to sauté your meals.
5) Go nuts over almonds, walnuts, pecans and most other nuts. Almonds in particular not only contain the"good" fats, but also pack a lot of extra nutrients, calcium, and protein! Instead of snacking on potato chips, many of which contain dangerous artery-clogging trans fats, try a single serving of almonds. Toss sliced almonds in salads, a stir-fry, or yogurt for extra crunchiness.
As you develop your diet, make sure to get enough of these healthy, beneficial sources of "good" fats. Remember to moderate your intake as you would with any other food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends that fat, whether "good" or not, makes up no more than 35% of your daily calories. Most of this fat should come from good sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
The Skinny on Healthy Fat August 11, 2016
The Skinny on Healthy Fat
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