Choosing Healthy Fats – Good Fats vs. Bad Fats
Although nutritionists and doctors alike have been preaching the benefits of a low-fat diet as one of the keys to managing cholesterol, losing weight and preventing future health issues, it’s really more about what types of fat you eat…not the amount.
Bad fats such as trans-fats and saturated fats have given a bad name to all fats but fat isn’t always the bad guy when it comes to disease and weight gain.
Truth is, eating fat can be heart-healthy when you pick the right fat. In fact, in order for your body to function at peak performance, your body needs some fat…the healthy kind. If you try and avoid all fat you risk not getting enough fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.
To truly understand the difference between good and bad fats it’s important to know the major types of fats we’re dealing with.
Bad Fats include:
Trans-fats and some saturated fats are bad because they increase the risk of disease and elevate cholesterol levels and play havoc with your weight. Good fats on the other hand protect your heart and your overall health.
In fact, good fats like omega-3 fats (fish is by far the best source of omega-3 fatty acids) are essential to your body physically, mentally and emotionally. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fat and are proving to be especially beneficial. Getting more omega-3’s in your diet can help to sharpen memory, protect against dementia, balance mood and battle fatigue.
Healthy fats are far more satiating than refined and processed carbohydrates and a healthy diet should include at least 50-70 percent healthy fats.
Healthy fats do not include things like vegetable oils that are often marketed as being “healthy.” These man-made, refined and processed vegetable oils they want to label as “healthy” are actually loaded with unhealthy omega 6-fats that mess with your fat storing-fat burning hormones.
Fructose along with the wrong types of carbohydrates such as grains (that break down into sugar once in the body) lead to weight gain and eventually obesity. Other conditions such as weight-loss resistance are also the result of eating the wrong types of carbohydrates. The key is to begin replacing grains, sugars and lost carbohydrates with healthy fats.
Healthier dietary fat includes:
- Monounsaturated fats
- Polyunsaturated fats
- Omega-3 fatty acids (a type of polyunsaturated fat)
- Some saturated fats (like those found in coconut oil)
There are many readily available sources of healthy fats that you can include in your diet, here’s a few examples:
- Olives and olive oil – Not for high temperature cooking but perfect for cold dishes
- Coconuts – All forms of coconut…shredded, dried, fresh and flour for cooking and baking. Coconut oil or butter is good for high temperature cooking
- Butter – From grass fed cows
- Raw nuts – All raw nuts not roasted
- Seeds – Chia, flaxseed, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds
- Eggs – Free range
- Meat – Grass fed
When focusing on replacing bad fats with healthy ones, a good place to start is to eliminate the trans-fats in your diet because no amount of trans-fats is healthy. They all contribute to major health issues ranging from heart disease to cancer.
The answer is not cutting fat out of our diets…it’s learning to make wise healthy choices in regards to which fats we eat as we begin replacing bad damaging fats that are currently in our diets with ones that promote health and well-being.
It’s time to take your traditional desserts and turn them into “life giving” desserts.
Watch this video to learn how to create healthy no bake desserts using good fats – Chia Seed Energy Bars: No-bake power packs for pre/post-workout
Grab my “50 Desserts with Hidden Veggies. “ In it you will discover no bake, Paleo friendly, no sugar, gluten free healthy sweet treat and dessert recipes that use only healthy life giving fats.
Carolyn Hansen is the author of The Blended Bites Healthy Snack and Dessert Recipe Collection. This is a one-stop resource for delicious, healthy, guilt-free snacks that you can eat every day. And even better, EVERY ONE of these recipes are RAW healthy snack foods that taste as good as their fattening counterparts.
You can NOW satisfy your snack urge without any negative impact on your weight loss and fitness goals, and without sweating over a hot stove. These easy-to-prepare snacks contain no sugar, no flour or butter and are paleo friendly.
So, if you want to get your hands on recipes for desserts and snacks that you will not need to feel guilty about eating the next time you have a craving for something delicious, be sure to check out Carolyn Hansen’s books at Blended Bites, where she will show you how to take control of your blender and churn out mouth-watering desserts and snacks that will have the kids in your neighborhood lined up around the block for a sample.