Can Fat be Good For You?
Fitness for mind and body.
Yes, it can but it does depend (always a "but", isn't there!) on what type of fat.
Despite the fact that many people think fat is the evil entity in our diet, some types of essential fatty acids may be very beneficial to your health, particularly a fatty acid called omega-3.
Studies are currently on-going to see whether omega-3 fatty acids may have beneficial effects on a variety of health problems. These include heart disease, stroke, mild high blood pressure, bone loss, Crohn's disease, cancers of the breast, colon and prostate and rheumatoid arthritis.
In addition, omega-3 and other fatty acids perform vital functions in the body. They help support cholesterol, metabolism, regulate visual and nerve function, promote skin and hair health, and form hormone-like substances that are involved in inflammation and pain.
Our bodies cannot produce the fatty acids we need so it is very important to include them in our diet. Balanced, varied diets contain a mix of unsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3 and another type called omega-6. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in abundance in certain fish oils, as well as in canola and Flaxseed oils, while omega-6 fatty acids are found in corn, sunflower, soybean and safflower oils.
We need to balance our intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids because of their different biological functions. Yet over the past 150 years, changes in the food supply of Western societies have had a problematic result: We now eat far more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids. For example, since most of the clinical studies on the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acids were based on fish oils, the American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish per week.
People with diabetes are at greater risk for developing heart disease, stroke, hypertension and osteoporosis and therefore may want to pay special attention to their omega-3 intake.
Summary: Do not ban all fats from your diet. Increase your intake of "good fats" for good health and development.
Trading Saturated Fat for Unsaturated Fat
Get great taste, crave less sugar and build muscle.
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise on turkey wrap. Replace with 1/4 sliced ripe avocado.
- 2 ounces cheese on salad. Replace with 4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds.
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese on a bagel. Replace with 2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter.
- 1 pat butter on a baked potato. Replace with 2 teaspoons olive oil.
- 2 tablespoons ranch tip for vegetables. Replace with 2 tablespoons hummus.
- 3 ounces beef burger. Replace with 3 ounces black bean burger.
- 1/2 cup ice cream. Replace with 1/2 cup frozen Greek style yogurt or frozen kefir.
- 1 bag chips as snack. Replace with 1/2 cup roasted chickpeas.
- 1 chocolate bar. Replace with 1/3 cup mixed nuts with dark chocolate chips.
Have a Little Fat
Sometimes foods are just unacceptable without some fat added to ease the way. To quote Julia Child, "If you want to get people to eat vegetables, you have to make them taste good and often that means adding a little butter or oil". But think in terms of drops of olive oil, trickles of butter; a little fat can go a long way.
Suggestion: Brush thinly sliced yellow squash or zucchini with olive oil, grill them on the barbecue or under the broiler and lightly salt - it is a lot healthier than eating a bag of potato chips.
You may also find of interest...
- The Dangers of Trans Fat
- How to Cut Down on Saturated Fat
- The Skinny on Fat
- Fat Free Flavor Makers (Food Fitness)
Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.