Healthy Fats

One of the best health tips I can give anyone is simply this: READ THE LABEL! If it has a list of ingredients, read them. Make sure you know what you’re eating. It’s shocking some of the things we put in our body because the packaging of it makes it look healthy. Something to always be cautious of is the word hydrogenated. Pre 1970’s American manufacturers used more quality ingredients such as coconut oil as a cheaper substitute for butter until they discovered the hydrogenation process. By adding hydrogen to cheap oils they could produce something with the consistency of butter for pennies. Think about what epidemic has taken America by storm since the 70’s. That’s right, obesity. Hydrogenated oils will (I promise) make you fatter. If you see the words hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated anywhere in the list of ingredients put the item back! One of the reasons we have such a problem with weight in this country is that the things we are taught about food haven’t changed in decades, but the food itself is totally different. The brand of cheese crackers your mother ate as a kid may still be available in the store, but the recipe has completely changed. As technology advances in what is called “food sciences,” manufacturers are able to produce a similar product with cheaper and cheaper and increasingly unnatural ingredients.

The answer to the problem of hydrogenated oils and trans fats isn’t no fat. It’s good fat. What is good fat? There are two categories of what are considered healthy and necessary fats. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturate fats are not only good, natural fats, but they’re essential to a healthy diet.  Below is a list of sources for both groups.

Monounsaturated:

  • Avocados
  • Safflower or Sunflower Oils
  • Cashews
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Olives
  • Almond Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil

Polyunsaturated:

  • Walnuts
  • Walnut Oil
  • Chia Seeds
  • Sesame Oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Coconut Oil

So dismiss the idea that low fat or no fat will help you burn fat. Eat plenty of these healthy plant based fats. A diet rich in these foods and oil will not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but they are also ingredients known to fight off cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s among other things. So please, stop paying so much attention to what is often falsely called the Nutrition Facts. Pay more attention to the ingredients. While a handful of walnuts may have more fat than a handful of cheese crackers, I promise the walnuts will lead to a healthier weight.

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