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Dietary Fats

Happy Wednesday! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

For today's "Wellness Wednesday" topic, we will be discussing dietary fats. Often fats get a bad reputation, however they are essential for a healthy balanced diet. Please read below for some tidbits, and don't hesitate to reach out if have you any questions.

Benefits of Healthy Fats:

  • Decreases LDL ("bad") and increases HDL ("good") cholesterol

  • Reduces risk of having heart disease or a stroke

  • Lowers blood pressure

  • Prevents abnormal heart rhythms

  • Decreases inflammation

  • Reduces mental decline

  • Promotes a better mood

  • Increases energy

  • Makes you feel satisfied

  • Promotes healthy and glowing skin

Healthy Fats Versus Low Fat: Since fat is an essential part of a healthy diet, rather than following a "low fat diet", we should be consuming more "good" or "healthy" fats and less "bad" or "unhealthy" fats.

Eat More "Healthy" Fats: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered the "good" fats that support our heart health. Consider eating more of these in replacement of the “unhealthy” fats.

  • Examples of Healthy Fats:

    • Olive oil

    • Avocado oil

    • Coconut oil

    • Sesame oil

    • Safflower oil

    • Canola oil

    • Avocado

    • Olives

    • Nuts such as: almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, etc.

    • Nut butters

    • Seeds such as: flax, chia, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, sesame, etc.

    • Fatty fish

Simple Ways to Eat Healthy Fats:

  • Spread mashed avocado on your toast or sandwich

  • Pair nut butter with a banana, apple, or celery

  • Add nut butter or avocado to a smoothie

  • Roast some veggies with olive or avocado oil

  • Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar on a salad

  • Top your salads, yogurt, or oatmeal with seeds and nuts

  • Add olives to your salad, pizza, pasta, or tacos

  • Snack on nuts versus chips

  • Go for the guacamole versus the cheese dip

  • Order salmon rather than steak

  • Have a piece of dark chocolate for dessert

  • Put almond butter and cocoa nibs on a Medjool date (One of my favorites!)

Consume Less "Unhealthy" Fats: Trans and saturated fats are considered the "bad" fats. They can cause inflammation, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Trans fats are artificially made and can cause more negative effects, so we really want to be mindful of limiting these. Saturated fats can raise LDL, however it doesn't have quite as many harmful effects as trans fats, so it's encouraged to consume these in moderation.

  • Examples of Trans Fats to Limit:

    • Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough

    • Packaged snack foods ( processed crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)

    • Stick margarine, vegetable shortening

    • Fried foods

    • Anything containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, even if it claims to be “trans fat-free” (Read the labels!)

  • Examples of Saturated Fats to Consume in Moderation:

    • Red meat (beef, lamb, pork)

    • Chicken skin

    • Whole-fat dairy products (milk, cream, cheese)

    • Butter

    • Ice cream

    • Lard

    • Tropical oils such as palm oil

Wellness Wednesday Challenge: Try to incorporate a healthy fat into at least one of your meals or snacks today, and pay attention to how it tastes and makes you feel. You might notice more flavor, more mental clarity, and increased energy just from this small little tweak to your diet.

Thank you for stopping by! Have a happy and healthy rest of your week!

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