1. The body absolutely, positively needs healthy fats - every day. Materials that make up fats are used around our nerves and in the brain to make hormones. Healthy fats give us energy, help us think and maintain coordination.
2. Omega-3 fatty acids benefit the brain, help with blood lipids and help decrease stroke and heart disease risk. Check out my favorite source of Omegas here.
3. Eating healthy fats does NOT make you fat. In fact, it actually can help with weight loss.
4. Low-fat products CAN make you gain weight. Many products that have removed fat compensate by adding sugar to make the product flavorful. Here are 147 ways sugar ruins your health.
Types of Fat
Foods high in saturated fats: Animal fats (the fat on meat and skin from poultry, beef, pork), and full fat dairy products (like butter, milk, cheese and cream).
Foods high in trans fats: Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (if listed as an ingredient avoid entirely), processed foods and baked goods such as cookies, cakes and biscuits. Some trans-fats also occur in beef, lamb, butterfat and dairy.
Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats - Necessary fats for good health. Both raise 'good' (HDL) cholesterol and lower 'bad' (LDL) cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fats are considered anti-inflammatory and are associated with lower risk of death.
Foods that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats: Avocados, olives, olive oil, nuts, sunflower oil and seeds, flax seed and oil, walnuts, soybean oil, salmon, sardines, herring, trout, fresh tuna, halibut, sablefish, mackerel, vegetables high in oleic-acid.
Tips to Reduce Saturated and Trans-Fat Consumption
-Replace butter with spreads made from canola, sunflower or olive oil. Use alternative spreads such as avocado, hummus, pesto-basil or black bean dip.
-Use a variety of seed and vegetable oils when preparing foods such as canola, sunflower, soybean, olive, avocado, coconut, peanut, and macadamia.
-Use salad dressings and mayonnaise made from sunflower, canola, olive, sesame, soybean and peanut oils or vinegar/citrus dressings.
-Limit intake of fatty processed meats such as sausages, hot dogs and delicatessen meats (salami). These foods also tend to be high in added sodium.
-Limit intake of snack foods such as potato crisps, corn chips and chocolate.
-Limit intake of fast foods such as pies, pastries, pizza, hamburgers and creamy pasta dishes.
-When possible, make your own: salad dressings, peanut and nut butters, salsas, pasta dressings, vegetable dishes, etc.
-Grill, bake, steam or poach food instead of frying or roasting.