Monday, March 26, 2012

Healthy Fats

Anyone who is trying to get healthy will tell you that they’ve cut fat from their diet. While it sounds like a worthwhile pursuit, dozens of studies have shown that low-fat diets end up being no better for you than moderate- or even high-fat diets. The reason: Low- or no-fat processed foods are often higher in sugar, flour and salt than their full-fat counterparts. Nuts and avocados may be high in fat, but they’re good for your heart and make a healthier and more filling snack than low-fat-but-sugar-laden granola bars.

Instead of looking only at the fat content, put a wide-angle lens on your food choices. The least processed foods tend to be better for you, as are items free from sugar and flour. When it comes to fat, focus on the type you’re eating and nix anything that’s high in saturated fat, like full-fat dairy, red meat, baked goods, and deep-fried foods.

Choose fish, nuts, seeds, lean cuts of poultry, olive oil, canola oil and other plant-based oils. Avoid any and all trans fat. And, remember, even though you do need fat in your diet, it is the most calorie-dense nutrient out there, weighing in at nine calories per gram (or 120 calories per tablespoon).

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