Know Your Fats: Include “Good” Fats into Your Diet Daily, Stay Away from “Bad” Ones.
Fats are recommended in moderation. According to the FDA, fats should be limited to a total of 65g per day (in a 2000 calorie diet). For reference, an avocado has about 30g of fat – just as much as a McDonalds Triple Cheeseburger. There are different kinds of fats. The healthy “good” fats, like unsaturated fats, are found in nuts, avocados, plant-based oils like olive oil. Good fats help your hair and skin stay healthy. Not only does it help store energy in our bodies, but it helps carry some vitamins in our bodies (like vitamins A, K and E). These fats are liquid at room temperature (think olive oil).
Then there are unhealthy “bad” fats like saturated fats (found in beef, butter, baked goods, ice cream, and fried foods). Saturated fats are solid at room temperature (think butter).
Fat in general is high in calories. In fact, just 1 tablespoon of any oil is about 120 calories!
Moderation is key. Too much of bad fats can contribute to excess calorie intake and long term heart disease. However, the good ones like polyunsaturated fats (Omega- 3 and 6’s found in salmon) have been shown to prevent heart disease.
Remember: Fats are essential to our diet – in moderation (equivalent to about 4 tablespoons of oil per day). Fats are highly important for our cells and brain. Therefore, eliminating fats completely from your diet is not a good idea.
Eat the “good” ones instead! Here is a list of foods with good fats:
– Olive oil
– Peanut, almond or any other nut butter
There are a few tips to improve the quality of your fat intake:
- Take it easy with butter, cheeses and fatty red meat. We aren’t saying you should avoid them all together – just keep them to a minimum.
- Instead of regular mayo or butter, try olive oil or mustard.
- Choose fish or skinless chicken over beef.
- When having beef, trim the excess fat. Choose cuts like sirloin or round roast.
- Drizzle olive oil on sliced tomatoes and basil
- Instead of bottled salad dressing, try simply 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and vinegar.
- Stay away from fried foods (including chips and doughnuts).
- Bake “fries” in the oven instead of ordering French Fries.
- Use a nonstick pan to avoid using too much oil when cooking. Use a measuring spoon when cooking with oils.
- Opt for low fat (or part skim) cheese. Nibbling on Parmesan chunks is good too.
- 2% or low fat milk has less fat than whole milk.
- Low fat or Greek yogurt has less fat than traditional yogurt.
- Grill it all! Beef, fish, chicken, vegetables… No oils needed!
- In your coffee, try low fat milk instead of half and half.
- If you must have bacon, choose the center cut or trim excess fat. Try microwaving slices between paper towel which will absorb the fat).
- Choose whipped cream or sorbet over ice cream.