11.08.2009

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


Fats get a bad rap, but the fact is: we all need fats to some extent. Fats help with nutrient absorption, nerve transmission, and are used as protection to vital organs. However, when consumed in excess, fats have been shown to contribute to weight gain, diabetes, & heart disease. Fats are not created equal. Some fats are GOOD, some BAD, and some very UGLY. The key is to replace bad & ugly fats with the good fats!

The GOOD Fats are Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats(Omega 3s). Focus on increasing these in your diet. Food Sources include: Cold Water Fish-Salmon, Mackerel, Trout, Tuna, Fish oils, Flaxseeds, Nuts-walnuts, almonds, Olives, Avacados, Olive oil, Canola oil. Good fats help lower your total cholesterol, Lower LDL(the bad) cholesterol, Raise HDL(the good) cholesterol, & help reduce your risk of Heart Disease.

The BAD Fats are Saturated Fats. Focus on limiting these. Food Sources include: Red Meats, Butter, Milk, Yogurt, Ice Cream, Cheese, Eggs, Coconut, & Palm Oils.  Saturated fats raise your total cholesterol, raise LDL(the bad) cholesterol, and increase your risk for heart disease.
The UGLY Fats are Trans Fats. Avoid these at all costs. Food Sources include: shortening, stick margarine, commercially packaged items: sweets, cookies, crackers, cakes, Doughnuts, Fast food-most fried foods. Trans fat Increase your risk for heart disease, Lower HDL(the good) cholesterol, & Raise LDL(the bad) cholesterol.

Kitchen tips and hints for cutting out some of the BAD fat:

  • Use lower-fat version dairy such as 1% or skim milk instead of whole milk.
  • Grill or Broil over Frying!
  • Remove the skin from chicken/turkey —the skin is where the majority of the bad fat is. 
  • Rinse off melted fat from cooked ground meats before serving.
  • Cut butter or margarine in half when making boxed meals.
  • When baking, replace 1 cup shortening or butter with ½ c. applesauce & ½ c. vegetable oil.

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