Archive for June 2009

Low fat versus good fat diet

It is recommend that about 30% of our diet come from fat but more important than maintaining a “low-fat” diet is the balanced intake of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.  Here’s a quick breakdown of the types of fat, their effects and where they come from.  Use this to help you choose about 1/3 of your total fats from each category.  It doesn’t have to be that scientific- just focus on adding more of the healthy monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats into your diet and less of the saturated fats and your dietary fat intake will balance itself out.

  • Saturated Fats- found mostly in dairy products and meats, also coconut oil and palm oil; raises your risk of coronary heart disease and possibly prostate and colon cancer.
  • Monounsaturated Fats – found in olive oil, canola oil, nuts and nut butter, avocado, also in beef and chicken; lowers risk of coronary heart disease
  • Polyunsaturated Fats – these are the omega 3 and omega-6 fatty acids, found in fish oil, flax seeds and oil, nuts and nut butter, vegetable oils; important in brain and retinal development, decrease risk of coronary heart disease, lowers triglycerides, may improve body composition, stabilize mood and improve depression.

So, next time you are reaching for the whole millk, try almond milk instead…ever tried it?  It’s delicious. I have started using it as a base for my protein shakes and even on cereal.   And, it’s really not that hard to take 6 grams of fish oil capsules a day- I’ve seen my triglycerides drop to 56 by doing this!  Small changes can make a big difference in affecting the overall balance of fats in your diet.