Focus on Fats
A low fat diet
lacks the many benefits of healthy fats.
Get the REAL Fat Facts
Is a healthy diet low or high in fat? From the Atkins plan to the Ketogenic diet, many misconceptions about fat circulate in the nutrition world.
Fat is a necessary nutrient to include in our daily diet because it helps absorb fat-soluble vitamins, regulates inflammation and hunger hormones, adding to the satisfaction factor of your meals. Unsaturated fats are the most beneficial because they are the most potent antioxidants, help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower the risk for heart disease and stroke. Less healthy fats include saturated and trans fat, especially when they're highly processed. Focus on adding on high-quality, unsaturated fats to your meals, while consuming saturated fats in moderation and aiming to avoid trans fats to benefit your health.
The amount of fat recommended can vary from person to person. The general recommendation is that 20 - 35% of calories come from healthy fat sources. For a 2,000 calorie diet, that is between 45 and 78 grams of fat per day.
In the 1980s, 90s and into the 2000s, fat phobia ruled the diet world. Challenge your perception of this essential nutrient and focus on quality, flavor and how adding it to meals makes you feel.
Choose Health AND Flavor
Healthy fats can be a great way to add flavor to your meal. Ramp up foods high in unsaturated fats to bring health and interest to your plate. Retire the processed condiments and snacks, adding nuts, seeds, avocado and homemade dressings to salads, stir fries, wraps, grain bowls, oatmeal and yogurt parfaits. The options are endless!
PEPITAS (PUMPKIN SEEDS)
Snacks & Substitutes
CHIA SEED PUDDING
CHIA SEED JAM
TOASTED & SPICED NUTS
DIY OLIVE OIL VINAIGRETTE
YOGURT WITH WALNUTS
Facts on Flax
Types of Flaxseed
Brown and Golden Flaxseed are the most common varieties, which come in whole and ground form. Whole flaxseed, which is not fully digestible, can be ground at home with a coffee grinder. Ground flaxseed is typically recommended to get the full spectrum of health benefits.
The unsaturated fats in flaxseed bring omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation. Flaxseeds are also a good source of lignans, which are powerful antioxidants, as well as a fiber and magnesium.
If kept too long, flaxseed can turn rancid. Store flaxseeds in the refrigerator once opened, and stash in the freezer if you cannot use the amount within 6 months.
How to Enjoy
Flaxseed can be versatile. Sprinkle onto hot or cold cereal, yogurt or a salad. Add to baked goods recipe, or toss with roasted vegetables. Remember that flaxseed is an excellent binder, and can actually act and an egg substitute. 1 T ground flaxseed plus 2.5 T water is equal to one egg, a great baking solution for those with allergies or looking to reduce dietary cholesterol.
Olive oil is popular for a reason. It’s full of flavor and incredibly versatile. To reap its full health benefits seek out unrefined “extra virgin” olive oil, which has more nutrients and antioxidants. Compared to other oils, olive oil has a low smoke point, so it’s best used for medium to low heat cooking, baking, or as dressings on salads.
Avocado oil boasts many of the same benefits as extra virgin olive oil, but with a higher smoke point making it great for sauteing or pan frying. It's full of vitamin E and has a neutral flavor, so it won't overpower any recipe.
The results of recent research is causing health professionals to pose the question: Is low-fat dairy really better than full-fat? In a study of 136,000 subjects followed for nine years it was suggested that full-fat dairy was associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and death from cardiovascular disease. However, more research is needed and these findings don't mean that low fat dairy is unhealthy.
Keep in mind, application is key and all products are not created equal. Choose dairy sources without added sugar, and ideally work in choices with probiotics like yogurt and kefir. Aim for 2 - 3 servings of dairy per day. Serving sizes include 8 oz milk, 1 cup yogurt and 1.5 oz cheese.
Try one healthy fat ADD each day for a full week. Assess how it impacts your hunger cues.
Try avocado on a wrap.
Drizzle a DIY vinaigrette on a salad.
Add pumpkin seeds to a grain bowl.
Add toasted pecans to oatmeal.