MediLodge Wellness Plan Focuses On Fats

Fat is a natural component in food. Some foods, including most fruits and vegetables, have almost no fat. Other foods, like nuts, oils, butter, and meats have plenty of fat. The name “fat” may make it sound like something we should not eat, but fat is an important part of a healthy diet. Experts agree that eating a very low-fat diet is not good for us. Fat is a good source of the calories we require to fuel our bodies and to keep us going when our energy demands suddenly increase. One gram of fat provides nine calories of energy, while one gram of protein or carbohydrate offers only four. Fat also gives texture and flavor to foods. It helps us feel full and satisfied after we eat. In addition, it protects our organs, aids in the development of cell membranes and hormones, and insulates our bodies. We need fat to absorb certain vitamins and eating the right fats can actually help our heart and arteries.  Eating “good fats” may also cut the risk of certain cancers, improve immune response and relieve arthritis pain.

GO FOR THE HEALTHY FATS

  • Use liquid plant oils for cooking and baking. Olive, canola and other plant-based oils are rich in heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
  • Ditch the trans-fat. Read the label to find foods that are trans-fat free. Steer clear of fried foods (biscuits and other baked goods).
  • Eat at least one good source of omega-3 each day. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines, tuna or mackerel, along with walnuts and canola oil provide omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Go lean on meat and milk. Beef, pork, lamb and dairy products are high in saturated fat. Choose low-fat milk and cheeses in small amounts. Limit full-fat dairy, deep-fried foods, fatty red meats and poultry skin.
  • Limit processed foods and check labels for hydrogenated fat and trans-fat.
  • Snack on small amounts of nuts or seeds, or add to low-fat yogurt or whole-grain cereal.
  • Spread avocado or natural peanut, almond or cashew butter on toast instead of margarine or butter.
  • Add a handful of olives, walnuts or avocado to your salad and use a drizzle of olive oil instead of ranch dressing.
  • Add flax oil to smoothies, yogurt or oatmeal. Consider an omega-3 supplement, but talk to your doctor first.

Fat is not the enemy. You want to choose the right amount and the right kind of fat. Try to get most of your fat from lean meats, fish, and heart-healthy oils.

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