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Here’s your easy-to-read guide to fat types.
Found in nuts, animal products, olives and avocados. These are the types of fats we should be consuming on regular basis for heart health and to maintain a healthy weight.
Fish, seeds, algae. Again, a fat to incorporate into the diet on a daily basis.
Found in animal products (milk and in the body fat of animals) but in low percentages (2-5%). These are the “bad fats”, especially considering the processed foods in which they’re found. Trans fat is cheap and reduces rancidity, hence why it’s commonly used in cheap food production. Steer clear.
Found in dairy (milk, butter, and cheese), meats, coconut oil, and chocolate. Consumed in smaller, less frequent amount, these do serve their purpose. Coconut oil is a healthy addition to salads and cooking. It speeds up metabolism, so it helps you lose weight.
The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that we consume 2-4 servings of foods containing these varieties of fats. Don’t fall into the false pretense that removing all fats will reduce body fat. It is essential to growth and development that we consume a wide variety of foods, including fats. It’s about not fearing fat, but looking at it as a vital component to changing your body composition and overall health.
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Easy ways to incorporate healthy fats into your day:
Snack on nuts instead of potato chips. Just a 50g handful will provide you with essential fatty acids and help improve your skin texture.
Always buy lean, grass fed or organic meats/poultry. You are getting a higher quality cut and your animals haven’t been gorging on grains (these make the animals fat faster, not to mention you).
Stay away from bottled salad dressings. Opt for fresh squeezed lemon and oil, with balsamic vinegar (white or dark). The flavour is 100% better in my opinion, and quick to prepare. The best oils are olive, macadamia, and avocado or rice bran. Drizzle the oil dressing over your favourite leafy greens. The oil combined with the greens actually increases your nutrient absorption.
Try to eat a piece (100g-200g) of oily fish 2-3 times per week. Not only will your hair and nails shine, but you are getting a nice chunk of omega 3 and 6 fat.
Swap the non-fat yoghurt (filled with artificial sweeteners and countless other cheap ingredients) for a natural yoghurt (plain or Greek is delicious). The difference in the taste alone should be enough to have you converted. Add some fruit or raw honey/100% maple syrup for some sweetness.
You should aim to consume 40-60g (women)/60-80g (men) of healthy fats per day. I recommend choosing foods from the mono and poly unsaturated and saturated fats (in moderation) family. Avoid anything with Trans fat (processed foods), moving regularly and you will be watching the kilos melt away.