Thursday, March 12, 2009

Don’t Go No-Fat - Go Good Fat

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It’s the type of fat that matters!! Healthy fats are essential to good health. Most of us are concerned about our weight or heart health but rather than avoiding fat in our diet we should try replacing all the bad fats with good fats. This might mean replacing some of the meat with beans and legumes, and using vegetable oils rather than tropical oils. Over a short period of time this is what our family did and no one seems to miss the "old food". Don't get me wrong - I like In & Out Burger as much as the next person, but our daily habits are much better and hopefully will have lasting effects on our health throughout our lives. I only wish I had known all of this 20 years ago!!
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The functions of fats include:
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Brain – Fats compose 60% of the brain and are essential to brain function, including learning abilities, memory retention and moods.
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Cells – Fatty acids help your cells stay moveable and flexible, as well as being responsible for building cell membranes.
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Heart – 60% of our heart’s energy comes from burning fats. Specific fats are also used to help keep the heart beating in a regular rhythm.
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Nerves – Fats compose the material that insulates and protects the nerves, isolating electrical impulses and speeding their transmission.
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Lungs – Lung surfactant, which requires a high concentration of saturated fats, enables the lungs to work and keeps them from collapsing.
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Eyes – Fats are essential to eye function.
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Digestion – Fats in a meal slow down the digestion process so the body has more time to absorb nutrients, and help provide a constant level of energy and keeps the body satiated for longer periods of time. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) can only be absorbed if fat is present.
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Organs – Fats cushion and protect your internal organs.
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Immune System – Fats ease inflammation, helping your metabolism and immune system stay healthy and functioning.
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More Information on "fats" that I found helpful.
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Monounsaturated Fats are liquid at room temperature and turn cloudy when kept in refrigerator.
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Primary sources are plant oils like canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil. Other good sources are avocados; nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans; and seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds.
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People following traditional Mediterranean diets, which are very high in foods containing monounsaturated fats like olive oil, tend to have lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Polyunsaturated Fats are liquid at room temperatures as well as at cold temperatures.
Primary sources are sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils, and also foods such as walnuts, flax seeds, and fish.
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This fat family includes the Omega-3 group of fatty acids which your body can’t make and are found in very few foods.
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Saturated Fats are usually solid at room temperature and have a high melting point.
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Primary sources are animal sources including red meat and whole milk dairy products. Other sources are tropical vegetable oils such as coconut oil, palm oil and foods made with these oils. Poultry and fish contain saturated fat, but less than red meat.
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Saturated fat raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol that increases your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).
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Trans Fats are created by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen gas, a process called hydrogenation. Partially hydrogenating vegetable oils makes them more stable and less likely to spoil, which is very good for food manufacturers – and very bad for you.
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Primary sources of trans fat are vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, and other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
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Trans fat raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol that increases your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), as well as lowering HDL, or good cholesterol.
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Above Information Courtesy of helpguide.org /Photos Courtesy of Jupiter Images.

2 comments:

Honeygo Beasley said...

My favorite fats are olive oil and almonds. However, I also love avocados and a little fat from 1% organic milk or dairy products (I switch off with fat free dairy every other week). And another healthy fat is the yolk from an egg - with many vitamins and minerals, too, in it. A yolk or two a week is good for you.

All things in moderation is my motto!

nadia said...

I LOVE COMING HERE!!! have a wonderful weekend!

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