Dieters and people who have health concerns, such as heart, and high cholesterol. are usually advised to skip the fat in their diets. The American Heart Association is now making recommendation to include healthy fat in the diet.
Make no mistake, fat is still fat, and is therefore high in calories. Therefore, this is not a carte blanc to eat all the fat you want. However, healthy fat does have some benefits.
The Harvard School of Public Health has published findings the “Low-Fat Diet Not a Cure-All”. The eight year study on women showed that the dietary advice of the 1990’s, which was reflected in the USDA food guide pyramid, was inadequate. for weight loss and the prevention of disease. The Woman’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial was started in 1993, when dietary fat was seen as evil.
The low-fat diet was seen as a straightforward way to prevent heart disease and obesity. The results of the study, which were published in the Journal for the American Medical Association, showed no benefits for a low fat diet. Women assigned to the low fat strategy did not appear to gain protection against breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or cardiovascular disease. The women in the low fat group weighed generally the same as the other group.
The long time recommendations to cut fat from the diet were based upon the mistaken beliefs that body fat was added by eating dietary fat. This is partially true, but not absolutely true. While Americans have decreased the proportion of calories for fat over the last decade, the rates of obesity have increased dramatically.
It seems that the advice to lower all fat was over simplistic. There are some fats that can actually help to lower cholesterol in the bloodstream. High blood cholesterol has been linked to heart disease. Cholesterol deposits can build up inside arteries and narrow the artery enough to slow, or stop, blood flow. The results of this can be blood clots, heart attack, stroke, or sudden death.
The two different types of cholesterol work in two different directions. The bad cholesterol, LDL, carries fat from the liver to the rest of the body. The good cholesterol (HDL) processes the bad cholesterol for elimination from the body. HDL makes it less likely that excess cholesterol in the blood will be deposited in the coronary arteries.
Therefore, it makes good health sense to consume more good cholesterol, to sweep the bad cholesterol form the body. Good cholesterol comes in the form of good fats.
The average sedentary person should limit their consumption of healthy fat. An active person can probably add a little bit extra. It’s not a lot of fat, but can give the benefits of sweeping the buildup of bad fats from the system.
Good fats are found in liquid oils, seafood, avocados and nuts.
Eggs have been vilified for years, by scientists, doctors and nutritionists. Recent research by Harvard investigators shows that heart disease risk does not increase with egg consumption for healthy individuals. Egg yolks do contain cholesterol, but that is balanced out by other nutrients in the egg, including protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin and folate. In moderation, eggs can be part of a healthy diet.
According to the Harvard website, fates that lower LDL while raising HDL include: olives, olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, cashews, almonds, peanuts, most other nuts, avocados, corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil and fish.
The benefits of eating fish rich in omega 3 oils are shown in study after study. Dark fish, such as salmon, herring, sardines, mackerels are particularly beneficial. Just six ounces a week of fatty, dark meat, fish may be enough to reduce the risk of dying from heart decease by 36 percent. This is a dramatic difference.
Start focusing of adding the good fats to the diet, while eliminated the bad fats. Tips for lowering trans fat intake include:
Choose liquid vegetable oils over solid fats
Avoid commercially prepared baked goods, snack foods and processed foods.
Avoid fast foods
Avoid trans fats in restaurants by avoiding deep-fried foods.
Start to add healthy fats to the diet and eliminate the bad fats for good health.
The information in this article is not intended as medical advise,. If you have a medical condition, contact your physician.