Good Fats, Bad Fats

by Maria on January 22, 2013

It’s a fact that any diet leading to energy (calorie) deficit, no matter what the fat content, will result in weight loss. Fats have more than double the caloric density of either carbs or protein. Therefore, cutting fat in your diet makes it easier to reduce calories, lose weight and prevent weight regain.

However, it is not a good idea to cut out fats altogether, as they enhance food flavor and, what is more-some of them are actually good for you. So much so, that there are fats called essential fats without which we would die! In short, there are bad fats that raise the risk for certain diseases and good fats that, by contrast, lower that risk.

Regrettably, fats are easy to overeat because they are not as satisfying as high fibre carbohydrates or protein.

The solution?

  • Choosing the right fats, substituting good fats for bad fats – the key to weight loss and  good health;
  • A low to moderate fat intake, which allows you to eat bigger portions of other foods and stay satisfied longer.

An important point to remember! – The biggest determinant of your blood cholesterol levels is the type of fat you eat!

Which are the bad fats?

  • Trans fats are considered the worst of the bad– found in commercially prepared baked foods, margarines, snack foods and processed foods, prepared french fries and onion rings etc.
  • Saturated fats – just plain bad, found in meat, seafood, full- fat dairy products, poultry skin and egg yolks, butter, coconut oil, palm oil.

Good fats that lower cholesterol levels are the unsaturated fats:

  1. Monounsaturated fats, found in almonds, avocados, canola oil, flax seed oil, peanut oil.
  2. Polyunsaturated fats (omega-3), found in canola oil, fish oils, soybean oil, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, salmon, sardines, tuna etc.
  3. Polyunsaturated (omega -6) found in corn oil, cottonseed oil, grape seed oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, poultry.

To sum up, for the purposes of weight loss and good health, go ahead and:

  • Eat nuts on occasion;
  • Go for fish;
  • Choose low-fat versions of dairy or lean meats;
  • Eat eggs in moderation.

Finally, further to my previous post on Okinawa Diet Plan Principles, here is some more information on caloric density of foods for a healthy weight loss:

Middleweight diet foods – You should eat relatively small portions of these foods :  skinless chicken breasts, extra lean ground beef, lean beef rib steak, pork chops (center cut), trout, salmon, tuna, hummus, boiled soybeans, low fat ice cream, mozzarella cheese( part skim), whole grain bagels, whole grain muffins, whole grain bread.

Heavyweight diet foods have very high caloric density and should be eaten sparingly, infrequently or in very limited amounts crackers, air-popped popcorn, corn chips, potato chips, cheese, cheesecakes, doughnuts, chocolate chip cookies, snack bars, chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, mayonnaise, vegetable oil, butter.

And remember – for healthy weight loss purposes, you can calculate caloric density from food labels by dividing the calories per serving by the weight in grams.

 

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