Saturday, June 13, 2009

Good Fat Bad Fat

Some of the most powerful positive habits for a trim and fit body in your arsenal are the positive habits related to replacing bad fats in your diet with good fats. Most people only think of fat as being a bad thing. In fact, for many years the media has been promoting "fat-free" diets as a more healthy diet.

Just take a look around your local grocery store; you will see lots of products labeled fat free. Do you think all those fat-free products have resulted in thinner Americans? Think again. The
percentage of obese people in this country has been rising every year. Americans are now the fattest people on the planet.

The media has gotten it all wrong. Fat can be your friend! There are certain types of fats that are bad for you. They can increase you risk for heart disease while making you fatter at the same time. Other fats are good for your health and can actually help you burn fat and lose weight! Here are just some of the benefits that the positive fat replacement habits will provide to you:

* Increase the rate that your body burns fat
* Help you lose weight automatically and keep it off
* Increase your good cholesterol HDL levels and decrease your bad cholesterol LDL levels
* Help you to curb your appetite and eat less
* Decrease your risk for heart attack
* Help balance your insulin levels
* Help you convert unwanted body fat into energy
* Help raise your body's metabolic rate (the rate your body burns calories)

The Bad Fats

The fats that are bad for you are saturated fats and trans fats; these are fats that are found in animal products such as butter, cheese, meats, and also in many of the processed foods that we eat. Numerous studies have shown that a diet high in saturated fats may increase blood levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol, risk factors for heart disease.

Trans fats are the most dangerous dietary fats on the planet. Trans fats are typically produced by applying an artificial process to vegetable oils. These fats are mostly found in fried foods,
margarines, and processed foods like potato chips and crackers. Researchers at Harvard University did a study of 85,095 women who had no previous history of heart disease or stroke. During the years that followed, the fifth of the group that had the highest intake of trans fatty acids had a 50% greater risk for heart disease then the fifth that had the lowest intake of trans fatty acids.

A recent study showed that women who ate more then four teaspoons per day of margarine had a 70% higher risk of cardiovascular disease then those women who seldom ate margarine. Despite lobbying by many consumer groups, trans fat is still not listed on nutritional labels. Do yourself a favor and dump your margarine RIGHT NOW! Replace it with olive oil or the new healthy butter substitutes that do not contain trans fats.

Some researchers have said that as many as 30,000 deaths per year can be attributed to the consumption of trans fat. Reducing or eliminating trans fats from your diet will help to improve your health and the positive habits that follow will help you do just that.

The Good Fats

An example of good fats would be monounsaturated fat, and omega-3 fatty acids. You would find these fats in fish, nuts, olive oil and those kinds of foods, the kind of foods that are very prominent in what is called the Mediterranean diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids -- Flaxseed is a great source of omega-3 fat. More than half the fat contained in flaxseed is omega-3 fatty acid type, an essential fatty acid. There have been numerous studies reporting the health benefits of consuming omega-3 fats. Recent studies suggest that Omega-3 fatty acids which are abundant in flax seed can help protect you from coronary artery disease, stroke, high blood pressure, autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.
Studies on the effects of flax seed on breast cancer are now under way.

Omega-3s can also help boost your metabolism, helping your body to burn calories faster.You can buy raw flax seed and add it to your cereal or flax seed oil which can be mixed in salads or protein shakes. Any good health food store will carry both.

Simple Diet Changes That Pack a Fat-Fighting Punch

Texas A&M University researchers conducted a study to determine what dietary changes resulted in the biggest reduction in fat. During two different 24-hour periods, they asked 5,649 adults to list dietary changes they made in an effort to reduce fat consumption.

The researchers then calculated the changes that resulted in the biggest reduction of fat. Combine these simple eating habits with other weight loss habits, and you will see that trim body in the mirror sooner then you think. Here are the results of the study:

* Do not add fat to baked or boiled potatoes.
* Do not eat fried chicken.
* Do not eat more than two eggs a week.
* Do not eat red meat.

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