Sunday, January 22, 2012

Good Fats VS Bad Fats

From the makers of my very favorite DVD series: The Firm is some fantastic advice about how to get good fat IN your diet and bad fat OUT! Keep reading for all their fantastic advice and sign up for The Firm Newsletter while you're there. 

Five Easy Ways to Reduce the BAD Fat In Your Diet

Dietary KeepsakesThe GOOD vs BAD Fat
Do you remember the ‘fat-free’ craze of the 1980s? I do, and I still chuckle when I see food companies marketing their products as ‘fat free’, claiming that the absence of fat must make that given food “healthy”. We now know that fat is not as evil as we had once believed. And in fact, some fats are considered “superfoods”. However, the story doesn’t end there. There are still ‘bad’ fats, and those bad fats, which include saturated fats and trans fat, should be avoided as much as possible in our diets. Below is a short list of good fats and bad fats for your review.

Good Fats. Olive Oil, Amonds, Avocado and Fish Oil. Bad Fats. Butter, Margarine, Cheese and Chicken Fat/Chicken Skin.
Cut The BAD Fat!
Below you will find 5 easy ways to reduce the ‘bad fat’ from your diet. And while you are at it, you can try to incorporate some of the healthy fats listed above. The good news is that within each fat reducing strategy, I’ll give you food options that are just as tasty. I think you’ll find this to be a fairly easy nutrition challenge!

1. Dodge the Dairy Disasters
As many of you know, I am a big fan of dairy. I think that it can be a great source of protein and calcium, however, it can also deliver way more saturated fat than your body wants or needs. When in your dairy aisle, be sure to read the labels, and opt for milk, yogurt, cheese and cottage cheese that contains fewer than 3 grams of fat per serving.

Don’t get fooled by misleading terms such as “reduced fat”. Reduced fat only means that the product has less fat than the original. Take milk for example. Whole milk is 3.3% fat, while skim milk is 0% fat. So by choosing 2% milk, you are in fact reducing the fat from whole milk, but it is still what I would consider a “high fat” drink. Stick with either 1% or skim milk. Same goes for cheese, don’t opt for the ‘reduced fat’, which is only slightly lower in fat than the original, but instead opt for the ‘low-fat’ varieties. This will save you oodles of fat and calories. And when you are in doubt about which to choose, just check the food label. There should be no more than 3 grams of fat for every 100 calories.

Other places to cut fat from dairy are from cream based soups and frozen desserts. Instead of creamy soups, opt for broth and bean based soups and for frozen desserts, look for low-fat ice cream of frozen yogurt with less than 3 grams of fat per 100 calories.

2. Get to Know Your Meat Department
Understanding where the saturated fat lurks in your poultry and red meat is the key to success when it comes to reducing the fat from your healthy protein based entrees. One way to quickly check how much fat is in your red meat is to look for the white. Saturated fat becomes solid at room temperature, and turns white, so the more white you see; the fattier the meat is going to be. Here is a quick guide to the do’s and don’ts, when choosing your meat and poultry.

GOOD PICKS: Red Meat: Sirloin, Ground sirloin/beef with less than10% fat, Flank Steak, Beef tenderloin, Poultry: Skinless chicken breast, Ground chicken/turkey breast, Skinless turkey breast, Pork: Lean Center-cut pork chops, Pork tenderloin

NOT-SO-GOOD PICKS: Red Meat: T-Bone, Ribeye, Ground Round, Skirt Steak, Poultry: Chicken wings, thighs and drumsticks, Dark meat turkey, Any chicken or turkey skin, Ground Dark Meat Chicken or Turkey.

3. Say NO WAY to Trans Fats
Several decades back, food companies figured out the trans fats would extend the shelf life of many of their products, including cookies, crackers and cakes. These partially hydrogenated fats, also known as trans fats were thought to be better for our bodies than saturated fats found in butter or vegetable oil. However, nutritionists and scientists then learned that these trans fats were actually very dangerous and were directly contributing to all sorts of maladies such as high cholesterol and heart disease. In order to cut out these unhealthy, unnatural fats, just say NO. It should be your goal to have ZERO grams of trans fats per day. So be sure to scour your nutrition labels, which are now required to list trans fats, and do not buy anything that has even 1gram of saturated fat per serving. Opt only for products that are 0 grams per serving. 

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