Eat healthy fats to help your heart. Am I saying there is a nutritional difference between fats? Yes! Some fats are generally considered bad for you, and some work hard to keep you healthy.
Eat Foods Containing Healthy Fats
I'm not a big believer of the low-fat diet. I do believe in eating the right kind of fats. Did you know we need fat in our diet? Without fat, our body suffers. It has a hard time processing the foods we give it when we don't eat enough fat. We get hungry quicker and crave foods we shouldn't eat. "Healthy fats" are fats that make you feel satisfied but do not harm your health. Is there such a thing? Of course! You'll find healthy fats in avocados, walnuts, other nuts and seeds, olives and olive oil, and many other foods.
Some fats—that is, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats—are actually good for you. They help prevent heart attack and stroke, keep your "bad" cholesterol in check, lower your blood pressure, make you feel full and satisfied, and provide loads of nutrients. Why am I talking about this now? Because February is Heart Health Month. But we need to take care of our hearts every day, and this is just a friendly reminder.
I'm thrilled that avocados make the list of healthy fats. Thanks Millennials for inventing Avocado Toast. It's amazing, isn't it?
Eating Unhealthy Fats Can Be Painful
Yes, painful. I know because I did that. And when I was 55, I had a heart attack. It hurt like hell so I decided to revamp my lifestyle and eating habits, essentially healing myself with food. You can read my story and how—at age 70—I am now much healthier than I have ever been. It's an inspiring story that I share in my book, It Ain't Just The Diet Cookbook: How I Beat Food Allergies One Bite At A Time. I didn't give up meat or butter, but I don't eat tons of them every day. Pick up your copy of my book on Amazon today.
Unhealthy fats (those that contain trans fats or saturated fats) are the ones you should limit because they can create hardening of the arteries, clog your blood vessels, raise your bad cholesterol (LDL), and cause memory impairment. Read more about the science behind limiting these fats here. But first, let me tell you more about healthy fats.
What Are Healthy Fats?
Healthy fats are plant-based fats, but all plant-based fats are not the same. Palm oil, corn oil and coconut oil have been found to negatively affect people's health so you will want to limit those. Try to stick with polyunsaturated fats, including:
- Sesame seeds
- Flax seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna and herring.
- Soybean, canola or safflower oil
Because some foods can cause LDL cholesterol to raise, we are cautioned to eat sparingly:
- Red meat (beef, pork, lamb)
- Chicken skin
- Ice cream
- Full-fat milk
That doesn't mean that you should eliminate all meat from your diet. If you do, it's likely your health will improve, but only if you don't replace the animal protein with processed foods and easily digested carbohydrates, which can negatively impact your health just as much as meat can!
Although fats are high in calories, it takes fewer grams of fat to help us feel full and satisfied. If you substitute some healthy fats for most of the "bad" ones, you probably won't have the urge to stuff yourself with bread and pastries. Add a hefty dose of fresh vegetables and you will feel more satisfied.
I suggest you take one little step toward better health today. Eat an avocado instead of that bacon for breakfast. Gasp! Did I really say that? You know how I love bacon. But yes, avocado can be just as satisfying.
Let me give you a little tip. I keep track of what I eat every day, noting any physical or mental symptoms. It helps me avoid foods that increase inflammation and those that affect my gut. And it's such a blessing when I have a doctor's appointment or start to develop any health issues because I can track my body's changes. I created a special food journal to keep track of everything. You might find it useful, too! Check it out on Amazon. It comes in two different sizes.
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Nourish Your Body & Soul
I encourage you to care of yourself by eating satisfying, nourishing food that is good for your body and makes you feel healthy. Protect your spirit by living authentically, moving your body, and taking time to replenish and rest. I think you might also like these recipes & posts from Recipe Idea Shop:
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Affiliate Disclosure: This website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or services we write about, including Amazon. Editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Disclaimer: The author is not a health professional or nutritionist. She is offering her research and personal reflections about her health journey and is not providing any type of medical or nutritional advice. This post is for informational purposes only. It is offered as a tool for people to discover their own suspected food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities. Readers are highly encouraged to read, write, and reflect on the ideas presented. Consult your healthcare professional before initiating any dietary or exercise program.
This post was first published on Recipe Idea Shop February 21, 2022.