Healthy diets don’t have to sacrifice flavor. Like most things – it’s all about the healthy choices you make.
For so many years, carbohydrates have played the starring role in fad diets and lifestyle changes. But as Atkins, Paleo, Sugar Busters and other diets struggle to balance your internal systems, specialists are more likely to recommend separating good carbs from bad carbs rather than eliminating them altogether.
Choose oatmeal over cereal, sweet potatoes over French fries, brown rice over white rice, fruit over cookies, etc. As a rule, good carbohydrates typically come from out of the earth whereas bad carbohydrates are factory-produced, overly-processed, nutrient-stripped and sugar-added.
This carb education was important to help shift Western diets from going overboard with bad carbs and help consumers shed excess weight and live healthier by incorporating the right food items in your diet without sacrificing hunger or taste.
Choosing Healthy Fats to Improve Your Diet
Choosing the right fats is the other critical piece of the healthy eating puzzle.
We now know that eliminating fat altogether is also a bad idea. Instead, adding healthy fats to your diet gives you greater meal satisfaction by reducing hunger and promoting weight loss.
Like carbs, not all fat is the same. Heart.org explains that there are nine calories for every gram of fat, no matter what type of fat. This is due to how energy-dense fats are – so it makes a big difference which ones you’re putting in your body. Plus, healthy fats are a key factor in keeping you alert, managing your moods, staying mentally fit and losing weight.
It’s time to replace “bad fats” with “good fats.”
Bad Fats: These are the artificial, trans and saturated fats that lead to obesity, clogged arteries and increase your changes for a myriad of diseases. You recognize them as butter, lard, fried foods, commercially baked and packaged goods, etc.
Good Fats: These are the monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats that lead the charge for your health, lowering your risk for heart and cholesterol issues. You recognize them as avocados, nuts, olives, soybeans, tofu, fatty fish, etc.
Specialists have connected good fats to playing an active role in improving essential body functions, hormonal balance, reproductive health, skin health and activating vitamins A, D, E and K (which can only be used when taken with fats).
Looking for a high dose of polyunsaturated fat that is especially good for your health?
Omega-3 fatty acids are packed to the gills with health benefits including preventing depression, memory loss, heart disease, join pain and more. The best sources of Omega-3s are fish and algae, but it can also be found in seeds, oil and plants.
Ready to switch out bad fats for good fats? Here are 5 quick tips to get started:
- Start checking food labels to track the trans-fat count that’s listed. Beware of other terms in the ingredient list like “partially hydrogenated.”
- Switch out solid fats for oil. That means using olive oil instead of butter when cooking or using canola oil when baking.
- Change your snacking. Consider healthy snack swaps that will make you eager to toss out the packaged goods and go with fruits and vegetables instead.
- Replace chicken or steak with fish – especially ones heavy in Omega-3 fatty acids. And be sure to bake or broil the fish instead of frying it.
- Find healthier alternatives to your favorite foods. For example, love butter? Try Ghee. Ghee is a healthier oil that is a source of short-chain fatty acids that will strengthen the cell membranes that can prevent cancer while still tasting great.
To help balance your diet and incorporate the good fats into your food that will protect your body against free radicals, prevent serious health issues and promote weight loss, contact Nikken Foods’ in-house food scientists and trim the bad fats, not the taste.