The skinny on fats.
There are four different types of fats unsaturated, saturated, omega three fatty acids and trans fats. They all play an important role in longevity by lowering cholesterol, inflammation and increase the duration of energy. 20-35% of our daily diet should be fat.
- Omega three fatty acids can be broken down in to two types EPA & DHA and are crucial for brain health, cellular function and hormone production. Aim to eat two servings of nuts or seeds (especially walnuts and flax) per week of which contain ALA a third type of Omega.
- Saturated fats get a bad reputation, but are good in moderation and mostly found in animal fats and dairy products.
- Unsaturated fats which can be broken down into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are plant based, and found in avocados, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, olive oil, safflower oil
Nuts have on average 45 grams of fat per cup. Nutritionists love pistachios because they are shelled which make you eat them slower and help control portion sizes. Pistachios contain in one cup 13 grams of fat.
One cup of olives have 15grams of fat and many beneficial nutrients such as hydroxytrosol, a polynutrient that has been linked to preventing cancer, bone loss, aids as a antihistamine on a cellular level.
Dark chocolate (three sticks) counts as 9 grams of fat, half is saturated fat, but also contains healthy amount of nutrients like vitamin A, B, E, Calcium, Iron, Potassium, magnesium, and flavonoids. 1oz of dark chocolate has 3grams of fiber. The higher the cocoa in dark chocolate the better.
Three ounces of Tofu or soybeans is equivalent to 5-6grams of fat and is a good source of monounsaturated and polysaturated fats. A solid plant based protein is low in sodium and includes 1/4 of your daily calcium.
Sunflower seeds and chia seeds are great to sprinkle on salads or add to smoothies. Chia seeds are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, essential minerals and antioxidants.
One whole egg contains 5grams of fat. 1.5 grams of the egg are saturated, while the whole egg contains choline a good source of vitamin B which regulates brain, heart and muscle movement.
Among saturated fats: full fat milk contains less sugar, and 8 grams of fat, 5 being saturated fat.Yum!
Full fat yogurt contain active cultures which help regulate the gut and in one cup is about 8 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbohydrates and 8.5 grams of protein. Greek yogurt also contains less sugar and is higher in protein.
Parmesan Cheese have more saturated fats that plant based proteins. Oz per oz parmesan cheese provides 7 grams of fat, 1 grams of carbs, 10 grams of protein and more protein than any other food.
4. Trans Fats are to be avoided. They are made from partially hydrogenated oils which in large amounts raise cholesterol, obesity and inflammation. Fast foods, doughnuts, and packaged foods are loaded with trans fats. Find snacks that are trans fats free.