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Simple Swaps by the Fort Healthy Community Coalition

Marci Pasquesi Marci Pasquesi April 21, 2015 0 Comments General Health

#2

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Fat

Monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, omega-3 fatty acids, saturated fat, trans fat, what do these adjectives mean?  For years, we’ve heard that fat is bad and that “fat free” is the healthier route, when in fact, it may be just the opposite.

On advantage of fat is that it helps you feel fuller and eat less over time.  It is also crucial to protecting your organs and building cells.  According to the Harvard School of Medicine, it is all about the quality of the fat.

A simple way to identify bad and ugly fats is that they are solid at room temperature.  So, vegetable shortening, lard, butter, coconut oil are all saturated fats and considered “bad fats”. Most people like butter, so the key is to use butter in moderation on your food and cook with olive or canola oil.

As recommended by the Mayo Clinic, you can make a few of simple swaps in your diet:

  • Use plant-based oils such as olive oil when frying and canola oil when baking.
  • Have one serving of omega-3 fats every day.  Mega-3s are found in salmon, tuna, walnuts, canola oil, and flaxseed oil.
  • Reduce the consumption of fatty red meat which is high in saturated fats.  Choose lean cuts and then consume them in moderation once or twice per week.  Chicken and fish are good substitutes.
  • Add avocado slices, cucumber and lettuce to sandwiches instead of cheese.

When attempting to remove fat from your diet, watch out for the processed foods which are advertised as low fat or fat free because these foods may just be replacing the fat with sugar.  Make the simple swap and go natural with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and use healthy fats such as olive or canola oil when cooking.

 

Vicki Wright, Fort Healthy representative and community member