The Fabulous Truth About Fat

Remember when fat-free=healthy?  Unless you were living under a rock throughout the 90’s you probably recall the popularity of fat-free Snackwell’s cookies, fat-free Entenmann’s cakes, and fat free Kraft cheese singles.  Once under the assumption that fat would make us fat most Americans shunned it in the name of health and fitness.  Nowadays we realize that fat is an important component of a healthy diet and not only fine in moderation but necessary for overall wellness, as long as we are consuming the unsaturated kind.  Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats do the body a world of good, some of which starts before we even leave the womb!  Healthy fats are vital for brain and retinal development particularly in the third trimester.  Throughout the rest of life they help us absorb essential vitamins that promote nervous system health and reduce our risk of heart disease.  The easiest way to consume healthy fat is by eating fatty fish but for those of you who are not fish-fans fear not.  The following are some unlikely foods that will help you reach your daily allowance:

-Chia Seeds: Chia seeds contain nearly 5,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per ounce, making them one of the most concentrated sources.  Though more research needs to be done on their benefits it is becoming clear that they are a worthy addition to a healthy diet.  You can read more about Chia here.

-Spinach: Thanks to Popeye, we’ve all know since the age of four that spinach is a healthy food.  What you might not know is that it is a good source of omega-3.  Spinach, along with its close cousins kale and collard greens, contain about 100 milligrams in each half cup serving.

-Tofu: With its health halo this hippie food and vegetarian staple is another food most of us would label as healthy but did you know it was a source of omega-3.?   Research has shown that soy isoflavones and proteins lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol, making it beneficial for reducing heart disease risk.

And should you be looking to replace your Snackwell’s or Entemann’s dessert:

Make some healthy oatmeal cookies!  Oatmeal has been shown helpful in lowering LDL levels.

Indulge in some dark chocolate!  Dark chocolate has been shown to boost HDL levels.

Or combine oatmeal and dark chocolate with this recipe for maximum benefit.

And if you get nostalgic for the 90’s do your body a favor and bust a move to this song rather than reverting back to your fat-free ways.


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