- Fats provide fuel for the brain and the body.
- Fats help us feel satisfied.
- Fats allow us to absorb nutrients.
- 1/5 to 1/3 of your total daily calories should come from fat.
- Not all fats are good fats and it is important to know the difference. The three types of fats are Unsaturated, Saturated, and Trans Fats. Following is a brief description of each:
UNSATURATED: These fats may actually lower your cholesterol, improve your memory (discussed in earlier posts this week), and protect your heart. Unsaturated fats are found in fish, nuts, and vegetables. Examples are - olive oil, avocado, flaxseed, walnuts, and fish such as salmon and tuna.
SATURATED: These fats increase cholesterol and can harm the heart and brain when eaten in excess. No more than 7% of your calories daily should be from saturated fats. Examples are dairy products, red meat, some tropical oils.
TRANS FATS: These fats are the real culprits and should be avoided. Trans fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol. Examples are - snack foods, fast foods, baked goods, etc.
Even though some fats are healthy fats we must still watch portion size! For a 2,000 calories a day diet, as example, keep your fat intake to somewhere around 56 to 77 grams.
Read product labels to see what fats they contain and how many grams.