Fat accomplishes many things: it gives us energy, surrounds and protects vital organs, takes part in cellular function and structure, regulates hormonal production, balances body temperatures and transports fat soluble vitamins. Fat is the last nutrient to digest and leave the stomach, giving a delayed feeling of satisfaction after eating.
Let's take a closer look at the different types of fats:
How much of each?
- Keep your total fat intake to around 30 percent of your total calories
- Limit saturated fat to no more than 7 to 10 percent of your intake.
- Get about 10 to 15 percent of total calories from monounsaturated fats
- About 10 percent of calories should come from polyunsaturated fats
You'll improve your health greatly by eating more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. Cut back on saturated fats and try to avoid trans-fats.
Don't Be Fooled By Low Fat Alternative Foods!
If you're trying to lose weight, you've probably been avoiding cheesecake and fries. Although this is a good start, there are many foods out there that may seem "safe" when, in fact, they are actually very high in calories or fat. The following foods are actually not as good for you as you may have thought.
2. Fat-free snacks
1. Yogurt, Hummus, Spreads and Dressings - Many cannot decipher what 1-2% fat in food means. It may motivate us to eat extra but probably the normal version (without low fat) itself contains no more than 3% fat!
Most of these snacks have almost no fiber and are easy to eat in huge quantities because they're not satisfying. Many have even more calories per serving than the regular version in order to compensate for the lack of taste. Roasted, grilled or baked may be misleading!
3. Olive oil
Olive oil is healthier than most vegetable oils. However, keep in mind that it's still oil; one tablespoon contains 120 calories and 14 grams of fat; the same as peanut or safflower oil; for instance
4. Packet Diet foods
They may be convenient, but most are full of sodium and lack fibre.
5. Protein Bars and Health Drinks
These were designed for hard-core athletes. Although they're not bad for you, they are calorically dense. They are supposed to be that way!
6. Granola / Cereal bars
Most granola bars contain hydrogenated oil and high corn fructose syrup. Both of which are chemically derived foods(trans fats) and have other adverse effects than natural sugar and oil.
Most muffins are nothing but cake in disguise. Even bran muffins, which don't usually don't contain much bran! Fat-free muffins often contain lots of sugar to compensate.