Healthytarian Minutes with holistic teacher Evita Ochel. This episode explains how to use healthy fat guidelines, as they relate to saturated and unsaturated fats.
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A common recommendation for healthy eating is to focus on unsaturated fat and reduce saturated fat in the diet, as saturated fatty acids are more closely associated with risk factors for heart disease than unsaturated fatty acids. While this has value and merit, it is overly simplistic in its approach to be fully effective for best health, weight and energy levels.
First, you need to know what food sources contain saturated fat. Typically animal foods, including meat, fish, eggs and dairy are the main sources of saturated fat. Foods like pizza, cheese, ice cream, chicken, sausages and burgers are some of the highest and worst sources. Saturated fat is limited in plant foods, predominantly found in nuts and seeds, and highest in coconut and palm kernels, and their oils.
Second, you need to know that not all saturated fat is bad and not all unsaturated fat is good. It all depends on the source of the fat and its form. Saturated fat from plant foods does not pose the same risks as saturated fat from animal foods. Unsaturated and saturated fat from whole foods does not pose the same risks as that from extracted sources. For example, most oils are high in unsaturated fat, but oils of any kind are not optimally healthy foods, as they unnaturally isolate the fat from the whole food and cause artery damage. It is important therefore to focus on eating whole foods and plant foods for best protection, prevention and support for your health, weight and cardiovascular system.
Third, you need to know how to keep a healthy quantity of fat in your diet. In general, diets must contain some fat, but also be low in fat. Eating a diet based on whole, plant foods can easily provide us with a naturally low fat diet, which also contains the healthiest versions of both saturated and unsaturated fats. This means eating a high amount of vegetables, fruits, legumes and real grains, along with small amounts of nuts, seeds, avocados, coconuts, and olives.
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