Did you know that reducing the fat in your diet too strictly may compromise your overall health? Healthy fats have been proven to decrease inflammation, lower cholesterol and promote satiety at meals. Recent research also indicates a possible impact on the reduction of the risk of stroke.
The well-recognized “no-no” fats are the saturated fats found in fatty meats, fried foods, high fat dairy products, cheese, and desserts.
However, the fats that are the “winners” for overall health are promoted by the Mediterranean diet and include foods such as nuts, olive oil, flaxseed, and oily fish. The Mediterranean diet, which has been in the news a great deal lately after the release of a study showing its health benefits, also promotes a diet rich in fruits and veggies and moderate in dairy, poultry, red meat, and processed foods.
5 tips to add “winning” fats to your diet:
But be sure to do so mindfully! (Just like a good glass of wine and dark chocolate … They must be consumed in moderation.)
1. Combine ¼ cup nuts (almonds & walnuts) in a snack baggie mixed with ¼ cup naturally dried fruit and 1oz dark chocolate.
2. Sprinkle ground flaxseed (aim for 1-2 tbsp. per day) on oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt. Also toss into pancake or waffle mix for a delicious nutty flavor and a nice dose of Omega 3!
3. Schmear 1 tbsp. all-natural peanut or almond butter on apple slices, banana or whole-wheat toast.
4. Drizzle flavor-infused olive oil onto steamed or sautéed veggies for amazing flavor and a heart-healthy boost! (*Check out the many local venders in Sarasota who offer an amazing array of flavored oils!)
5. Toss chopped walnuts in hot cereal and salads, or pair with 1-2 dried figs for a snack.
— Julie Bender-Sibbio, RD, LD, is part of Sarasota Memorial’s Nutrition Counseling & Coaching Program. Are you interested in scheduling an individualized visit with a Registered Dietitian to determine the best plan for you? Call 941-917-7468 or click here for more information.