Walnuts and other nuts are a a great source of "healthy fats."

Author and Certified Specialist in Sports Nutrition Aprilanne Hurley reports:  

“If you really want to get sexy abs and trim down all over,  it’s time to move away from the low-fat dieting mentality and embrace the fact that healthy fats are where it’s at to “keep the party going while you lose the weight.” (continue reading…)

Accordingly to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism, “when athletes consumed a diet very high in healthy fats their bodies released more fat from fat stores and burned more fat during exercise than when they ate a more standard diet that contained the same number of calories.”

There is also research to support that eating a diet rich in healthy fats can help spare muscle glycogen, which will help increase the length of your workouts.  

Naturally, the more time you work out, the more calories you burn, and we all know that to uncover those “sexy abs” you need to “burn-off” the layer of fat covering them.

Dietary Fats:  The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly…A User’s Guide:™

Before we take a look at the 2 main types of “healthy fats” and the foods containing them that you can enjoy, let’s take a quick review of the not-so healthy dietary fats that can wreak havoc with your health and your weight loss goals…

There are two main types of potentially harmful dietary fat:

1.  Saturated fat.

      Derived mainly from animal sources of food, saturated fat raises total blood cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.

Foods typically containing Saturated fats:  Cheese, animal products such as chicken, sausage, hot dogs, ribs, and (sorry) bacon; pizza, grain-based desserts.  Other sources include butter, lard, and palm, coconut and other tropical oils.

U.S Dietary Guideline recommendations for Saturated Fats:  “Limit saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of your total calories. Limit to 7 percent to further reduce your risk of heart disease. Based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, a 10 percent limit amounts to about 22 grams of saturated fat a day, while 7 percent is about 15 grams. Saturated fat intake counts toward your total daily allowance of fat.”

2.  Trans fats.   (The really “bad” fat) By now you probably know “trans fats” are a big no-no.

While there are some trans fats occurs naturally in some foods, especially foods from animals, most come from processing liquid vegetable oil to become solid fat.  This process creates fats that are easier to cook with and less likely to spoil than are naturally occurring oils. These trans fats are called industrial or synthetic trans fats.

One of the main reasons why trans fats should be avoided is, research shows that synthetic trans fat can increase unhealthy LDL cholesterol and lower healthy high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Foods containing trans-fats:  Many prepared foods and snacks, desserts such as cookies and cakes, margarines, and naturally occurring sources include dairy and meat products.

Fat Tip:  Here’s an easy way to identify foods that fall in the saturated fats category:  “Most fats that have a high percentage of saturated fat or trans fat are solid at room temperature.  This is why they are also referred to as solid fats.   Solid fats include include shortening, stick margarine, butter, beef fat, and pork fat,

Dietary Recommendations for Trans-fats:  Zilch.  While it is difficult to eliminate al trans fats from your diet since they do occur naturally in dairy and meats, “The American Heart Association recommends keeping your trans fat intake to no more than 1 percent of your total daily calories.  Typically, this will be less than 2 grams a day.

 

Good or “Healthy Fats: ” There are two two main types of “Healthy Fats” you can and should consume daily:

1.  Monounsaturated fats:

This healthy fat is found in a variety of foods, nuts, and oils.  A strong body of research shows that consuming foods rich in monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. There is also research to support that MUFAs may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which for those with type 2 diabetes can be very helpful.

Foods containing MUFAs:  Avocados, olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, poultry, nuts and seeds.

2.  Polyunsaturated fat. Decrease your risk of heart disease by consuming this is a type of fat (also known as PUFAs) found mostly in plant-based foods and oils. research confirms that eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) improves blood cholesterol levels, and may also help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Dietary Guidelines for PUFAs:   While no specific amount is recommended, the guidelines recommend eating foods rich in this healthy fat while staying within your total fat allowance.

PUFA Foods:   Poultry, nuts and seeds. Vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed oils, and soy; nut oils such as peanut oil.

Omega-3 fatty acids:  According to many health and nutrition resources:  “One type of polyunsaturated fat, omega-3 fatty acids, may be especially beneficial to your heart. Omega-3s, found in some types of fatty fish, appear to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease. They may also protect against irregular heartbeats and help lower blood pressure levels.”

Omega-3 fatty acid rich foods:  Fatty, cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring, ground flaxseed, flax oil and walnuts.

U.S Dietary Guidelines for Omega 3′s:  While there are no specifics around how much to eat of this healthy fat, you are encouraged to include foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids while staying within your total fat limit.

Watch a video on The Top 10 Foods Proven to Enhance Health & Longevity reviewing numerous Omega-3 food sources.

Fat Tip:  Foods made up mostly of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, such as olive oil, safflower oil, peanut oil and corn oil.

3 Steps to balanceing your fat intake for optimal health:

1.  Start by reducing foods high in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.

2.  Add in more food choices that include monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) outlined above.

3.  Portion control is everything.  As with all good things, moderation is the key.  All fats – including the healthy ones, are high in calories. So consume MUFA-rich and PUFA-rich foods in moderation (look at serving size guidelines) instead of other fatty foods, and not in addition to them (Steps 1 and 2 above).

Featured “Healthy Fat” Recipe:  Party Girl Diet Fresh Basil Pesto

In addition to discovering The Party Girl Diet’s revolutionary healthy new lifestyle, The Party Girl Diet will provide you with easy workouts you can do at home, a review the healthiest foods to live by, and 2-Weeks of delicious quick n’ easy recipes your whole family will enjoy.   Order your copy of The Party Girl Diet on Amazon.com

Party Girl Diet Author Aprilanne Hurley's TV Network Coverage Highlights

Aprilanne Hurley SFN is a Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, author of The Party Girl Diet, and the Health Expert for California Living, the Bay Area’s original lifestyle show featuring California’s trends in food, travel, and healthy living.  

Hurley’s popular Party Girl Diet is a healthy, sustainable lifestyle plan combining groundbreaking health and nutrition research with Hurley’s penchant for good living to deliver a revolutionary new diet and lifestyle that lets you  “Keep the Party Going” While You Lose the Weight.”

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