Tag Archives: Saturated Fats

Fat’s Place In Your Weight Loss Plan

Fat- it’s the F word. When used as an adjective, it can be one of the worst insults one can voice. When used as a noun, we avoid it like the plague, quickly throwing down harmless food containers which bear the filthy word, unless it is directly followed with “free” or preceded by “low.” However, according to experts, it may be high time to add the shunned word it back into our nutritional vocabulary.

Barbara Roberts, MD and director of the Women’s Cardiac Center at the Miriam Hospital says that our bodies need fat to function properly. “Fats help you absorb vitamins A, D, and E and they are vital for your nervous system.” After all, the Mediterranean diet is full of healthy fats, and look at all those gorgeous, healthy Mediterraneans.

The Skinny On Fat
5 to 30 percent of your total daily calories should come from fats. It’s all about knowing the good from the bad.

Unsaturated Fat

Monosaturated Fat
Monosaturated (good)
Also known as MUFAs, these fats lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, prevent plaque buildup in your arteries and cut down on belly fat. You can find them in peanuts, peanut butter, sesame sees, olive oil, and canola oil. Says Roberts, “Just two to three tablespoons of olive oil a day can raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and protect against heart disease.”

Polyunsaturated (good)
These are the fats that contain the omega-3 fatty acids. Aside from lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) they can also strengthen your immune system, increase brain function, and improve your mood. These can be found in fish like salmon and herring, and in canola oil, walnuts, flaxseed, and tofu.

Bad fats
Saturated Fats (bad)
These are the bad guys. They raise cholesterol and increase heart disease. You’ll find them in all the likely places: cream, whole milk, butter, meat, and even in some plant foods like palm and coconut oils. Try to limit saturated fats to under 10 % of your daily calorie intake. A good way to start? “Remove any hard fat you can see, such as the skin on chicken,” suggests American Dietetic Association spokesperson Christine Gerbstadt, MD.

Transfats (bad)
Boo! Hiss! If saturated fats are bad, these guys are downright evil. Transfats are made from unsaturated fat chemically altered to increase shelf life. They raise bad cholesterol, lower good cholesterol and,”100 percent promote heart disease, according to Dr. Gerbstadt. You’ll find them in about everything that qualifies as junk food, including crackers, chips, cookies, cake, margarine, doughnuts, and french fries. The FDA provides that food manufacturers can claim a product is trans fat free id it has 0.5 grams of transfat or less. Translation: more than one serving can contain more than a gram of transfat. Check ingredient labels for “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” a.k.a. transfat.

Weight loss
Eric Tark, Director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center says, “The average person has 10 billion to 20 billion fat cells.” Overeating creates new fat cells. Losing weight causes fat cells to shrink, but not disappear. The best way to avoid excessive weight gain is by following a balanced diet including lean protein and low fat dairy and doing cardio and strength training regularly.

Smart Food Swaps: To jumpstart your healthy eating program, swap out
Regular bacon for Canadian or turkey bacon as, according to Emily Rubin, RD, “Pork bacon is loaded with saturated fat.” Stick margarine for tub or butter. Stick margarine can have as much as three times the trans fat of tub. Switch to butter to lose the transfats. Regular ice cream to for low fat. No way, you say? Rubin says,”Two scoops of the premium kind can have 11 grams of saturated fats, about half the amount you should eat for an entire day.’

What are you swapping out to improve your fat choices? We want to know how you fight the good fight on bad fat.

MUFAs and PUFAs

Fats

If you don’t already know what MUFAs and PUFAs are, the title of this article might strike you as more than a little strange, but do stay tuned, because it’s regarding a subject we daresay is rather important: your health. Specifically, we’re going to be examining the different kinds of fats that exist, what kind of impact they have on your health, and in what ratios you should consume them. The title of the article refers to two types of fats in particular, known as Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs) and Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAs). These two in particular as often referred to as types of “healthy fats,” though this term should be understood loosely and taken with a grain of salt, as fats are still fats (more on that later). In any case, let’s examine the role fats play in your diet, and how to balance them.

Fats Are Not Bad
In fact, they’re necessary. Everyone needs some fat in their diet; without any at all, your body wouldn’t be able to function. So remember, fat is not the enemy, too much fat, and the wrong kinds of fat are bad, but fat itself is not bad; it’s necessary, in small to moderate quantities. In fact, healthy fats can actually lower LDL cholestorol, the kind of cholestorol that contributes to plaque buildup. Some fats can even increase HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that actually helps reduce plaque buildup (like fats, cholesterol is not bad either, you just need the right kinds). Certain healthier fats might also help prevent blood clots and reduce arterial inflammation.

Unhealthy: Saturated and Trans Fats
The two most dangerous fats, which you’ll want to replace, are saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats are not always a problem in small quantities, but you definitely don’t want to over-consume. That said, some saturated fats are better than others; coconut oil, for instance, is a good choice to swap out for other saturated fats (use it instead of butter in baking, for instance). Trans fats are just all-around awful and should be avoided at all costs as they raise LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and can therefore increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

Healthy: MUFAs and PUFAs
Mono-unsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature and have a freezing point above the temperature of the average refrigerator (meaning they’re solid if you chill them in most fridges). MUFAs can not only lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, but they also contain a healthy dose of vitamin E. MUFAs can be found in olive, safflower, canola, sunflower, sesame, and grape seed oils. Avocados, peanut butter, cashews, and a variety of nuts and seeds also contain MUFAs.

Poly-unsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature and stay liquid in most refrigerators at standard settings (they have a much lower freezing point). PUFAs can be broken down into omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are essential to our bodies’ well-being. Like MUFAs, they seem to have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels and the balance of LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol. You’ll find PUFAs in soybean, safflower, and corn oils, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, and flax seeds, soy milk, tofu, and walnuts, to name just a few. Fish also tends to contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids (a type of PUFA), especially fatty fishes like tuna, salmon, trout, sardines, and herring.

Moderation is Still Important
All things in moderation, after all; even healthy fats count toward your daily allotment of fat, so don’t overdo it!

Sun Protection Besides SPF – Vine Vera Reviews

To prevent premature aging, sun spots and skin cancer, you need to protect your skin every time you expose it to the sun. UV rays cause serious damage to your skin even if you tan instead of getting a sunburn. It is far easier to be proactive and prevent sun damage than it is to repair damage from the sun later. But what happens when you find yourself without sunscreen at the last minute? Vine Vera rounds up the best ways to protect your skin from the sun besides using an SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Fresh tomatoes on a wooden table.

Add Vitamins and Antioxidants to Your Diet
Fresh tomatoes are plentiful during summer and you can add these to your diet to help prevent sun damage. The antioxidant lycopene in tomatoes has been studied and does provide acute sun protection, particulalry in women. Aim for about 55mg (3 tablespoons of raw tomatoes) daily to keep your skin from ending up as red as a tomato.

Olive oil being poured into a bowl.

Add Saturated Fats into Your Diet
We know, summertime means that you want to maintain a lean, healthy beach body but there have been some studies that indicate increasing saturated fats into your diet helps protect you from sun dangers such as melanoma. A study involving mice lead researchers to conclude that a diet that was higher in saturated fats provided a bit of protection against sun damage and problems such as melanoma. Don’t go crazy with the fats but try to use olive and coconut oils where possible in your cooking.

Closeup of red wine glasses.

Break Out the Wine
Wine contains proanthocyanidins which are thought to provide protection against harmful UV rays. Additionally, red wine contains resveratrol which has provides a number of other health benefits also is being considered as a photoprotective agent. Once the resveratrol is incorporated into your skin cells it provides protection against UV damage. If you don’t want to grab wine for your day at the beach, proanthocyanidins are also found in blueberries and nuts such as hazelnuts or pistachios. Take a tasty treat with you and provide extra protection.

Vitamin supplements in a bowl.

Choose the Right Vitamins or Supplements
Vitamins or supplements that may help protect your skin from sun damage include vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. It has been thought that supplementing your diet with vitamin D increases your tolerance towards the sun. In addition to this, vitamin D may also provide UV protection reducing your chance of sunburn. In a laboratory study, vitamin D also helped decrease the incidence of tumor growth. Get your omega-3 fatty acids by adding oily fish such as tuna to your diet or look for a supplement containing DHA to help protect your skin from sun damage.

In addition to these dietary methods of protection, there is also some research indicating that there are natural oils that contain a level of SPF. Some of the oils that may provide protection include coconut oil, red raspberry seed oil and almond oil. Whatever method you choose, remain consistent to reduce sun damage. And while some of these methods may not turn out to be perfect, as many are still being researched, it can’t hurt to take some plump fresh blueberries to the beach or sear a delicious tuna filet on your grill.