What Healthy Fats Should You Be Eating?

What Healthy Fats Should You Be Eating?

When we think of fats and fatty foods, we think of them as “the enemy.” Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just want a healthier lifestyle, the idea of “healthy” fats seems wrong. But any balanced diet requires the appropriate amount of fat as much as it needs protein and carbohydrates.

“Healthy fats” typically refer to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are needed for brain function and cell growth. These fats also help with heart health and to lower cholesterol levels in the body. Fats can aid in the absorption of vitamins, and help you stay full and control your appetite, overall improving your weight loss.

Meanwhile, trans fats and saturated fat are usually considered bad, but the latter is often debated by experts. Trans fats are typically used in processed foods, like condiments, lollies, crisps, biscuits, and cakes. Trans fats can increase levels of bad cholesterol and while manufacturers are marketing more trans fat-free options, it’s good to be wary of them. Saturated fats are found in butter, full-fat dairy, cheese, and fried and processed foods. These fats also increase your cholesterol levels and can clog your arteries. However, saturated fats together with high-glycaemic carbohydrates have been found to be the culprit, and not so much the fat themselves.

So, where can you find all the good fats? Try incorporating these foods into your diet for your needed dose of fat. Experts recommended a 7 to 20 percent intake of fat in one’s daily diet. In a 2,000-calorie diet, that would be about 16 to 60 grams of fat.

Avocados

Not only are avocados rich in monounsaturated fats, but they have fibre and protein too. This fruit has proven to be versatile and can be used as a substitute for butter, mayonnaise, or sour cream. However, avocados contain a lot of calories, and a quarter or half an avocado a day is the recommended portion.

Coconut

If you’re not a fan of coconut, reconsider your stance. Coconut fat is high in saturated fat, specifically lauric acid, which fights bacteria, boost energy, and improve cholesterol levels.

Nuts

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Make nuts like walnuts, almonds, pistachios, cashews, and pecans your new favourite snack. Almonds, in particular, contain plenty of vitamin E. Pistachios are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are great for eye health. This category of foods also includes nut butters! Great for spreading on a piece of toast or as a dip. When purchasing nut butters, make sure to study the nutritional facts. Avoid those high in sugar and salt.

Salmon and Tuna

Salmon is one of the oily types of fish containing omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna, meanwhile, is also rich in such acids and can be easy to include in your diet, since you can go make all kinds of dishes from tuna, like steak, salad or sushi. However, it’s advisable to limit your salmon and tuna intake to 340 grams or two meals a week.

Eggs

Also, a terrific source of protein, eggs are packed with nutrients along with some healthy saturated fat. If you’re worried about your cholesterol, research has proven that moderate egg intake can, in fact, improve the health of your heart.

Lean grass-fed beef and pork

The difference lean, grass-fed meat makes is a fairly significant one. Compared to meats, grass-fed beef is higher in stearic acid and omega-3 fatty acid.

Full-fat yoghurt

Yoghurt has long been touted as a healthier option, but make sure you choose full-fat yoghurts, like Greek yoghurt. They contain less sugar, and more protein and fat. Also take care to avoid varieties with fruits mixed in, since they may have more sugar than needed. You can add in your own fresh fruits and nuts at home instead.

Sources: https://www.self.com/story/9-high-fat-foods-actually-good-for-you

https://www.eatthis.com/healthy-fats/

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/a19896629/how-much-fat-should-i-eat/

The Easiest Meal Prep Hacks

The Easiest Meal Prep Hacks

So, you’re ready to give meal prepping a try. And why shouldn’t you? It saves you time, money and energy, plus it helps you stay on track of your diet and fitness goals. No more last-minute pizza deliveries or sugary late-night snacks. But, where do you start and how can you optimise your meal prepping? Here are some hacks that beginners and even the more experienced meal preppers should remember.

Get the right containers

Instagram is showing you all these meal preps in cute bowls and fun-looking mason jars, but storing your meals in the right containers is important. You want something that will keep everything sealed and fresh, survive the cold of the freezer, easy to store in your fridge and transport in your lunch bag, and be microwave-friendly too. Glass and silicone containers are your best bet. Using plastic containers creates unwanted waste–for the environment and your wallet since you have to keep buying again after you trash them. Plus, microwaving flimsy plastic containers is an absolute no-no.

Cook once a week

Schedule one day out of your week, say Sunday afternoon, to do the bulk of your meal prepping. This means all the chopping, slicing, dicing, roasting, boiling and other major kitchen tasks that you need to do. That allows you to only cook once and clean your kitchen once when you follow meal prepping.

Remember each food’s timeline

You may love avocados, but they may not love you as much to stay fresh for long. The same goes for leafy greens and berries. If a recipe calls for a sauce or dressing, set it aside instead of mixing it in right away. This will keep salads crisp. When you’re ready to eat, that’s when you mix them together. For certain fruits, like avocados and apples, only cut them up when you’re ready to eat them.

Your weekly formula

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When you’re at the supermarket, are you feeling stumped on how much to get of what? Try this formula for each week: two proteins, four vegetables and one starch. Make one of your proteins plant-based, such as tofu or beans. You can mix up your vegetables with greens and raw or roasted vegetables. For starch, go with whole grains or potatoes.

Keep it frozen

Frozen produce and your freezer will be some of your best friends when it comes to meal prepping. You might think freshly harvested fruits and veggies are better than the frozen kind, but they’re just as nutritious when frozen. In fact, they’ve found to be higher in antioxidants than their fresh counterparts. Meanwhile, you can store meals for longer in your freezer. Did you know that cooked meat can last from two to six months in a freezer? Just make sure to note the dates.

Don’t forget snacks

Snacking is probably when we’re most vulnerable to making less than healthy food choices. So, remember to include mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks in your meal plan. Resist the urge to buy single-serving packs of nuts and dried fruits. They may save you time, but not money. For healthy snacks, try yoghurt, cheese, baby carrots and bell pepper slices.

Spice it up

Bored of the same ingredients? Sauces, spices, oils and marinades are where you can experiment with different flavours to keep things interesting. Easy seasoning options include curry paste, tandoori sauce, garlic sauce and miso.

One pan it

To save even more time, you can cook all your meals at once. One-pan meals allow you to cook your proteins, starches and vegetables in one pan. Toss your ingredients in a pan, drizzle some olive oil and seasoning and roast it all together.