If you are interested in how to get healthy fats in your diet, then you are from the group of people who are NOT deceived by all the TV advertisements. People are constantly led to believe that if they choose low or no fat foods, then they will be reducing their intake of fats to healthy levels.However, this is only partially correct. What was not made clear to the people is that foods that are high in Omega 3 fatty acids should be consumed more while saturated fats need to be consumed less. We should not decrease the total fat intake at the expense of the healthy type of fats.Research has shown that essential fatty acids are effective in treating allergies or asthma in children and is also good for adults with dry skin.
The Different Types of Fatty Acids
Different types of fatty acids will have different effects on human health and extra care should be exercised when reducing fats in your diet. There are various types of fatty acids as follows:
- Saturated fatty acids
- Omega 9 (mono unsaturated acids)
- Omega 6 (polyunsaturated fatty acids)
- Omega 3 (super polyunsaturated fatty acids)
Among the above, Omega 3 promotes good health and helps to prevent degenerative diseases. Our typical diet usually contains insufficient amount of Omega 3 oils and excessive amount of saturated fats. Saturated fats are commonly found in animals while Omega 3 fats are found in fishes. This section introduces some recommendations on how you can reduce the intake of saturated fats in your diet. It also serves as a base guideline to help you get started.
- Choose proteins from sources such as legumes and fishes.
- Avoid or lessen the intake of red meats, organ meats, dairy products and processed foods. If eating meat is necessary, always try to go for the leanest cuts and avoid excessive fats.
- Boil, bake, broil or water-saute the foods instead of frying.
The best way to water-saute the foods is to put ¼ to 1 cup of water into a wok and bring it to a rapid boil. Then quickly add the vegetables or fruits and keep stirring them over high heat till done.
Increasing Intake of Omega 3 and Omega 6 in Diet Effectively
Omega 3 and Omega 6 are the healthy food fats that you will want to include in your diet for better overall health. The following are some suggestions that can help you to get started:
- Eat at least 1 cup of dark leafy green vegetables such as seaweed, broccoli, spinach or parsley everyday. Try to eat a wide variety of the vegetables and refrain from eating the same ones repeatedly. Vegetables can be steamed or baked.
- Grind some flax and sesame seeds and sprinkle them on top of your foods. Since they are very small, grinding them will still ensure proper absorption. Eat at least 2 to 4 tablespoons of those per day.
- Add mackerel, trout, salmon and sardines in your diet. Similarly, it is not advisable to eat the same kind of fish frequently. It is also recommended to buy the fish from different stores.
- Add home-grown sprouts to salads as they provide essential fatty acids as well as nutrients.
- Add legumes to your diet as they provide Vitamins B as well as amino acids.
- Add pumpkin or sunflower seeds to your diet. Fresh walnuts are also good as snacks as well as for the nutrients.
Some Healthy Diets
- Low carb vegetables
- Low-carbohydrate diet
- Healthiest cheese
If oil is required for cooking, try to opt for extra virgin olive oil. It is still the number one choice and contains oleic acid (mono-unsaturated fatty acid), which is less prone to oxidation compared to other vegetable oils. Extra virgin olive oil is also preferred over pure olive oil as the latter is actually a blend of oils. You can test if you have a true olive oil or a blend by keeping the container in the refrigerator. It is true olive oil if it solidifies under the cold temperature. Olive oil can also be a good alternative to margarine; using it offers a better source of healthy oil.
This oil is also high in mono-unsaturated fatty acids and is light. However, it is normally refined like other vegetable oils. Use it if you are unable to get any forms of olive oils.
These are the mass-market cooking oils marketed by many food manufacturers. Sunflower, corn and other vegetable oils are usually known as polyunsaturated oils; however they are usually ruined by all the food processing by the manufacturers. These types of oils may also rapidly oxidize or degrade with exposure to air, heat and light. Polyunsaturated oils are normally sold in clear bottles which does not block light and hence lead to oxidation. Sometimes, eating these damaged oils can harm the circulatory system.