Limiting your dietary intake of fats will leave you in good physical condition, a healthy weight and help prevent cardiovascular disease. It is recommended that less than 30% of your daily calories come from fat.
A diet loaded with saturated and trans fats can substantially increase your likelihood to develop problems such as cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. You may include fats in your diet so long as they are unsaturated and, as with all things, they are taken in moderation.
Saturated fats (bad): They are named that way because of their chemical structure. They are present in animal products and some plants, as well as butter, low-fat dairy products, cream and red meats. Some plant products that contain saturated fats are coconut, coconut oil, and palm oil. These fats raise LDL (“bad"), which increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other major health problems.
Trans fats (bad): These fats are formed as a product of the hydrogenation of some foods, a chemical process that is used to make certain foods, like margarine. They are more harmful to the body than saturated fats because not only do they increase the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), but they also reduce the levels of good cholesterol (HDL). The main products they are found in are margarine, beef, pork and lamb, as well as cookies and white bread.
Unsaturated fats (good): They help reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and slightly increase the good one (HDL). They are classified into two types: polyunsaturated ( in sunflower, corn and soy oils) and monounsaturated (in olive and canola oils). Both are suitable substitutes for saturated and Trans fats, although each one affects the body differently.
Omega 3: It is an essential fatty acid found in some polyunsaturated fats. It is found in seafood, especially fatty fish tissue, and also in some plant products such as avocados and certain seeds (almonds, walnuts, etc.) It is important to consume enough essential fatty acids like this because our body does not naturally produce them. EPA and DHA are other essential fatty acids.
-Add to your diet monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats and avoid saturated and Trans fats.
-Choose avocados, nuts, seeds and fish in place of dairy, butter or fried foods.
-Avoid frying or cooking in a lot of oil, as you can increase the fat and calorie content of your food.
-Consume foods containing Omega 3 (good fat), like fatty fish, avocados and nuts.
-Instead of eating French fries, complement your dishes with salads, cooked vegetables, or cooked potatoes.
-Keep saturated fats to only 10% of your total daily calories.
-Choose foods with less than 30% of total calories from fat.