Heart Health- Dietary Fat
Source: Wellness Coaches USA
February was Heart Health month, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t focus on taking care of our hearts the rest of the year! A key factor to heart health is avoiding harmful fats, getting the right amount of healthy fats your body needs and knowing the difference between the two.
Saturated and trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease by increasing your cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
Here are a few tips to avoid harmful fats:
– Choose leaner cuts of meat that don’t have marbling (where the meat is embedded with fat) and cut all visible fat off before eating.
– Remove the skin from chicken, turkey and other poultry before cooking.
– Skim the solid fats from the top of soups or stews before re-heating them.
– Drink low-fat 1% or fat-free skim milk.
– Buy low-fat or non-fat cheeses and other dairy products.
– Enjoy low-fat or non-fat ice creams or frozen deserts.
– Use low-fat spreads instead of butter- one that is low in saturated fat and has no trans fats.
– Choose baked goods and breads that are low in saturated fat.
Remember: your total fat intake should be less than 25-35 % of your total calories in a day.
Fat can actually be a major source of energy and aid your body in absorbing vitamins- if it’s the right kind of fat. Certain fats are essential for proper growth, development and keeping you healthy. It is especially important for nervous system and brain development in infants and toddlers. Unsaturated fats can lower your risk of heart disease in two ways: reducing your total cholesterol and reducing your “bad cholesterol” or low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
Here are some example healthy fats and where to find them:
– Monounsaturated fat: olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.
– Polyunsaturated fat: vegetable oils (such as safflower, corn, sunflower, soy and cottonseed oils) and nuts.
– Omega-3 fatty acids: Fatty, cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel and herring), flax seeds, flax oil and walnuts.
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