From time to time, we feature the sage wisdom of our Distributors on the topics of health, fitness and running a successful business. In this article, Chris Toriello of Maine provides food for thought on the truth about various kinds of fat. By now you may be well into your New Year’s resolutions to shape up and slim down. Or have you already abandoned any lofty fitness goals as old habits slip back into your daily routine? Either way, you can tackle the challenges of the day and stay on track for a brand new you regardless of the date on the calendar! Here are some radical ideas that may liberate you from your food limitations.
There is a mountain of methodologies out there when it comes to our diet and getting healthy. Some advocate a low fat diet, others go vegan, count carbs or advocate a high protein approach. The combinations of what we should and shouldn’t eat are endless. One thing is for sure, we as a society are getting fatter by the decade. From 1990 to 2000, adult obesity rates increased by more that 60%. By 2010, the CDC found that every single state now has obesity rates reported in nearly 30% of their populations. While several factors contribute to this trend, including an increase in sedentary lifestyles, poor nutritional choices, and lack of regular exercise, the low fat mantra may actually be making us mushy.
Fat – Friend or Foe?
Somewhere along the way, we made fat the enemy. When we did, low-fat and no-fat food products became the rage. What a concept – eat all the cookies, cakes and crackers you like without the guilt. If fat is such an enemy to fit, why have we become heavier than ever? If you ever read food labels, and I encourage you to do so, you’ll find that low fat items replace fat with loads of sugar, sugar alcohols and other chemicals, thickeners, preservatives and fat substitutes. While some fats are bad for your health and your waistline, others are essential to your wellness. A general guideline is to keep your fat intake to an upper limit of 30% of your diet. Here’s how fats are defined in our food:
Saturated fats – the bad guys found in animal products including all dairy products like milk, butter, cream and cheese as well as coconut, palm and palm kernel oils. Limit to 10% of your caloric intake.
Unsaturated fats – the good guys like monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, and grape seed oil. Polyunsaturated fats are found in fish, and in safflower, sunflower, corn and soybean oils. These can make up the other 15-20% of your fat intake.
Trans and hydrogenated fats – avoid altogether. These are usually found in prepared baked goods, fried food, and margarine. If you want to indulge, make it a special occasion once or twice a week at most.
Fat Free – According to the American Heart Association, too little fat can be just as dangerous to your health as too much fat. If your fat intake remains consistently below 10%-20% of your total caloric intake, you may be risking your health.
Nature – Your True BFF
The best way to make friends with fat is to do it nature’s way. By enjoying healthy fats in their natural state your body will be function optimally, you will feel more satisfied faster which will prevent overeating, and you’ll likely reduce cravings. Here are a few suggestions:
- Reduce or eliminate processed and manufactured foods – stick to the perimeter of the grocery store and you’ll be on the right track.
- Use full fat products, like dairy in moderation (fat still has more than double the calories of protein and carbs so make sure it counts).
- Enjoy healthy fats like nuts, avocado, eggs.
- Supplement your healthy eating with essential fatty acids like Omega-3 rich products from Reliv International. My favorites are ReversAge® and 24KTM
Quick Tip: want to enjoy butter but stuck in a saturated fat phobia? Put one stick of softened, unsalted butter in a food processor or blender with 1/2 cup of olive or grape seed oil. Blend until smooth. Store in the refrigerator. You’ve just cut saturated fat in half, increased your intake of good fats, and have created a healthier alternative to trans-fat laden margarine.
Having a balanced approach to healthy eating habits is your winning formula for achieving your dreams in 2013!
© Copyright 2013 Chris Toriello. All rights reserved.