Disclaimer: Always seek the advice of your physician before starting or altering any exercise or dietary plan.
There is this big misconception that eating fats will make you fat. This is not always true, sure if you over indulge in too many or the wrong fats then weight gain will occur. But the truth is, our bodies require fat in order to sustain itself, it is one of the three macros the body needs to survive. (Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat)
When we say, you need fat in your diet we mean healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, not the bad fats such as trans or saturated fats.
Healthy fats or monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are known to improve cholesterol level, can reduce risk factors of heart disease and stroke, helps maintain your immune system, reduce the risk of diabetes and promote cell development.
Bad fats or trans and saturated fats may lower you good cholesterol (HDL) is known to increase your bad cholesterol (LDL and can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
*We will put a list for some of the foods in these in the four categories of fats, good and bad, further in this post*
The USDA recommends that we should keep our total daily intake of fat between 20% to 35% of our daily caloric intake, with saturated fats being less than 10% and trans fats being kept to as low as possible.
For people who are trying to lose weight it would be best to keep their daily fat intake to 15% to 20%. The fats that we consume most in our diet on the 120 Day Healthy Living Exchange is Avocado’s, Almonds, Wild Pacific Salmon Flax Seed and other nuts and seeds. If you would like to see the calories associated with some of these foods then you can see them at www.levelsofminimalism.com/120-day-healthy-living-exchange/10-great-foods-to-help-you-lose-belly-fat
The Good Fats
Polyunsaturated Fat - these fats can be a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids and can be found in foods such as:
Fish (Salmon, Mackerel, Herring, Tuna and Sardines)
Nuts and Seeds (Flax Seeds, Chia Seeds and Walnuts)
Monounsaturated Fats - These fats have a whole source of health benefits. They can help in reducing heart disease and can help in weight loss.
Numerous other Nuts and Seeds
A lot of other lists will include vegetable oils as a good source of monounsaturated fat. This is true but it can come at a cost. Recent studies have shown that these oils can cause serious harm because they mainly contain fats called Omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids which in excess can be unhealthy. For arguments sake (different experts have different levels, so we’ll just use a base one), our bodies should be around a 4:1 omega 6 to Omega 3 level, but because of the modern diet we are now averaging around a 16:1 level, which can increase harmful oxidative chain reactions in our cells. Don’t get us wrong, Omega 6’s is needed for body growth and development, but needs to be in a healthy balance.
Oils that contain Omega 6’s
The Bad Fats
Trans Fats – These are the types of fat that you should really try to avoid, mainly they are found in processed foods. If by chance you see an ingredient on a label that says partially hydrogenated oils then that would be a trans-fat.
Foods that contain trans-fat:
Most fried or battered foods
Most prepackaged cake or pancake mixes
…. The list is endless, check the label before you buy.
Saturated Fats – Also a bad fat, but can be eaten in moderation, just don’t overdo it.
Animal Fats from meat
High Dairy Fats (creams and cheeses)
Processed Meats (unfortunately these have their own health issues. The World Health Organization’s cancer agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified processed meats as a carcinogen (or something that can cause cancer).
Coconut Oil or Milk (these also have some great benefits to them so the debate on them continues).
For ourselves we do try to take in our daily good fats mainly from avocado’s and flax seed, but are not big on the taste of either, so we end up putting them into smoothies to negate the taste. Here is a sample recipe of one of our favourite smoothies that you can try.
Peach Mango Avocado Smoothie
We normally make this in our Ninja Blender so that we can have a glass and also have a large mason jar full for the next day. We also make these as single servings in our Magic Bullet just cutting down the amounts that we put in. For this recipe, we will use the amounts that we use in the Ninja. We have posted links below if you would like to check out the blenders we use.
Almond Milk 16 oz.
Spinach Raw 1 ½ cups
Greek Yogurt 4 tablespoons
Flax Seed 2 tablespoons
1 cup frozen Mangos
1 scoop Vegan Protein Powder
The full serving in the blender is approximately 935 calories, which you may think is quite a bit, but you can divide it into three servings and then it is only just over 300 calories for a delicious nutrient and mineral packed treat. If you are looking to make it more filling then add some rolled oats to the recipe and get even more health benefits.
It takes 4 weeks for you to see your body changing
It takes 8 weeks for your friends and family
It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world.
Never give up, your body will thank you.
As of August 1st we have started a new FaceBook group for likeminded people to join. If you need motivation or would just like to support others on their Healthier Living Journey then please join our group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/971130139764831/
You can also follow us on these other social media sites.
Mark & Shelly
* This post was originally seen on our sister site Levels of Minimalism/120 Day Healthy Living Exchange. We are in the process of moving sites.