Over the last year, I saw (via Instagram) a few young and otherwise healthy young people die suddenly from a heart attack. It put a lot in perspective about how fragile life is, but also of how careless we young people are when it comes to our diets. Saturated fat is one of the biggest risk factor for a premature heart attack. Yet, sadly, about 34% of the calories in a typical American diet come from fats. This is equal to more than ¼ cup of margarine per day! So, When was the last time you looked at the fat content in your diet?
I encourage you to take a week and journal your food and take a look at where you can make changes. Follow these tips to reduce your fat intake and maintain a healthy diet.
Eat fewer high-fat foods
Reduce visible fat from meat, and remove the skin from turkey and chicken before eating. Avoid foods high in hidden fats such as high-fat cheese, chips and many baked goods. Cutting back on less visible fat such as margarine, salad dressings and sour cream helps too. Better use healthy fats such as coconut oil or olive oil and keep it to 5-8 teaspoons per day only.
Bake, broil, grill, roast, stew, steam or poach foods whenever possible. You can stir-fry, too, but be sure to use only small amounts of unsaturated fats like safflower or canola oil. To lessen the amount of fat you use for frying, use non-stick cookware. Vegetable juices and broths are great sauté substitutes for shortening, margarine or oil.
Eat smaller portions
The bigger the portion, the higher the fat content. Skip the super-size snacks and meals and get the normal-size servings instead.
Choose turkey, chicken or fish
Light meat such as chicken and turkey ate naturally low in fat, but only if you remove the skin. Most fish are also lean. High-fat fish such as salmon are still leaner than lean beef or poultry. Fish also has the added benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Choose to eat meatless at least twice a week
Trade meats for beans, peas, fruits, vegetables and grains. Limit the amount of meat, poultry and fish to help reduce fat, especially saturated fat while increasing complex carbohydrates and fiber.
Use fat-free or low-fat dairy products
Most milk products are packed with fat, especially if they’re made from cream or whole milk. Pick low-fat or fat-free dairy products available such as low-fat cheese, yogurts, ice cream and milk.
In Health & Happiness,