Mythbusting Monday – Fats

Eat fat, gain fat, right? For a long time, the traditional way to lose weight has been to subject oneself to a low-fat diet. Today, we know that isn’t the case.

No, fat is not qualified as ‘healthy’, but shunning all fat from your diet can be dangerous, since your body needs to consume at least some omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  A little fat won’t kill you, promise!

The truth is if you stay in a caloric surplus, a low-fat diet won’t make you lose weight. You need some omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids; saturated fat won’t give you a heart attack, but too much trans fat may.

It’s about choosing the GOOD fats – not all fat is created equal!

Food Tip Friday – Eat Fats

The term “fat” sends most people running for the hills, but in reality, the GOOD fats are essential to your overall health and wellbeing.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are one of the most beneficial groups of nutrients for your brain and overall health. They build brain cell membranes, reduce brain inflammation, and promote new brain cell formation.

They can improve your mood and memory and give you protection against brain disorders ranging from depression to dementia.

Shockingly, most American’s are deficient. Do you get enough healthy fats?

Food Swap Friday – Walnuts for Croutons

Are you like me, and absolutely NEED that crunch and flavor of croutons on your salad? I know those little things are bad for me, but I neeeeeeed them!

Well maybe this swap will help me… Croutons are high in sodium, often coated in butter, and full of empty calories—around 10 per piece, which can tally up in a hurry. Obviously, not the best way to top your microgreens, right?

A healthier crunch alternative is walnuts, which are loaded with nutrients like omega-3s that are good for you, but will also help keep you satisfied, with the added bonus of fiber and protein!

Superfood Saturday – Flaxseed

Do you like flaxseed? I put it on top of my Greek yogurt and berries every morning (my preworkout meal!) to add a boost of goodness (and more protein!) to the meal.

A fellow teammate of mine made the distinction that ground flaxseed are better than whole because our bodies digest ground flax better. Just sharin’ the knowledge!

Flaxseed

Them being a rich source of fiber really helps us Diabetics, so that’s another reason I eat them daily. These little guys really are packed with value!

Whole Foods Wednesday – Avocado

I go nuts for avocado… I love it so much. 10 years ago I hated the stuff (I think due to texture), but now I can’t get enough of it – in fact, I’ll actually eat it plain! It helps that now I know how to open it and remove the pit, too 🙂

Do you know why Avocado is so good for you? There are tons of benefits, truly, so I have highlighted a few here:

  • Boosts Eye Health – Just one ounce of avocado contains 81 micrograms of lutein, along with zeaxanthin, two phytonutrients which are essential to eye health. They are carotenoids that help lower your risk of developing age-related eye conditions. The fat content in avocado is what helps the body absorb the carotenoid.
  • Promotes weight loss – Avocado’s smooth and creamy texture actually contains 6 to 7 grams of fiber for half of a medium-sized fruit. Its rich fiber content can help you feel full faster and longer, making it a great weight loss aid. 75 percent of the fat in an avocado is unsaturated, which makes it a great substitute for foods high in saturated fat plus the oleic acid, one of the unsaturated fatty acids, may help to activate the satiety center in your brain that helps you feel full.
  • Absorbs other nutrients – Avocado has a rich fat content that makes it easier to absorb fat solubles such as vitamins A, K, D, and E, which means adding this creamy fruit to any vegetable-dense meals will help you get all of the vitamins of your food. Without fat in your diet, the body would not be able to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in that meal.
  • Lowers cholesterol – Avocado is filled with fats that are good for you, specifically monounsaturated fat, which helps to lower bad cholesterol. This is because avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, which is a compound that lowers blood cholesterol levels. If you worry about your body’s cholesterol levels, avocados are a great solution because they will actually lower your LDL and increase your HDL levels. Studies have found that avocado helped improve the cholesterol levels of people who already had good lipid levels.
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory agent – Avocados contain phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and polyhydroxolated fatty alcohols, which make the fruit an anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Helps reduce risk of certain cancers – Avocados possess a combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics, which makes them able to combat certain cancers, including mouth, skin, and prostate.  And the consumption of avocado can also be beneficial during chemotherapy. Chemotherapy sessions often drain the body out of glutathione — a powerful antioxidant source — but avocado can help. Avocados contain rich sources of both vitamin E and glutathione, and if chemotherapy is reducing your glutathione storage supply, avocados are a great way to get that antioxidant back into your system!
  • Boosts heart health – The mono- and polyunsaturated fats in avocados not only help reduce blood cholesterol levels, but they help decrease the overall risk for heart disease. Avocado’s high vitamin B6 and folic acid content helps to regulate homocysteine levels, according to Cohen, which is what reduces the risk. Avocados are associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms shown to increase the risk of stroke, coronary artery disease, and Diabetes. Overall, avocado consumption is associated with improved diet quality, nutrient intake, and good heart health.

How do you feel about avocados? I have always loved guacamole but eating them standalone grossed me out… now I’m like, I cant have a turkey sandwich without avocado! I also like to blend a whole one in with my Shakeology – a superfoods superboost! 🙂

Whole Foods Wednesday – Salmon

Ahhh, Salmon. I love it… we make it on a fairly regular basis, and I am blessed to have relatives in Alaska who ship me and my family fresh salmon, crabs legs, and other delicious stuff. I just adore seafood, I guess it’s part of growing up close to the ocean… In the Ocean State (Rhode Island) where I live, you are never more than 5 minutes from the sea, and that has totally shaped my love of seafood!

Salmon is known for its flavor, but it is jam-packed with health benefits too! Plus, I find the color absolutely gorgeous; nice and bright!

salmon

Main benefits from wild salmon:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids –
    • Protect heart health
    • Reduce risk of sudden death from heart disease
    • Reduce risk of stroke
    • Reduce chance of heart disease in Type 2 Diabetes
    • Essential in infant brain and eye development during pregnancy and infancy
    • Improve blood lipid patterns
    • Improve blood vessel function
    • Improve symptoms of immune and inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Chrone’s disease and some skin conditions
    • Reduce the risk of some mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression
  • High Quality Protein
  • Essential Amino Acids
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Considerable amounts of calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus

We have smoked salmon before (my fiancè is a HUGE fan of his smoker), baked it with some lemon and some dill, tried it in a Teriyaki glaze, and several other ways, and it is always delicious! So versatile, but always fabulous.

Tell me, are you a fan of salmon?