Healthy fats are an important part of an overall nutritious diet. To help people keep their focus on healthy fats, the American Heart Association strongly advises healthy Americans to limit their consumption of trans fat to less than 1 percent of total calories and saturated fat to 7 percent or less.
Here are 10 ways to keep your focus on healthy fats:
- Choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and high-fiber foods (see also: the Prostate Health Diet).
- When choosing dairy foods, select those that are fat-free or low-fat.
- Read labels. Avoid foods that contain trans fats—words like “hydrogenated” and “partially hydrogenated” are the give-aways. Food manufacturers are required to list trans fat levels on food labels. However, if a food contains less than 0.5 mg of trans fat per serving, the manufacturer is not required to list the amount. If you eat, say, four servings of a food that contains 0.4 mg per serving, then you have just consumed 2 mg, yet according to the packaging, the food does not contain any trans fat.
- Keep the majority of your fat intake from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, and vegetable oils (e.g., olive, macadamia, and hemp are good choices)
- Limit or eliminate your intake of fried foods, especially fried fast foods such as French fries and onion rings
- When you need to grease a pan or baking sheet, use spray vegetable oil
- Flavor your foods with low-fat salsa, lemon juice, a few drops of olive oil, herbs, and spices rather than butter or margarine
- Limit or eliminate consumption of foods typically high in trans fat, including crackers, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, and cakes.
- If you do eat meat or poultry, remove any excess fat and skin before you cook it
- Oven-bake potatoes, onions, and zucchini instead of deep frying them