Back in the 90s, fat (meaning the fat in food) was a dirty word. So lots of us cut out nearly all fat from what we were eating. The result? People typically gained even more weight. To cut out the fat, food makers typically substituted sugar for fat so the foods still tasted good; those extra calories from sugar led to more of us piling on this pounds. That's when it became clear that all fat isn't the same.
Simply put, here are the fats you want to avoid: trans fat and saturated fat. These both increase your risk for heart disease. Foods that are high in saturated fat include full-fat cheese, beef, milk, and many desserts, butters, and fried foods.
These are the fats that are good for you: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated Omega-6, and polyunsaturated Omega-3 fats. These are found in nuts, vegetable oils (canola, sunflower, olive and high oleic safflower, soybean, corn), some fish (salmon, trout, herring), walnuts, and flaxseed.
You still need to keep an eye on how much of the good fats you're eating if you want to maintain your weight or lose weight, since fat is full of calories (each gram of fat has 9 calories, compared to 4 calories for each gram of protein or carbohydrate).
But it's also an important part of any diet and you need to have some in order to help fuel your exercise, too. If you aren't eating a healthy diet you're bound to hate exercise even more, since a poor diet makes working out even harder to do.
This is one of 10 swaps you can make that will get your eating on track and give you enough energy to fuel your workouts. If you make all 10 swaps, you'll be well on your way to a healthy diet.
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