As winter sets in and the gift-giving season ramps up, many of us are struggling to develop new dietary habits, as we try and prepare to shed that holiday weight.
Healthy eating habits mean different things to different people, and unfortunately some guys are of the mistaken belief that one of the best ways to maintain a healthy diet is by removing as much fat as possible. The truth is that your body needs fat. It’s just a matter of consuming the right kinds of fat.
To help you separate the good from the bad, we’ve compiled a list of the best fats and where to find them.
5. MONOUNSATURATED FATS
If you’re looking for ways to keep your cholesterol in check, monounsaturated fats are your ticket. Why? Studies suggest they have the ability to not only lower your bad cholesterol (LDL), but they can also increase your good cholesterol (HDL) levels. The best places to find them are in a wide variety of oils, as well as in avocados and even poultry.
And, for all your guys who can’t resist a good snack, you’ll be thrilled to know that you now have an excellent excuse to snack on cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts.
4. POLYUNSATURATED FATS
Polyunsaturated fats, well known for their cholesterol-reducing capabilities, can also assist in reducing blood pressure. They’re available in supplement form and can be found in various oils including safflower, soy, and sunflower.
3. CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID (CLA)
Research suggests that consuming this fatty acid and frequenting the gym for at least 4.5 hours per week significantly reduces body fat–not weight. A Swedish study also discovered that CLA has a direct impact on the reduction of some forms of colon cancer.
CLA is most readily found in grass-fed poultry and meats, as well as dairy and eggs.
2. MEDIUM-CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDE (MCT)
Struggling to lose weight? Consider changing from olive oil to fatty acid MCT oil. New York-based researchers found that weight-loss program participants consuming MCT oil instead of olive oil experienced a greater loss of weight and fat–including intra-abdominal body fat. Why? MCT increases fat burning.
Just a few drops over your favorite meals will help. Other sources of MCT oil include palm kernel oil and coconut oil.
1. FISH OIL
Does heart disease run in your family? If so, you probably already know the importance of controlling your portions, limiting salt intake, and consuming fruits, vegetables, and fiber. According to Oregon researchers, something else that could help in the prevention of heart disease is fish oil.
Bonus: The same researchers indicate that it could also be effective in promoting better eye and mental health. Even if your breath were suddenly to smell of fish, with all of these perks, it’s still worth it.