Let’s start with the unhealthy fats.
*Trans fat- We should have a zero-tolerance for trans fat. There are no safe levels for trans fat. Trans fats are almost gone from our food chain, but they can still be found in items like breaded chicken, microwave popcorn, cake mixes, and some waffle/pancake mixes.
*Saturated fat. Think “four-legged fats”. Saturated fat can be found in fatty cuts of meat, palm oil, butter, and full fat dairy products. Saturated fats are not toxic to the body at low levels. Saturated fats will elevate your LDC (the “bad” cholesterol). Dr. Ann suggests the following three strategies to reduce saturated fat:
1. Limit red meat to 2 servings or less per week. For kids, 4 servings for week are fine (because the zinc and iron are so important for growth)
2. Limit butter– and choose grass fed butter.
3. For staple dairy products, choose skim or low fat.
Next let’s go to good fats. They include:
*Polyunsaturated fats. There are four great sources:
1. extra virgin olive oil
2. canola oil (but watch for GMO products)
These fats are plant based and raise the “good” cholesterol (HDC). These fats have been shown to be beneficial for metabolic health.
*Omega 3 fats. “The queen of the healthy fats.” Most Americans are running a deficit in this essential nutrient. Omega 3’s are the building blocks for the anti-inflammatory compounds. Longer chain omega 3s (DHA and EPA) are found only in fish. Therefore, Dr. Ann recommends that we consume at least 2 servings of oily fish per week.
Note: We have an amazing opportunity to improve the health of so many people. Only 54% of kids between 2 and 18 eat fish at least once per month.
Great sources (beyond fish) for Omega 3s are: walnuts, canola oil, flax, chia and hemp seeds, omega 3 eggs, wheat germ, whole soy foods and small leafy greens (arugula, watercress, etc.).
Omega 6s are also essential. Ideal omega 3: Omega 3 ratio is 1 to 2/4. Experts believe that we are currently taking in 14 times more omega 6s to Omega 3s.
For Oils in the pantry, Dr. Ann recommends:
*For dressings: extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil
*For cooking: sesame oil, grapeseed oil, coconut oil
Why get an oil change?
*Slash the risk of heart diseases
*Improve neurologic and mental health
*Reduce the risk of cancer
*Slow the aging process
*Reduce inflammation in the body
*Reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes
*Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease