Although certain fats/oils are essential for the body, many people are eating the wrong kinds of fat too often and storing them in their body. One reason is that they don’t know what they are eating because they eat pre-made or packed food. If you really want to control fat intake (reducing unwanted fat and eating more of useful fat), you really need to cook yourself. Most processed foods are filled with unhealthy fat (including trans-fat which is really bad for you), since fat is cheap and makes food smoother and “tastier,” and food companies add it freely. By cooking yourself, you can control the amount and type of fat you put into your food.
Many sweets are also filled with high-saturated fat. You don’t think that cookies are very high in fat, but they are unless marked as low fat. You can eat cookies occasionally, but try to eat more fruit such as apples and oranges as a snack; they are sweeter and healthier.
If you can, avoid all animal fat and replace it with extra virgin olive oils. (Note that most extra virgin olive oil sold at a super market is not really “virgin.” You can find real virgin olive oil at a specialty shop, and it usually costs 3 times more than the supermarket varieties. For the daily use, the supermarket varieties are good enough for us). You can add them to your food or cook with them (some people prefer canola oil for cooking). Most vegetable oils are better than animal fats, but if you can, avoid hydrogenated vegetable oil such as margarine, as well as trans-fat products. The body does not know how to utilize them, since they do not exist in nature.
Eat fish which is rich in Omega 3 fat. If you are a vegan, you may substitute fish oil with flaxseed oil, the main component of which is Omega 6, though it is not optimal. This is because some people cannot convert Omega 6 into EPA/DHA, but most people can convert Omega 3.
One potential problem with fish is heavy metal contamination. Tuna and salmon, which are at the top of the food chain, tend to accumulate high quantities of heavy metal, such as mercury. For healthy people, eating fish a few times a week won’t have too much negative effect, but if you are pregnant, you may want to pay special attention. Cold water wild salmon are less contaminated compared to the other fish and you may want to eat that while you are pregnant. If you decide to take fish oil supplements, you want to pay similar attention to which fish they got the oil from. The fish oil taken from the cold water wild salmons is more costly, but in the long run, it will help you better.
I also recommend having nuts with you all the time. It seems that oil in nuts does not contribute weight gain as much as animal fat. They satisfy your appetite for a fatty food. It is a great way to get healthy calories. Further, they are very high in vitamin, minerals, and other antioxidants. Among the nuts, walnut is known to be the most health beneficial. Although it is better to get shelled walnuts, it is not easy to eat; so get “halfed” walnuts in a small hermetic bag. Once the shell is opened, the nuts oxide quickly and lose their potency.
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