Healthy fats and carbs

Last week, I spoke about fats and advised readers to go about choosing the best healthy fat sources for consumption. This week I will go a bit more in depth so please keep reading.

Here is some insight on healthy fat sources. For good measure, I also threw in the three different types of carbs to be aware of.

Fats are an essential part of nutrition and contribute greatly to good health. But just like with any food group, not all types are created equal.

Generally you’ll do well if you stick to mostly polyunsaturated fats (fish, flaxseeds and walnuts would fall under this category) and monounsaturated fats (think avocado, almonds, olive oil).

These types of foods should generally make up the bulk of your fat intake. Then there is saturated fat, but this is a hotly debated topic that I would prefer not to stir up. So, I will just politely let you know which foods contain them: do with it what you will.

Foods like butter, dairy products, fatty cuts of beef, bacon and pretty much all fast food contain saturated fat. All the tasty business really. I personally include saturated fat in my diet whenever I feel like it.

And last on the list we have trans fats. I didn’t even bother including these in the graphic because they suck. But like saturated fats (and any food) they are probably included in many persons’ diets and therefore consumed. You will find trans fats in most processed foods and anything that has been cooked in partially hydrogenated oils and shortenings: like French fries.

You will also find trans fats lurking in baked goods where hydrogenated vegetable oil has been substituted for butter, in many cereal, energy and granola bars and in some peanut butters to name a few.

Most things are okay in moderation for most people. But trans fats are bad even in moderation, so make sure you read labels when shopping. I hope this helps, but tell me: What are your favourite fat sources?

Carbohydrate types

I think we all can agree that carbs are on the list of the best things about being a living, breathing human. But unfortunately, not all carbs are created equal.

As shown above they are divided into three different types.

Generally you’ll do well if the majority of your diet is made up of fibrous and  complex carbs. This means lots of vegetables and also unrefined complex carbs – think brown rice, beans, oatmeal (not the instant kind) etc.

Simple carbs generally taste the best – things like lollipops, doughnuts, dairy products etc would fall under this category. Unfortunately, these foods are not fantastic for health and should be limited. The good news though is that they can easily be incorporated into any diet plan in moderation and will make your dieting process much less miserable.

Fruits would also be considered simple carbs, but fruits are ‘simple’ to digest and contain vitamins and minerals we need.

Anyway I thought this would help some of you out and I hope it does. Are you loading up on the right type of carbs?

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