Everybody loves the satisfying taste of rich, fatty foods. The reason we crave cholesterol and fat is because they are needed by our bodies to maintain our health. When you eat real cholesterol and good fat, your body regulates insulin levels and triggers enzymes that convert food into energy. Eating good fats from plant and fish sources are essential to a strong heart and healthy aging.
Fat has more than twice as many calories as the same amount of protein or carbohydrate. But when it comes to fat, calories are not the only thing you should be concerned about. The type of fat matters even more. Most foods contain several different kinds of fats — including saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fats — and some kinds are better for your health than others are. Dark green unrefined “extra Virgin” olive oil has a delightful full-bodied flavor due to its natural antioxidants. The oil of olives not only are great tasting, they also help fight arterial plaque buildup. Olive oil has a long history in Europe as both food and medicine, and carbon dating of seeds found in western Europe have shown that the use of olive oil dates back 8,000 years.
A study published in 2006 demonstrated that a Mediterranean-type diet, rich in healthy fats like olive oil and fish fats, could be better for the heart than drastically cutting back on all fat. The unsaturated fats found in fish, olive oil, nuts, and other plant sources help to reduce inflammation and help to protect the heart and blood vessels. Fat also promotes good health by helping to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), building new cells and maintaining healthy skin and hair.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats found mostly in seafood. Good sources of omega-3s include fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Flaxseeds, flax oil and walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids, and small amounts are found in soybean and canola oils. You should try to eat 3-4 servings of fish or fish oil every week.
There is research that indicates that fish oil can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and strokes. The general recommendation is to eat fish twice a week. Limit fat in your diet, but don’t try to cut it out completely. All fats are high in calories. Focus on reducing foods high in bad fats such as saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, and select more foods made with unsaturated fats.
By simply replacing bad fats for good fats, you can help turn your cardiovascular health around and slow the aging that takes its toll on this part of your body. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the modern world. Being heart healthy is important to a long life and should be taken very seriously.
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About the Author: Randy Powell teaches the benefits of an
Alkaline food diet for good health. Visit his
website at: http://www.eating-veggies.com