By James De Medeiros Men's Fitness
With the New Year well underway, many of us are struggling to develop healthy new dietary habits, while others are just hopeful of shedding the lingering excess holiday weight. However, healthy eating habits mean different things to different people. 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 your body needs fat. It’s just a matter of consuming the right kinds of fats. 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) ratings. The best places to find them are in a wide variety of oils and nuts, 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
Battling high blood pressure? Left untreated, high blood pressure or hypertension has proven to be more than worthy of its somber nickname, “the silent killer.” Common symptoms include headaches, fatigue, or even nosebleeds. Fortunately, it’s very easy to get a free blood pressure reading at most pharmacies and there are ways to treat it including prescription medications. As well, according to research, polyunsaturated fats, well known for their cholesterol-reducing capabilities, can also assist in reducing blood pressure. It’s available in supplement form, as well as in various oils including safflower, soy, and sunflower.
3/ Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
Want to reduce your risk of colon cancer while also significantly reducing your body fat? Aside from exercise, another option to consider is CLA. Researchers found that by consuming this fatty acid and frequenting the gym at least 4 ½ hours per week body fat –not weight– was significantly reduced. A Swedish study also discovered that CLA has a direct impact on the reduction of some forms of colon cancers. 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 mass –including intraabdominal body fat. Why? MCT increases fat burning. Just a few drops over your favorite meals will help. Other sources high in MCT oil include palm kernel oil and coconut oil. Considering his ample coconut consumption, Gilligan probably didn’t even need to be running from headhunters every week to maintain his twig-like physique.
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.