(WellnessPursuits.com) – How much do you know about the fat and cholesterol in your diet? There’s so much misinformation out there, and even dietary guidelines never seem to stay the same for long. No wonder we all have such a hard time weeding through all the lies to figure out what’s healthy and what’s not.
We did a little research, though, and we found out some of the biggest “facts” we’re fed about fat and cholesterol are nothing but myths.
“Eating Fat Makes You Fat”
So many of us have been conditioned to believe that fat should be the bane of every food lover’s existence. But fat isn’t the enemy. In fact, consuming high amounts of healthy fats, like those found in olive oil, fish and nuts, could help you shrink your waistline.
“Low-Fat Diets Help People Lose Weight”
The late 1980s and early 1990s saw a massive wave of fat-free and low-fat foods. These foods were marketed as healthy alternatives and recommended for weight loss. While these products did remove fat, they also added loads of refined sugars and starches. Foods high in these easily digestible carbohydrates can affect blood sugar and insulin levels, contributing to health problems and weight gain. It’s time to ditch the fat-free bandwagon, if you haven’t already, and start counting quality over quantity in the fats you’re consuming.
“Coconut Oil Is a Healthy Choice”
According to Mayo Clinic, coconut oil has about 50% more saturated fat than butter. It raises good cholesterol — but also increases the bad kind. If you’re looking for a proven heart-healthy oil, try olive or canola oil.
People who defend coconut oil as “heart healthy” will note that it contains healthier, medium-chain triglycerides, which are typically burned rather than stored. Unfortunately, the ratio of these fats is so low in most cases that they’re of no benefit. Ounce for ounce, coconut oil isn’t any healthier for you than other saturated fats.
“Avoid High-Cholesterol Foods Like the Plague”
It makes sense: Avoid foods that contain a lot of cholesterol to reduce the overall cholesterol in your body. But in reality, your diet is just a tiny component in what affects your numbers. And saturated fat seems to be another biggie. Some high-cholesterol foods, such as eggs, are low in saturated fat but high in nutrients, which may actually make them good to include in most diets.
“Only Diet and Medications Can Reduce Bad Cholesterol Levels”
You can take steps beyond changing your diet or taking medications to improve your cholesterol levels. For example, regular exercise can reduce your levels. Quitting smoking can also help, as can drinking only in moderation. You have the best shot at keeping your cholesterol controlled if you combine multiple measures.
It’s important to take good care of your heart, and that begins with having accurate info on how to do it. Our population’s relationship with fat has had its ups and downs, but we can still learn to use it in healthy ways. Don’t fall for the lies about fat and cholesterol; be informed and keep your body as healthy as possible.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!
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