( How adding fat can help you

                               shed pounds and be healthier!)

You Won’t Believe.

by: Susan Learner Barr, M.S., R.D.


Dietary fats are bad, bad, bad! Too many calories, ----too many pounds! And--–not too many healthy benefits, RIGHT? NOT SO FAST! READ ON!

NEW RESEARCH shows that adding fats to your diet may not be such a bad move after all. Some fats, it turns out, may improve your health. And, if you eat the right ones, you just might lose excess pounds.

Before you start conjuring up thoughts of daily bacon breakfasts and fast-food lunches, keep in mind that none of the health experts we spoke to encourage a fat free-for-all. Calories and portion size still matter. And certain fats with a tarnished reputation, such as the trans fats found in chips, crackers and commercial baked goods, are still on the avoid-if-you-can list. But trans fats aside, the focus on fats has taken a much more positive turn in the last few years. So why not upgrade your diet with some flavorful favorites, and maybe even drop some weight in

the process?

Mighty Monos

Monounsaturated fats, found in nuts as well as olive and canola oil, have long been touted for their heart-healthy benefits. But new research shows they may also help your body to burn fat more efficiently. A study conducted at the great University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that monounsaturated fats by Susan Learner Barr, M.S., R.D. are burned better and longer after morning exercise than saturated fats. “All fats are not the same, says study coauthor Dale Schoeller, Ph.D., a professor of nutritional sciences at the university . “If you exercise in the morning, make Imono-unsaturated fat your fat of choice for lunch and breakfast if you can, since exercise increases your ability to burn this type of fat.”

What to eat:

* Start your day off right with an olive oil-based spread such as. Olivio on your toast, or a slice of whole-grain bread slathered with high-mono almond butter and a little raspberry jam.

* Add chopped hazelnuts (filberts) to your cereal or yogurt or just munch a small handful for a mid-morning snack.

* Dress your salad with an olive oil-based salad dressing and a couple of slices of avocado, which are packed with monos and also contain beta-sitosterol, which helps lower cholesterol.

* Or make a simple vegetable stir-fry using olive oil.

Big News About Beef

Some types of fats that come from animal products have been found to be a boon to weight loss instead of a bust. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a polyunsaturated fat that is found in some beef, lamb and dairy products. Researchers believe that this fat, when derived from food rather than supplements, may have a positive effect on weight loss by increasing fat-burning while sparing, and building, lean muscle. “We think that CLA helps the body to utilize energy from fat tissues more readily than from muscles,” says Martha Belury, Ph.D., R.D., the Carol S. Ken-nedy Professor of Human Nutrition at Ohio State University in Columbus.

Researchers believe CLA may also help fight cancer and diabetes and enhance immune response. And adding moderate amounts of protein can increase satiety (the feeling of fullness) as well as maintain muscle during weight loss. In addition, beef also packs healthy monounsaturated fats as well as CLA, along with the essential minerals iron and zinc.

What to eat:

* Lamb chops and reduced-fat. Swiss and Colby cheeses are some of the richest sources of CLA.

* Ground beef, yogurt, mozzarella cheese, 2% milk and butter are also real good sources.

Much Ado About Dairy.

The supporting role for dairy products in weight loss continues to grow . In addition to the CLA content in some dairy products, it appears that diets plentiful in low-fat dairy produce the best results for controlling weight and body fat. Overall, higher dairy intake is associated with a significantly lower risk of obesity. What’s more, one study revealed that women losing weight on a high-calcium diet derived from dairy shed more fat from their mid-sections and improved their insulin sensitivity.

What’s going on with dairy? “Turns out dairy products are a lot more than calcium delivery vehicles,” says Michael Zemel, Ph.D., an obesity researcher at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville . “If a woman reduces her normal daily intake of calories by five hundred, she’ll probably lose about a pound a week . But if she also incorporates three daily servings of lowfat dairy products into her diet, she will lose fifty percent (50%) more weight and even more body fat.”

According to Dr. Zemel’s research, increasing dairy-based calcium is thought to help people lose weight by decreasing fat synthesis (the production of new fat cells) and increasing fat burning. “But it’s not just a calcium thing,” adds Dr. Zemel. “Dairy products contain a number of compounds that affect the fat stores in our bodies.”

What to eat:

Aim for three servings of calcium-rich lowfat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese, every day. Do double-duty by choosing CLA-containing, calcium-rich reduced-fat Swiss cheese. Don’t forget that adding calcium-rich dairy foods to your diet also strengthens bones and helps prevent osteoporosis, and may also protect against high blood pressure.

Research shows that regularly adding peanuts, walnuts and almonds to your diet can help with weight loss. An especially healthy choice is peanuts, which are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as well as muscle- building, appetite-quashing protein. Richard Mattes, Ph.D., a nutrition researcher at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, says the fat-protein combo that’s wrapped up in a peanut just might be the ticket for healthy weight loss. “Peanuts are a great package of healthy fats, fiber and protein,” says Dr. Mattes. “Nuts also have a high satiety value.”

And if all that’s not enough, a recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that women who include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat-rich nuts and peanut butter in their diets have lower rates of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.   We’ll nibble to that!

What to eat:

* Sprinkle chopped nuts on salads, yogurt and cereal.

* Snack on an ounce of nuts (that’s about 30 peanuts, 22 almonds or 14

walnut halves).

Something’s Fishy.

Since 2000, the American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended that all Americans eat at least two servings of fatty fish a week in order to get enough heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic and docosahexa-enoic acids (EPA and DHA). But the evidence for the heart-saving benefits of this type of fat is so strong that the AHA recently revised its guidelines.

Under the supervision of a physician, patients with existing heart disease are now advised to get I gram of EPA and DHA every day, either through fish, for instance, roughly 2 to 4 ounces of salmon , 1 ½ ounces of herring or about 3 ounces of rainbow trout or by taking fish-oil supplements.

“Omega-3 fatty acids affect heart health in positive ways,” says Penny Kris Etherton, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, who contributed to the new guide-lines. “They make the blood less likely to form clots that cause heart attack, and they protect against irregular heartbeats that cause sudden cardiac death.” According to the AHA, a third kind of omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, is also beneficial, but it’s less potent than EPA and DHA.

What to eat:

The best fish sources of EPA and DHA are salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel and some types of trout and tuna. However, women who are pregnant and those with weakened immune systems should limit their consumption of king mackerel and albacore tuna, because they may contain high levels of unhealthy methylmercury.

The richest sources of alphalinolenic acid are soybeans, walnuts and flaxseeds and oils made from those foods, as well as canola oil.

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Woman’s Day Magazine

April, 1, 2003, (pgs. 56-60)


New dietary guidelines from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Institute of Medicine have increased the allowable percentage of fat in our diets. After an in- depth review of hundreds of research studies, the NAS’s expert panel recommended that the maximum allowable percentage of calories from fat increase from 30 to 35.The panel’s rationale: A modest addition of nutritious fats may promote our health rather than jeopardize it. “The new guidelines recognize the health benefits of certain fats,” says Penn State’s Penny Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., a member of the NAS panel.

Furthermore, many researchers believe that adding a moderate amount of fat may be advantageous if you’re trying to lose weight. “Many weight-loss diets are too extreme and result in poor compliance,” says Purdue’s Richard Mattes, Ph.D. “Adding healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated ones, can lead to better long-term weight loss and maintenance because people are happier with the higher fat diet. Because it’s more palatable, they are better able to stick to it.”

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