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Friday, September 29, 2006

Weight-Loss Trick Experts Don't Tell You #2

by Cabria T. Groccia, R.D.

Adding Back Fat

It used to be that there was only one kind of fat: bad. Now research is showing that not all fats are created equal. While saturated fats (found mostly in red meats and butter) raise blood cholesterol levels and thus the risk of heart disease and perhaps colon cancer, there are some fats that you should eat more of. The two basic types of good fats:

Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, olives, canola oil, peanut oil, flaxseed oil, most nuts (including almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios and peanuts), peanut butter and avocados. Studies have shown that monounsaturates lower your total cholesterol as well as your low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, the "bad" cholesterol), while increasing heart-protective HDLs. The ongoing Harvard Nurses' Health Study found that women who ate five or more servings of monounsaturated oil per week decreased their risk of heart disease by 50 percent. The American Heart Association recommends that 15 percent of your daily calories come from monounsaturated fats for weight loss.

Omega-3 fats are plentiful in fatty fish — salmon, anchovies, sardines, rainbow trout, bluefish, caviar, white albacore tuna ‑- as well as in green leafy vegetables, walnuts, walnut oil, canola oil, flaxseed, flaxseed oil and tofu. If you're not crazy about fish, experts say fish oil capsules are an option. The most recent research raves about omega-3 fatty acids in the prevention of heart disease and stroke. In many cultures with high cold-water fish intakes, like that of the Eskimos, heart disease and stroke are almost nonexistent.

Omega-3 fatty acids may even ease the symptoms of a range of conditions, from manic depression to PMS. Although there is no recommended daily allowance for omega-3s, studies have shown that eating cold-water fish two to three times a week increases HDLs and decreases overall cholesterol levels.

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