Despite recent headlines like “Butter is Back” and “Eat Butter” and “Don’t Blame Fat,” dietary guidelines still tell us to limit our saturated fat intake to less than 10% of our calories and even 7% to further reduce the risk of heart disease. Total fat intake recommendations remain between 20-35% of the total diet.
I met Ginger Hultin MS, RD, LDN, is a Chicago-based freelance writer and dietitian, whle on a recent TV show to discuss diet, fat and health and was impressed by what she had to say.
The very low fat diet by Dr. Dean Ornish at about 10% total fat continues to be awarded “Best Heart Healthy Diet” each year and success stories like John Frank’s inspire people to eat healthy and stick to a diet relatively low in fat for optimal health.
All diets consist of three major food types, or macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat. Even a very low-fat diet will have some percentage of fat included, so which are the best choices?
Recommendations show that unsaturated fats are healthful; you may hear the words omega-3, polyunsaturated, or monounsaturated. These are all types of healthy fat in the diet found in plant-based foods. If you’re going to eat fat-containing foods, opt for types including fatty fish (salmon, herring), nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, hemp and chia), healthy oils (flax, olive oil), and fatty fruits (avocado, olives). Choosing more highly processed, low-fat foods has been debunked (think low fat cookies!), so be sure to choose whole, unprocessed foods that have healthy fats in them naturally like the ones I listed above. Continue reading