Have you heard the phrase, ‘Skinny Fat?’ Well, I don’t like this term for people who are naturally thin and out of shape, but I will use this phrase for some of my favorite foods. You see, some foods will help you to stay lean, while they also contain a higher amount of fat. This fat is GOOD FAT, not bad fat. I want to explain the difference before I list specific examples.
From WebMD: “Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Both mono- and polyunsaturated fats, when eaten in moderation and used to replace saturated or trans fats, can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Saturated fats are found in animal products (meat, poultry skin, high-fat dairy, and eggs) and in vegetable fats that are liquid at room temperature, such as coconut and palm oils. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting saturated fats to 10% or less of your total calories, while the American Heart Association recommends keeping them to just 7% of total calories.”
Now that you know the difference between healthy and more unhealthy fats, I’ll list some of my favorite ‘skinny fat’ foods! I love to add these foods to my diet because they not only help me to stay lean, but naturally reduce stress and make my skin and hair look healthier!
1. Avocado. I can’t say enough about this fruit (Yes, it is a fruit) that used to scare me! Avocados will NEVER add a pound to your frame, but they will add a ton of nutrition. Open up and eat a half of an avocado with a basic turkey sandwich and save the puree for some easy and healthy guac! Want to know more? Check out a blog I wrote exclusively about this food!
2. Fish– I love to eat seafood, not only because it helps me keep up my ‘always depleted’ iron stores, but because they are tasty! From WebMD: ‘Omega-3s are found in fatty fish (salmon, trout, catfish, mackerel). And it’s fish that contains the most effective, “long-chain” type of omega-3s. The American Heart Association recommends eating 2 servings of fatty fish each week.’ So, eat some fish! One of my favorite lunches is tuna with a little bit of ‘Mayo with Olive Oil’ and some Triscuits!
3. Yogurt-Lowfat yogurt is not only delicious, but healthy for your body. I do recommend that you stick to a smaller portion, however. Just about a half a cup is all you need for maximum health benefits (including probiotics, which help your gut!). Here’s a great article from WebMD about all the benefits of yogurt.
4. Olive Oil or Canola Oil-Again, the key is to not over-do the portion, but to add in a bit of oil with your cooking. I love to eat Olive Oil as a base for a pasta flavor! For example, PESTO! Add a little bit of olive oil pesto to pasta or on top of salmon for a delicious meal!
Why are these oils healthy? Here’s the answer, from WebMD: ‘The other “good guy” unsaturated fats are monounsaturated fats, thought to reduce the risk of heart disease. Mediterranean countries consume lots of these — primarily in the form of olive oil — and this dietary component is credited with the low levels of heart disease in those countries.’
Hint: If Olive Oil adds too much flavor, turn to Canola Oil as a great alternative. Canola Oil is actually full of good fats as well.
5.Seeds and Nuts– Make a healthy trail mix today! Throw seeds, nuts and dried fruit (or even some dark chocolate) and mix it up for a wonderful post-workout treat! I love to eat a handful of trail mix during hikes or long car trips! Here’s why they are so good for you: ‘Monounsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature but solidify if refrigerated. These heart-healthy fats are typically a good source of the antioxidant vitamin E, a nutrient often lacking in American diets. They can be found in olives; avocados; hazelnuts; almonds; Brazil nuts; cashews; sesame seeds; pumpkin seeds; and olive, canola, and peanut oils.’ (WebMD)
You see? You can eat fat without fear!