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All Fats Are Definitely Not Equal

Feb 3, 2008
Earlier this year, there were news reports that a major study found that a low-fat diet doesn't prevent breast or colon cancer or heart disease in women. That was scary!

The study--the Women's Health Initiative, the largest health assessment ever of postmenopausal women--treated all fats as though they were the same. So, for the purposes of research, adding avocado slices to a salad or snacking on a handful of almonds was considered roughly the equivalent of eating a fatty roast beef sandwich, as mentioned in Prevention Magazine. Yeah right! All fats are NOT equal.

"Not all fats are created equal," says Roberta Anding, RD, a clinical dietitian at Baylor College of Medicine. "Maybe a low-fat diet isn't the way we need to eat, but a right-fat diet is." This is the best way I have heard this issue explained. The secret is: THE RIGHT FATS!
Saturated fat is linked to increased risk of both heart disease and cancer. The "right" fats mainly come from plants and fish: the monounsaturated fats in almonds and avocados, the polyunsaturated fats in soy and seeds, the omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts (and fish), and Dr Barry Sears Omega 3 supplements. It's been well established that omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat found primarily in seafood, can improve your chances of living longer if you have heart disease. But its healing powers don't stop there. Other organs may benefit. They have a positive impact from the womb to old age.

Omega-3 is so important to human health, the National Academy of Sciences Food and Nutrition Board recently set a minimum daily requirement for the first time.

Include fats in your foods. Make sure you keep your fat calories to no more than 30% of total calories, or roughly 57 g of fat a day for women.

According to prevention...one large container of fast-food fries supplies about 28 g of fat; add a steak (23 g in 6 ounces) and that piece of cheesecake (18 g per slice), and you've blown it.

Go ahead and add the "good" fats to your diet. As a matter of fact, make sure you do add them to your diet. For your goodness sake.

They contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Monos help lower total and "bad" LDL cholesterol.
"Avocados are packed with other heart-protective compounds, such as soluble fiber, vitamin E, folate, and potassium," says Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of 10 Habits That Mess Up a Woman's Diet.

Avocados were once a luxury food reserved for the tables of royalty, but now California avocados are enjoyed around the world by people from all walks of life.

Olives & Olive Oil
Olive oil is a healthy choice over other fats such as butter, palm and coconut oils because olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that does not increase levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.

Dr. Sears' Extra Virgin Olive Oil is an exquisite tasting imported oil from select regions of Umbria and Sicily, Italy. The environmental conditions, weather, exposure to the sun and nature of the soil in these regions contribute to the high quality of these local, organically grown olives.

But there's more to this olive oil than an exquisite flavor alone. Olive oil has antioxidant properties.
Five large olives: 2.4 g fat (1.7 g monounsaturated, 0.2 g polyunsaturated, 0.3 g saturated), 25 calories. 1 tablespoon oil: 13.5 g fat (9.9 g monounsaturated, 1.4 g polyunsaturated, 1.9 g saturated), 120 calories

Ahh the joys of soy. For me, a diabetic, soy is another way of getting healthy protein. Soy is a great substitute for meat in your diet, and it can help lower your cholesterol.

Weight Watchers points for DrSoy Nutrition Products

Protein Bars (1.76 oz bar)
Chocolate Brownie 4
Chocolate Peanut 4
Lemon Cake 4
Iced Oatmeal Cookie 4
Layered Energy Bars (1.67 oz)
Chocolate Carmel Crunch 4
Rocky Road 4
Soy Nuts (1 oz. serving)
Original 3
Ranch 3
Barbecue 3
Chocolate Covered 3
Trail Mix (1 oz. serving)
California Blend 2
Tropical Blend 2

More Benefits of Soy
My husband has MS, and I have Diabetes. Researching health issues has become a "hobby" of mine. I am always interested in health issues. I am especially interested in soy because I am constantly looking for protein to balance my diabetic meals. I am not a meat eater, although I am not a vegetarian either. I believe that knowledge is my best defense.

Soy milk (also called soymilk, soya milk, soybean milk, soy bean milk, or soy drink) is a beverage produced from soybeans.
Although its English name uses the word "milk", due to its common use as a milk substitute in Western societies, it is actually a juice extracted from soybeans after soaking, grinding, cooking and straining. It is generally opaque, white or off-white in color, and approximately the same consistency as cow's milk.

Walnuts have the highest level of omega-3 fats of any nut. In fact, walnuts are one of the few plant sources of this healthy fat that may protect against inflammation, heart disease, asthma, and arthritis and improve cognitive function. "Just one small handful [14 walnut halves] supplies 2.6 g of omega-3 fats, which surpasses the minimal daily amount recommended by the Institute of Medicine for optimal health."

Flaxseed is well known for its omega-3s, but it's also an outstanding source of lignans, a type of fiber that acts like a weak form of estrogen in our bodies and may help fight some types of breast cancer.

My father, in Germany, was already prescribed ground natural flax seed for his diabetes. That was already many years ago. He would faithfully have his flax seed every morning with his breakfast.

Flax seed has been found to have an amazing long list of benefits. Do some research yourself, and see the many different benefits of this seed.

From Almonds are in, a site where you can get all the information you want about this miracle food. In a clinical trial, researchers found that women and men who ate about one ounce (about a handful or 23 kernels) of almonds each day lowered their LDL cholesterol by 4.4 percent from baseline. The study showed an even greater decrease of 9.4 percent in LDL cholesterol in those who ate about two handfuls of almonds a day, indicating that almonds' effect increases with increased consumption. The study also found that all of the people in the study, both those who ate one-ounce servings and those who ate more, maintained their weight

Just remember that if you use these nuts/seeds as oil...oil has no fiber. Try eating them in their natural state.

Medical Disclaimer: This article is designed for educational purposes only and should not be used in any other manner. This information is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice.
About the Author
Ruth is a wife, a stepmom, a dog owner and a business woman. She has been married to her husband Chris for almost 30 years. Her passions are health for people and pets. Visit her
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