Eating Healthy CAN Make You Fat

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Eating Healthy CAN Make You Fat

October 24
15:22 2017

America is the most obese nation on earth, except perhaps for some of the Polynesian islands. Consequently, many people are trying to go on diets, exercise and eat healthier.

As we get older, we’re told to watch what we eat and how much we eat. We have to worry about heart health, diabetes, strokes, cancers, kidney and liver disease and who knows what else.

Many of us either get diet instructions from our doctor, from family members, friends, books (there are lots of them in every bookstore) and from the internet. Diets are as plentiful as family and friends when you win a big lottery, and like all of these sudden family and friends, they are not all in your best interest.

Saying that, there are some foods that are among the most commonly recommended as being healthy and good for you, but some of them can also make you fat.

Olive Oil – many diets highly recommend you use extra virgin olive oil. What many people don’t know is that you need to keep the olive oil in a cool, DARK place. Sunlight breaks down some of the beneficial aspects of olive oil, which is why the better olive oils are usually sold in dark containers.

Olive oil is composed of about 24% saturated fats, along with omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. About 73% of olive oil is a monounsaturated fat known as oleic acid, which is considered to be extremely healthy, especially for the heart. It contains large amounts of antioxidants along with vitamins E and K. It is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that help fight chronic inflammation that is believed to help cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes Alzheimer’s arthritis and more. Olive oil is thought to help prevent strokes and heart disease.

It sounds great, but it also is listed at 120 calories per tablespoon and if not careful, too much olive oil can help pack on the pounds, so some say. My response to that is that some of the heart healthiest people in the world are found in regions of Italy and France where the average person consumes as much as ¾ of a cup (about 6 ounces) of olive oil every day and they are not fat. However, they lead very active lives and work hard, so they get plenty of physical exercise to help counter the calorie counter.

Avocados – lots of diets recommend avocados as they also contain heart-healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamin E, folate and potassium. They are known to help reduce inflammation and slow down digestion. When you cut open an avocado, most people look at it as a good fruit or vegetable, but shockingly, it is 85% fat. In other words, it’s good for you in smaller portions. When you add guacamole to your plate of food or recipes, remember small amounts because it’s mostly FAT.

Fruit – yes, we are all supposed to include more fruit in our daily diets for a number of health reasons. They contain all kinds of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and more. However, fruits contain natural sugars that add up the calories. For example, a large apple is a great source of fiber and us older folks need fiber, but it also lists at about 115 calories and contains about 23 grams of sugar, which is a lot.

Whole grains – yes, don’t eat white bread or foods made with regular flour as it is a BAD carb with lots of calories and bad for blood glucose levels. Consequently, many diets recommend whole grain foods instead. However, while the whole grains may be healthier in the long run, they also can add up the calories.

Hummus – a creamy dip that originated in the Middle East, made form chickpeas olive oil, tahini and a variety of other ingredients like garlic, lemon juice, etc. Hummus is high in fiber, protein and heart-healthy fats. Most types contain calcium, iron, folic acid and vitamin B6. Healthy yes. However, at 50 calories or more per tablespoon along with 2 grams of fat, it’s easy to eat more than a recommended serving. Besides, the chips or many of the items people use to dip into the hummus with also have calories and fat and can easily help build the spare tire around the tummy.

Nuts – so many diets list nuts that are good for you. If you are like me, I love nuts, raw, roasted, salted, covered in chocolate and in cookies, cakes, brownies and ice cream. Nuts contain a number of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and proteins. Yeah, they too can be fattening if not careful. An ounce of raw almonds is about 164 calories with 14 grams of fat. If you measure them out, an ounce doesn’t look like very many and it’s really easy to eat several ounces at a time.

Dark chocolate – sorry ladies, but you have to be careful with the dark chocolate. It’s true that researchers are finding a number of health benefits from dark chocolate, however, you have to consider how much sugar is added in order to make it palatable. Have you ever tasted unsweetened baking chocolate? If so, you’ll know why a certain amount of sugar or some other sweetener is necessary. Dark chocolate is defined as being at least 70% or more cocoa. It’s that other 20%-30% that can be really bad for you. Also, did you know that chocolate is mostly a soluble fat?

All of these items are supposed to be really healthy for you, but moderation is the key. Beyond moderation and the health factor is quickly traded for the flab factor.

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