Research has shown that Omega-3 and Omega-6 are essential fatty acids that aid in many functions and processes of the body including cardiovascular, kidney function, digestive function, healing and repair, nerve system functions, fluid pressure in the eyes and joints. Essential fatty acids are also needed for good brain cell function, nervous system activity, cell wall function, and glandular function. You do not get these essentials from butter or animal fat oils. The fats from butter and animal fat are called saturated fats and actually work against the functions of the body by depositing fat cells, clogging your arteries and slowing down your metabolism. In the end they could result in overweight and obesity, heart, kidney, liver and circulation problems and that’s just the beginning.
Food developers came out with hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated margarine, butters and oils. These products were very high in trans fat. In the end these basically were unhealthy too, especially in the cholesterol area. It was found later that they raised the LDL (bad cholesterol) and lowered the HDL ( good cholesterol).
Now there are substitutions for all of these that are on the much healthier side. You don’t have to give up flavor to eat healthier. There are many choices on the market that will help you lower your saturated and trans fat intake. Making changes in the way you eat, cook and bake with these substitutions could be the difference in whether you end up with heart problems, high cholesterol , obesity and many other maladies.
1. Fried foods on the whole are not good for you, but if you are going to fry, replace your vegetable oil, corn oil, lard or butter with extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, or cooking spray.
2. Quit spreading that thick layer of butter or margarine on your bread items. Use instead low fat sour cream or low fat yogurt. There are also spreadable substitutes at your market, such as Olivio , Smart Balance, Move Over Butter, Brummel & Brown Spread. These are made from such products as lowfat yogurt and olive oil.
3. In your baking you can replace your butter or lard with sugarless applesauce, mashed bananas, low-fat yogurt or extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. These will make your cookies and cakes just as moist.
4. Replace your oily and creamy dressings. Even though there are those marketed as low-fat or light, read the label, you may find they are full of preservatives, and items with names that sound like they are from the chemical factory. Make your own dressing out of apple cider vinegar, or balsamic vinegar, olive oil and water. You can add such things as Italian spices, minced or powdered garlic, minced or powdered onion, maybe a touch of sea salt and pepper, or lemon juice. There are so many combinations available using good omega-3 and -6 oils and natural spices. Also, when eating salads, do not pour your dressing on top of the salad. Keep it in a separate bowl and just dip your salad in it. This way you are not consuming as much of the dressing as you would if you drown your salad with it.
5. If you want to flavor something, your stews, soups, or maybe just your vegetables, there are organic spices available at the store. Again read your labels. Or you can again use minced garlic or onion or the powders, and other available natural spices , such as oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper, sea salt, ground black pepper, or thyme.
Eating healthy and reducing the saturated and trans fat in your daily diet, will not only make you healthier, but you will start to feel more energetic and could start dropping some of those pounds.