Bad Fat, Good Fat
Bad Fats: Saturated and Trans
Two fats are considered "bad": Trans fatty acids and saturated fat. Most trans fat is created when manufacturers turn liquid oils into more solid fats like shortening and margarine.
Saturated fat occurs naturally in nearly all fatty foods, but mostly in meats, dairy products and tropical oils such as palm oil and coconut oil. The evidence against both fats is so strong that it is foolish to play one against the other. No longer is it a matter of choosing which fat to avoid. People should cut down on both saturated and trans fats.
Technically, trans fats is worse than saturated fat, because saturated fat raises both LDL (bad) cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol, while trans fats only raise LDL cholesterol. If you must target one of the fats for modification, you have a greater potential for change by cutting saturated fat because only 2-percent of our calories come from trans fat, while 13 percent comes from saturated fat. The trouble with this is that saturated fat is in so many of our popular foods: Pizza, hamburgers, steak, and tacos, ice cream, lasagna and cheese to name some.
Good Fats - Omega-3's
Polyunsaturated fish oils have always had a stellar reputation but now, three new studies show the omega-3< fats in fish oil protected people from sudden death. (In "sudden cardiac death", which causes half of all heart disease deaths, the heartbeat goes awry and then stops. Most victims have clogged arteries). Healthy men who had more omega-3 fats in their blood were less likely to die of sudden death.
- Healthy women who reported eating fish at least five times a week had a 45-percent lower risk of dying of heart disease.
- Men who survived a heart attack and were randomly assigned to take fish oil supplements (1 gram or 1,000mg a day) were 53-percent less likely to die of sudden death than survivors who were given a placebo.
- Due to these results and earlier studies, experts can now say that fish oils prevent arrythmias and sudden death. At higher doses, omega-3 fats may also protect the heart by lowering triglyceride levels and preventing blood clots, though that would not explain why the stave off sudden deaths.
In any case, the message is clear that eating more seafood is of great benefit to heart health. The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings per week, preferably of fatty fish. (See list below). If you don't care for fish, there are other options. Among them: alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 that is largely found in flaxseed, canola and soy oils as well as flaxseeds, walnuts and soybeans. Other alternatives are as follows:
Fish Oil Pills
The best alternative to seafood is to get both DHA (docosahexaenoic acid - a key fish fat) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid, another key fish fat) from fish oil pills or from fish oil that has been added to other foods - but be careful. Fish oil pills can cause side effects like belching and nausea. Getting more than a combined three grams of EPA and DHA a day from foods and supplements may raise the risk of hemorrhagic stroke says the Food and Drug Administration. Most fish oil pills contain only 0.18 grams of EPA and 0.12 grams of DHA, so it would take more than ten capsules a day to exceed three grams.
Some companies now feed fish oil, algae, or flaxseed to their hens to raise the omega-3's in their eggs. But most brands of "omega-3 eggs" have very little DHA. Eggland's Best eggs, for example, have only 0.05 grams a piece, while Gold Circle Farms eggs have just 0.15 grams each. Neither has EPA, which may be essential to protect against sudden cardiac death. And the eggs still contain cholesterol and saturated fat, both of which can raise your risk of heart disease.
You can take DHA supplements that are made from algae, though they are costly. Each capsule has 0.1 grams Another problem: DHA supplements made from algae have no EPA. There is internal conversion between EPA and DHA, so eating one may mean you get both, but there is no evidence from studies on people that taking DHA is as good as taking both.
Alpha-linoleic acid (found in canola, soy and flaxseed oils) is an omega-3 fat that our bodies can convert into EPA and DHA. But it is difficult to measure how much gets converted. In some studies, people convert almost none. In others, they convert more (though not necessarily as much as they would get from eating fish). However, if you eat no fish or fish oil, getting alpha-linoleic acid by using an oil like canola is better than nothing. Your cardiovascular protection may go up, though not nearly as much as with fish oils or fish.
Phentermine will burn the fat you ingest, helping you eliminate that fat before it lands on your hips, thighs, belly, arms, etc. Working in concert to reduce your daily fat consumption, fat burners are also effective appetite suppressants, enabling you to reduce your meal portions and lose weight without feeling hungry all the time.
Fish sources (and amounts) of Omega-3's (6 ounces unless otherwise noted):
- Salmon, Atlantic, farmed - 3.7 grams
- Salmon, Atlantic, wild - 3.1 grams
- Sardines, in sardine oil (3-ounces) - 2.8 grams
- Salmon, coho, farmed - 2.2 grams
- Trout, rainbow farmed - 2.0 grams
- Salmon, coho, wild - 1.8 grams
- Herring, kippered (3 ounces) 1.8 grams
- Trout, rainbow, wild - 1.7 grams
- Swordfish - 1.4 grams
- Sardines, in tomato sauce (3 ounces) - 1.4 grams
- Herring, pickled - 1.2 grams
- Oysters (3 ounces) - 1.1 grams
- Mackerel, canned (3 ounces) - 1.0 grams
- Pollock - 0.9 grams
- Flounder or sole - 0.9 grams
- Whiting - 0.9 grams
- Rockfish - 0.8 grams
- Halibut - 0.8 grams
- Sardines, in vegetable oils (3 ounces) - 0.8 grams
- Tuna, white, canned (3 ounces) - 0.7 grams
- Scallops - 0.6 grams
- Perch, ocean - 0.6 grams
- Cod, Pacific - 0.5 grams
- Tuna, fresh - 0.5 grams
- Crab, blue (3 ounces) - 0.4 grams
- Haddock - 0.4 grams
- Catfish, wild - 0.4 grams
- Fish sticks (six) - 0.4 grams
- Cod, Atlantic - 0.3 grams
- Crab, Dungeness (3 ounces) - 0.3 grams
- Shrimp (3 ounces) - 0.3 grams
- Catfish, farmed - 0.3 grams
- Tuna, light, canned (3 ounces) - 0.2 grams
- Clams (3 ounces) - 0.2 grams
- Crayfish (3 ounces) - 0.2 grams
- Lobster (3 ounces) - 0.1 grams
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