Is Healthy Fat a Thing? Avococo Lime Smoothie

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Remember how I told you that you need good fats in your diet?  Let’s talk about that.

Before you pull a Dikembe Mutombo and say, “Fat is a three letter word – not in my house! Get rid of all of the fat!  Only skinny milk  here!”, there’s something you should know.

The word FAT doesn’t have to be scary.  See, there are good fats and bad fats.  Good fats deliver key nutrients to your body.  Bad fats clog arteries and keep elastic waistbands on shelves.

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What are bad fats?  Bad fats are fried foods, cheese, donuts, butter, cookies, and thick meats. Most processed (boxed, powdered, etc) foods contain bad fats.  They contain saturated and artificial trans fatty acids. Both can raise bad cholesterol levels, cause certain cancers and increase the risk for heart disease.

What are good fats? Fats are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet: They are monosaturated fats that provide essential fatty acids, keep our skin soft, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and are a great source of energizing fuel.  Vitamins such as A, D, E, and K are called fat-soluble because they need to bind to fat to be absorbed,. If those vitamins can’t find fat, they can’t be absorbed properly.

Foods containing good fats are also part of the best diet for weight loss. Part of losing weight is being satisfied so you aren’t noshing all day on other foods.  Foods with healthy fats, like avocado and nuts, take longer to digest and therefore help keep you fuller longer.

What to take away from this – just because a bag of cookies is labeled low fat doesn’t mean it’s good for you.  And fat-free dressings or milk won’t ensure you’ll finally drop that last 10 lbs. We need to put good fats into our body and leave the bad fats out.  Read labels – if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, the box should stay at the store.

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So. What foods contain good fats?

Avocados: contain monounsaturated fats, which is said to help enhance memory and prevent heart disease. Be careful though – one cup of avocado contains almost one third of your fat intake for a day, about 23 grams. So it’s probably best to stick with eating just a half an avocado each day.

Nuts & nut butters: About 80% of the calories in almonds come from monosaturated fat.  Walnuts are great because they are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Both are a great source of protein and fiber.

Olive oil: This plant oil is one of the few widely used cooking oils that contains about 75% of its fat in the form of oleic acid (a monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid). Studies show consuming EVOO in moderation lowers blood pressure and helps protect the cells that line our blood vessels.

Sunflower, sesame, pumpkin seeds and flaxseed: contain polyunsaturated fat, which is vital for growth, healthy skin and hair, and help to control blood pressure and your immune response.They provide one of the best natural sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant, and are rich in protein, dietary fiber, and folic acid.

You can find a more complete list of healthy fat foods here.

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Since I’ve already shared with you what to eat after a workout for muscle recovery, it’s no surprise that I had a smoothie yesterday morning after my run.  What might be a surprise was that it had avocado in it.  Yes, an avocado smoothie.  You knew it was coming – don’t act all aghast.

avocado-sweater

{I will be your best friend if you make me this sweater.}

I love avocados – they are a great source of good fats, which you already know since you were TOTALLY paying attention earlier.  Plus they taste delicious, are green, and can be diced on a salad or slathered on bread.  Have you seen this Subway avocado commercial and does anyone know where I can get an avoCARdo?  I’m serious.

Just like the green in a spinach smoothie, you can’t taste the avocado.  It simply adds a smooth creamy texture to the drink, while packing it with great benefits like fat, beta carotene and amino acids.

Check out this super refreshing avocado protein shake featuring the new Designer Whey Sustained Energy Protein Powder (review to come) – perfect after a hot summer workout!

avocado-smoothie-recipe

Avococo Lime Smoothie

3/4 cup almond milk (I use unsweetened vanilla)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/2 frozen banana

1/2 avocado

1 TBSP coconut oil

The juice of 1 lime (2 TBSP)

6 – 8 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to your Magic Bullet (or boring ol’ blender) and blend until smooth.

 

How do you like to eat your avocado?

What questions do you have about good fat vs bad fat?

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