It's one of Mother Nature's crueler jokes: fatty foods taste fantastic.
General wisdom dictates that anything fatless is healthy, but we are painfully aware that the fatlessness also impacts deliciousness in most cases. But it's also common knowledge that we should stay away from fats so we can ward off all of its ill-consequences, including heart disease. Right?
Common as the thought may be, the answer to the question would be "not quite". There is a growing body of evidence that says not all fats are bad for the heart.
There is little doubt that the animal fat, such as ghee, when consumed, can lead to a build-up of deposits in our heart vessels that increase the risk of other cardiovascular problems. They also increase Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or 'bad' cholesterol, which puts you at a higher risk of developing a heart condition.
However, fats found in plants, nuts, and fish contribute High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), which is the healthy or 'good' cholesterol and can go a long way in lowering the risk of heart problems.
So, don't dismiss all fats as bad for your heart. Making smart choices can not only help you to avoid the ill-effects of fat consumption but also keep your heart healthy. Here are a few fat facts and tips, which can easily be incorporated into your diet for a healthy heart:
Nutty is Healthy
Nuts are not just good sources of energy but are also an easy option to eat your way to a healthy heart. Regular consumption of a handful of nuts (serving of around 1.5 ounces or 42 grams), especially almonds, walnuts, pistachios and peanuts, help reduce total blood cholesterol. An increase in blood cholesterol blocks the arteries, slows down blood flow to the heart and makes you more susceptible to cardiac episode or condition. So, go on, have them as a mid-day snack or as an add on to your salad or a bowl of cornflakes. Make sure that you opt for the unsalted or dry roasted nuts, though; you don't want to undo all the good it does with the processed version of the nuts.
Say Yes to Reduced-Fat Dairy
Fat in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt is saturated, known to increase 'bad' cholesterol and putting you at a higher risk for a heart disease. Adopting reduced-fat dairy products is an easy way to reduce consumption of saturated fat in the diet.
You can also add other healthy alternatives to dairy, like soy milk and nut milk, in your diet to bring down intake of saturated fat.