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Fat Finding Fats

Updated on May 3, 2010

Nutrition Facts

There are good fats and healthy fats that are good for you.
There are good fats and healthy fats that are good for you.

Eating right and taking care of your body can lower cholesterol levels with monounsaturated fatty acids found in flaxseed oil in avocados.

 Getting  Fat.

Getting healthy fats in to your diet is fairly easy and, honestly, your probably already doing it. Do you saute vegetables in olive oil? CHECK. Boost the healthy fat content even higher by sprinkling some flax-seeds on top before serving. Do you use olive oil in your homemade vinaigrette? CHECK. That's great, but for variety's sake, try substituting canola oil or flaxseed oil and, while you're at it, top that salad with some roasted walnuts. Do you eat oatmeal for breakfast?(Yes, whole grains contain small amounts of healthy fats) CHECK. Now stirin some ground flaxseeds. Obviously, increasing your healthy fat intake is so easy that you should actually be concerned you don't overdo it. ''Eat too many calories from any source, including fats, and your body will have to use up or store those calories,'' So if you're taking in more calories than your body will store it as fat'' That goes for for healthy fats too, so be careful not to go overboard-don't go swapping apples for whole avocados. Try replacing fatty spreads with sliced mashed avocados instead.

Finding Fats

Unfortunately, companies are not required to include a breakdown of the healthy fats that are contained in each product, but they are required by the FDA to list the amounts of total fat, saturated fat and, most recently, trans fat. While this won't help you know precisely how much momounsaturated and polyunsaturated (if any) is in any given product, use this simple equation.

Add the saturated fat and trans fat grams. Subtract that number from the total fats. The resulting number is how much healthy fat is in the product you'er inspecting.

If you did not know the Institute of Medicine recommends getting 20 to 35 grams of fat. For monounsaturated fats, you want to consume somewhere around 10 percent of calories and polyunsaturated fats can be slightly under that, some-where between 7 and 10 percent. Trans fat should represent less than one percent of your total calories, Saturated fats should make up the remainder. 

Here is a great recipe for you to try.

Salad with flaxseed oil dressing


1 head of butter lettuce, torn into pieces

1 avocado,cut into large chunks

3 scallions, sliced

1/2 english cucumber, halved and sliced

1 mango,cut into large chunks

1 can (12.5oz) chicken breast, drained

2 tbsp roasted flaxseeds


2 large cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup flaxseed oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Put all salad ingredients in a bowl. Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk together pour over salad.


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