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Key Points:

1. A low-fat diet does not = healthy eating. However, the type of fat you eat has a major effect on your overall health.

2. Saturated animal fats and trans fats increase your risk of disease. Unhealthy saturated fats typically come from animal sources, butter, cheese, and ice cream. To decrease your intake of unhealthy fat, reduce or eliminate saturated animal fats, trans fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and processed foods.

3. Add healthy fats to your diet, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconuts.

Key #5: Eat Healthy Fats

There is probably no other area that generates as much confusion about healthy eating. I’ll help you clear the misinformation and give you a solid science-based plan for how to add healthy fats to your diet and why.

Overall, it is time to end the low-fat = healthy eating myth. That concept has not served us well. Food manufacturers simply removed fats and replaced them with sugars and refined grains, and the negative impact on our health has been frightening. According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the percentage of fats in your diet, whether high or low, does not determine your risk of disease.

What matters is the type of fat that you have in your diet. I want you to increase the amount of healthy fats and decrease - or, even better, eliminate - unhealthy fats that you eat. Unhealthy fats include saturated animal fats and trans fats. These increase your risk of disease. Unhealthy saturated fats typically come from animal sources and include red meat (which you can eat on occasion for protein and iron – but make sure it’s grass-fed and organic), butter, cheese, and ice cream. You can spot these because they are typically solid at room temperature. Simply, avoid saturated animal fats, trans fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and processed foods.

There are healthy fats you can add to your diet, such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconuts.

Today's POWER-UP: Improve the balance between healthy and unhealthy fats

1. Use extra-virgin olive, walnut, coconut, and sustainably sourced palm oil. And when you cook with oil, never heat it past the smoking point, as the beneficial properties of the oil are ruined.

2. Have a handful of raw nuts and seeds every day – focus on almonds, pecans, walnuts, flax, and chia.

3. Eat small fatty fish (such as sardines and salmon) often and larger fish (such as tuna and swordfish) infrequently, as they contain higher levels of toxic heavy metals.

4. Buy flax oil in dark bottles and keep it in the fridge (air, light, and heat cause it to break down). Use it in salads or other cold dishes or add it to cooked foods. You could also buy ground flax and add it to shakes, cereal, cooked grains, and stews.

5. Eat grass-fed animals (grass is rich in Omega-3's) rather than grain-fed animals.

6. Use cheese as a spice, not a food. A small amount of old, flavourful cheese can be a nice addition to a salad or stir fry. But cheese is not a healthy food, so limit your intake or avoid it completely.

7. Serve healthy fats at the table. Use olive oil as a drizzle instead of butter, or guacamole instead of sour cream.

The takeaway here is not that you should be afraid of fats or of adding healthy fats to your diet, but that you should avoid unhealthy fats that can damage your health and metabolism.

Dive Deeper: What oils should I use for cooking?

When you are cooking, pay attention to the oils you are using. Choose cold-pressed, extra-virgin oils more often as they are less heat processed and will have better nutrient content. Most vegetable oils are very high in omega-6 fatty acids which, although important, can swing you too far into a pro-inflammatory state. Choose olive, coconut or avocado oil more, and sunflower, corn and soybean oil less often. It is also important to consider what you are doing with the oil. Fats that are very high in Poly unsaturated fatty acids are easily degraded with heat and are better off in salads, not for frying. So use olive oils for salads, and coconut / avocado oils for frying and cooking.

 

The information and advice provided in this program is intended to assist Sky Regional employees with improving their general health. It is not intended and should not be used in place of advice from your own physician or for treatment or diagnosis of any specific health issue. Sky Regional is not responsible for the content of this program which has been specially developed and is being provided to you by the Wells Group Inc., in consultation with Sky Regional. By participating in this program you acknowledge that undertaking any new health, diet and/or exercise regime involves certain inherent risks, that you assume such risks, and that you release Sky Regional and the Wells Group Inc. from any responsibility or claim relating to such participation.