Ok, now that you're an expert on fatty acids and you know which ones are good and which ones are bad, let's talk about some practical, real-world suggestions for managing the fat in your diet.
S Reduce fats in general; Always eat a low fat diet.
S Don't cut your fat too low and avoid diets that call for zero fat or very low fat (10% or less).
S Include a minimum 15-20% of total calories from fat.
S Experiment with higher fat: (20 to 30% "good" fats) when your carbs are low to moderate (30-40% carbs or less). Never raise your fats when your carbs are high because this is a fat-storing combination.
^ Take 1 tbsp of flax or "Udo's Choice" oil blend for EFA's ("Udo's Choice" is available from the Flora company 1-800-446-2110 or at your local health food store.)
S Don't be afraid of fatty fish like salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, eel or herring. Eating salmon at least twice a week is highly recommended.
S Don't be afraid of nuts, seeds, avocados, olives or natural peanut butter provided you stay within your calorie limits.
S Avoid trans fats like the plague - recognize the trans fats by avoiding foods with "partially hydrogenated," or vegetable shortening on the labels. Also stay away from margarine and deep fried foods and high fat baked goods. Remember Dr. Erasmus's advice about what to do when you see "Hydrogenated" on the label.
S If anyone tells you a very high fat diet improves athletic performance, helps you get leaner or helps you gain more muscle, just ignore them - it's a gimmick!
S Avoid most supermarket oils. These are to fats what refined white flour is to carbohydrates (Empty, processed junk food calories). The exception is extra virgin olive oil, an unprocessed, monounsaturated fat.
S Salad dressings with Olive oil or canola oil are ok within your calorie limits.
S Avoid any type of fried food. Fried foods are on the BANNED list of foods you should never, ever eat!
S Use a non-stick spray instead of coating your pans with oil - you'll get less calories and less fat.
S Limit butter (Saturated fat) and consider eliminating it completely. Butter is less damaging than processed oils or trans fats, but since it doesn't provide EFA's, it's like "empty calories" and you're using up your allotment of daily calories with something that could be better.
S Avoid margarine completely (Trans fats)
S If you want butter flavor, use butter sprinkles or butter flavor spray. If you must use margarine or butter, use a "diet" or "light" tub variety (Example: Promise Ultra Fat-free, Fleischmann's squeezable, Weight Watcher's extra light spread, etc - these are essentially, "watered-down" margarines.
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WHAT IT IS A three-phase plan that has been likened to the low-carbohydrate Atkins program because during the first two weeks, South Beach eliminates most carbs, including bread, pasta, potatoes, fruit and most dairy products. In PHASE 2, healthy carbs, including most fruits, whole grains and dairy products are gradually reintroduced, but processed carbs such as bagels, cookies, cornflakes, regular pasta and rice cakes remain on the list of foods to avoid or eat rarely.