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Lose Weight by Adding the Right Fat

Lose Weight by Adding the Right Fat

Former San Diego Charger’s lineman Nick Hardwick retired from the National Football League and from his daily 5,000-plus calorie diet that included saturated-fatty foods like a post-dinner 32-ounce tub of whole yogurt followed by a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! He traded that in for “a giant salad topped with a lean meat, two tablespoons of almond butter, mustard, oil, balsamic vinaigrette and hot sauce,” and lost 85 pounds in five months. Now he has a fighting chance to play out his days in a healthy retirement.

Hardwick’s dietary game plan (cut sat fat, boost healthy fats) echoes what researchers from the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition and Science Policy have laid out in their new expose of dietary fat follies: Looking at data from 3.8 billion people around the world they discovered not eating enough vegetable oil (olive, grapeseed, safflower, peanut, canola, walnut, almond) contributes to more cardiovascular-related deaths than eating saturated fats!

The researchers say that getting 12 percent of your calories (appropriate for your age, health, and activity level) from polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) is optimal for preventing heart disease; less than 10 percent from sat fat is also okay. In a 2000-calories-a-day diet, 220 calories should come from PUFAs—and MUFAs (monounsaturated fats) too! That’s around a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 10 to 14 walnut halves. So get on the heart-healthy team by passing on sat fats and running down healthy fats instead. You’ll score big time, every time.

Medically reviewed in August 2018.

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