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8 High-Fat Foods You Should Eat More For Better Health

8 High-Fat Foods You Should Eat More For Better Health

If you are of a certain age, you probably remember the “fat scare” of the 1980’s and 1990’s, when America looked at its growing waistline and decided that the fat in its diet was to blame for its increasing problem with obesity.  Americans were warned about eating high-fat foods and instead were directed towards a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. The result? The national average weight actually grew and now, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH), two out of three Americans are overweight or obese.

Believe it or not, adding healthy fats to the diet can actually turn around disturbing trends like these.

Greek Yogurt

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    The recent craze for Greek yogurt is not just because it is so delicious. It is incredibly healthy, too! Although this thick, tangy yogurt is high in fat, it contains a special fatty acid called CLA which in many studies has shown to actually help those who are overweight reduce their waistlines and achieve their weight loss goals.  It has also been linked to a reduction in diabetes and heart disease.

    The great news is that Greek yogurt doesn’t just bring you healthy fats, it is also a rich source of probiotic bacteria for gut health and calcium to keep your bones healthy and strong and prevent osteoporosis.

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    Yogurt can be eaten in parfaits or added to smoothies for a delicious and nutritious treat.

    Fatty Fish

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      Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, or trout are another great choice if your aim is to get healthy fats into your diet. These fish are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids as well as other healthy acids like EPA and DHA. In many clinical studies, these have all shown to help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Reducing inflammation reduces your risk of serious diseases like diabetes and cancer.  It also provides you with high-quality protein that you need to build lean muscle mass.

      Fish can be eaten baked, pan-seared, or added to dishes like salmon loaf for a quick, easy, and delicious meal.

      Olive Oil

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        Many dieticians believe that the so-called “Mediterranean” diet is so healthy because of its emphasis on olive oil, among other healthy foods.  Studies have linked this kind of diet which emphasizes olive oil, fish, and fruits and vegetables to lower rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. In one study published in the journal Molecule, it was found that several compounds in olive oil such as the oleic acid have anti-aging properties as well.

        Olive oil can be used for making stir-fried vegetables, pasta sauce, or mixed with lemon juice for a healthy salad dressing.

        Avocados

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          Avocados were also once avoided by dieters because of the fact that they are high in calories and fats. However, the healthy monounsaturated fats that these fruits contain are actually of great benefit to your health.  In a 2014 study, researchers found that when avocados were fed to obese rats their LDL “bad” cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels (both major risk factors for heart disease) actually dropped significantly.

          Avocados can be made into classic dishes like guacamole, sliced fresh into salads, or added to smoothies.

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          Eggs

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            Many health organizations warned consumers against eating more than one to two eggs a week because of the fact that they are high in cholesterol. However, the link between cholesterol in the diet and cholesterol that builds up in the arteries is not as strong as people once thought, and the fact that eggs are so rich in omega-3 fatty acids makes them a health food. This is especially true if you can get organic eggs from pastured, vegetarian-fed hens. They are also a great source of high-quality proteins for those following a vegetarian diet. Eggs are incredibly versatile and can be made into omelets, quiche, and egg salads.

            Nuts

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              Tree nuts such as cashews, almonds, and walnuts are a wonderful source of healthy, unsaturated fats as well as plant-based proteins (making them a great choice for vegan and vegetarians), antioxidants like vitamin E, and dietary fiber to help maintain a healthy digestive system.

              One study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a diet rich in unsaturated fats like those in nuts can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease by 30%, diabetes by 50%, and the incidence of strokes by 50%.

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              Nuts can be made into nut butters or nut milks (like almond or cashew milk) or added to stir-fries and pasta dishes.

              Coconut Oil

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                People used to skip out on coconut oil especially if they were dieting since it had one of the highest concentrations of saturated fats that you can eat! Nearly 90% of this food is made up of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA’s), and a fatty acid called lauric acid.  In multiple studies, these MCFAs have been found to reduce inflammation throughout the body (which also reduces the risk of serious conditions like heart disease and cancer) and to provide important antimicrobial properties to reduce the risk of infection as well.  With a rich taste like coconut oil, what’s not to love?

                Coconut oil can be used for stir-fries and other frying needs to make dishes both more delicious and healthier.

                Dark Chocolate

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                  What woman isn’t excited about the fact that, far from being unhealthy, a moderate amount of dark chocolate in the diet can actually be good for you? It’s true! A study from Louisiana State University found that people who included dark chocolate in their diet at least five times a week (in other words, almost daily), were several points lower on the body mass index (BMI) than those who did not. Dark chocolate not only gives you healthy fats but anti-aging properties from antioxidants as well! Dark chocolate can be eaten as is or added to smoothies or oatmeal to increase the healthy benefits of these dishes.

                  All fats were not created equal! The healthy high-fat foods mentioned above can not only add flavor and goodness to your diet, but can also help lower your chances of many serious chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes and are a necessary part of a truly healthy and balanced diet.

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                  Brian Wu

                  Health Writer, Author

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                  Last Updated on August 20, 2019

                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                  How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                  Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                  Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

                  I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                  You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                  Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                  When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                  I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                  Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                  Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                  Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                  1. The Inner Critic

                  This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                  The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                  Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                  2. The Worrier

                  This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                  The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

                  3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                  This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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                  This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                  The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                  4. The Sleep Depriver

                  This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                  The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                  How can you control these squatters?

                  How to Master Your Mind

                  You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                  Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                  There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                  This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                  The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                  Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                  For the Inner Critic

                  When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                  You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                  For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

                  You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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                  “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                  If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                  • They rile up the Worrier.
                  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                  Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                  Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                  For the Worrier

                  Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                  Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                  You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                  • Muscles tense

                  Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                  If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                  Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                  “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                  Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                  If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                  Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

                  Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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                  For example:

                  If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                  “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                  Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                  “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                  Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                  For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                  Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                  The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                  • Muscles tension

                  I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                  Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                  Breathe in through your nose:

                  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                  • Focus on your belly rising.

                  Breathe out through your nose:

                  • Feel your lungs emptying.
                  • Focus on your belly falling.
                  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                  Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                  Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

                  One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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                  Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                  For the Sleep Depriver

                  (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                  I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                  Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                  When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                  From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                  For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                  If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                  You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                  • Shut down your thinking.
                  • Calm your feelings.
                  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                  The Bottom Line

                  Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                  You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                  Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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                  Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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