Meet MUFA, the 'smart fats'
As more and more research is done in the field of nutrition, we keep hearing more new terms and acronyms that get to be overwhelming. The one I hear frequently nowadays is MUFA. It almost sounds like a four-letter word, but it’s a good thing.
It stands for mono-unsaturated fatty acids. These are good fats, the ones we need to have in our diets every day. They are categorized as “essential” fatty acids because our bodies don’t produce them on their own. We need to get them from outside food sources.
They play a role in getting rid of the bad fats in our bodies. The fat that builds up around our organs cannot be reduced by anything but MUFA. The fat under our skin, the fat that everyone can see, can be reduced by exercise and proper nutrition. MUFA also help in the reduction of this fat. It is like fighting fire with fire, only this is fighting fat with fat. MUFA are often called “smart fats.”
The next time you have a snack attack, grab a handful of almonds, unsalted if you can, or pistachios, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, hazelnuts or cashews. They are really good with a couple of dark chocolate kisses or dark chocolate mint squares. The dark chocolate is full of anti-oxidants. So are the nuts, and if you can find raw ones (available in many stores), you get added benefits of live enzymes.
When you have your sandwich – the one with turkey breast and fresh spinach, reduced fat cheese and light ranch dressing on whole grain bread, the one you make right in your truck – have a half dozen green olives with it. Olives are a great source of MUFA. That’s why extra virgin olive oil is so good for you.
Just remember, if a little is good, a whole bunch is not better. As the saying goes, everything in moderation, including that turkey sandwich. Two or three a week is about right. Try other things as well.
In my book “Nineteen Wheels,” I explain how different foods work together to maximize their nutrition potential. If you eat one thing over and over, your body will reject part of the nutrition it offers. It’s called an “uptake.” The body needs balance to remain healthy. This is fortunate, because it makes eating a lot more fun.
Of course, I don’t want to overlook the value of exercise. It is absolutely the best medicine. If you exercise and don’t eat properly, you will be in a losing battle. If you eat properly, but don’t exercise, you will likewise be in a losing battle.
Check out my Web site (safety-thruwellness.com) or call me at 406-855-3582. Order your book and wheel. This isn’t a diet or a quick fix. It is an education that will last you a lifetime. Take care and live well!
Jack Kelsh is a professional over-the-road driver and a certified sports nutritionist.