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Prevent heart disease, preserve brain health, shed unwanted weight: Things to add to your daily diet

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MILWAUKEE -- Just like all calories are not created equal -- neither are all fats! Health coach Heather Ferber joins Real Milwaukee with five fats that are actually good for us.

For the past few decades, Americans have been told that if we eat a low-fat, non-fat diet we would lose weight and live our healthiest lives. But it turns out the science really wasn`t there to support recommendations for living this type of lifestyle.

Turns out our ancestors were right all along! Healthy fats can be good for us. Health Coach Heather Ferber is here today, during American Heart Health Month, to talk about five healthy fats for our bodies.

1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) has profound benefits on heart health, high levels of antioxidants improve memory and cognitive function and work as an anti-inflammatory. But it`s important to purchase quality olive oil!
Be aware of cheap brands (less than $10/liter), check the harvesting date, opt for dark bottles and avoid 'light,' 'pure,' or a 'blend' as this is not top extra virgin quality. EVOO is best for low to medium heat cooking, making salad dressings and drizzling over cooked foods or bread.

2. Coconut Oil - rich in medium-chain fatty acids that are easy for the body to digest, saturated fats that promote heart health and brain function and antioxidants which give coconut oil an anti-inflammatory effect. Like olive oil, look for extra virgin varieties, which preserve the natural state of the oil.
Coconut oil is easy to incorporate into your diet. Use it for cooking or baking, or throw a tablespoon of MCT oil in your coffee or tea.

3. Butter - real organic butter preferably from grass-fed cows is the winner. SKIP all butter like substances, margarine and vegetable oil spreads. Butter contains a blend of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids that our body needs for proper brain and skin function.

Because of its low burning point (around 250 degrees F), butter is not great for cooking at high temperatures. Enjoy adding it to baked goods or putting on your sprouted toast or roasted vegetables after cooking.

Ghee is an Indian version of 'clarified butter' that has grown in popularity over the past few years. It`s lactose and casein free so if you suffer from lactose intolerance it`s a great alternative to butter. Ghee can be used for higher heat cooking and remains fresh for several weeks at room temperature.

4. Avocados - one of the healthiest fruits you can eat! Rich in monounsaturated fats which raise good cholesterol while lowering the bad, packed with Vitamin E to prevent free radical damage, and loaded with protein.

Look for medium ripe avocados that feel firm. Also comes in oil form which can be used for higher heat cooking, frying or grilling or you can drizzle it on your salad, sandwiches or veggies.

Avocado oil is good for higher heat cooking, frying and grilling./]5. Omega 3`s - essential fatty acids required by our bodies because we don`t make them. There are actually 3 different types of omega 3`s - ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which the preferred sources being DHA and EPA.

Walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and salmon are the best sources of omega-3`s. Many people choose to supplement here because it`s difficult to consume the recommended daily amounts of omega 3`s. I like to do my best to eat them and then add in omega-3 fish oil like that made from wild-caught Pacific salmon.

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