Do you fear fat?
You have probably heard
“eating fat makes you fat”
“fatty foods are bad for your heart”
“If you want to lose weight, you have to follow a low fat diet”
…It’s time to de-bunk these myths.
I am often working with clients on changing the negative perception of fatty foods. For most people, dietary fat is essential to include throughout the day.
What fat does for us:
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Longer lasting source of energy than a fat-free meal
- Absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K)
- Important for making healthy levels of hormones
- Meals are more satisfying and allow you to stay full longer
- Supports healthy mood
- Supports brain, nerve, and cell function
What kinds of fat?
Nuts, seeds, avocado oil, olive oil, avocado, olives, full-fat dairy, a variety of fat-containing meats (think dark meat chicken or turkey, beef, pork, lamb, bison, etc.), salmon, eggs…the list goes on. Now I am not recommending you eat a stick of butter with bacon each morning. It’s all about balance and finding which foods suit your lifestyle and palate.
Wait a second…aren’t there “bad fats” and “good fats”?
You will often see foods put into these categories. Historically, the bad fats have been “saturated” and “trans” fats. A new article came out reviewing research about the correlation between saturated fat intake and heart disease, with no conclusive evidence found. (See link below). So saturated fat is not necessarily “bad”.
But yes, some fats are bad for you; let me explain.
Definitely bad fats:
- Trans fats (look for the ingredient “partially hydrogenated oil” or “full hydrogenated oil” on the ingredient list, which indicates trans fat is present). You will find trans fats in some packaged snack foods, bakery items, and deep fried foods.
- Rancid oil – what’s that? Oil that doesn’t smell good anymore is an indicator that it is rancid. Rancid oils are also found in nuts and nut butter that have not been kept fresh.
- Smell your oils and nut butters before you eat them
- Keep your cooking oils in dark glass bottles away from heat to keep fresh
- Store nuts, seeds, and nut butter in the refrigerator
- Deep fried foods: chips, doughnuts, chicken nuggets, french fries, etc.
- Limit consumption of these foods
- Look for baked crackers and chips as an alternative to fried chips
- If deep-frying at home, use a high-heat fat source such as avocado oil or lard, as these fats are much more stable at high heats (compared to vegetable oils, corn oil, olive oil, etc.)
- When buying chips, look for those cooked in avocado oil. Some brands are Siete, Boulder Canyon, and Good Health.
Hard time digesting fat? You might need a bile supplement or some digestive enzymes.
It is hard to sift through this information and figure out how to apply it to your own life. Help is within reach! Contact us to set up an appointment for nutrition counseling.