For decades we were told that fat makes you…. Well fat.
What you may not know is that the “research” that led to that claim was paid for by... wait for
it… the sugar industry!*
Which is in large part why so many American’s are addicted to sugar these days.
All those low-fat diet foods, full of sugar. You gotta replace the flavor and texture that fat gives to foods with something and sugar it was.
Yet this myth continues. Many still assume that fat makes you fat, or that fat is “unhealthy”, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact if you didn’t consume any fat in your diet you would die.
So fat is CRUCIAL to a healthy body. However, there is an important distinction that must be made in order to understand what types of fat are good for you, and what fats aren’t…
First, what is fat?
Simply put, fat is one of three essential macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat!
Furthermore, what is dietary fat? Found in most foods (like meat, poultry, dairy, and even some fruits & vegetables), fat is used for energy in the body. It is also key to helping our bodies absorb critical vitamins such as A, D, E & K.
There are several different types of fat:
• Trans (processed);
Now that we understand what fat is and what types of fats are out there, let’s look at which ones are either good (healthy), or bad (unhealthy).
So, what can be classified as good fat?
While there is no conclusive answer, saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats are generally all acceptable options if they derive from whole, natural food sources and oils.
1. Saturated fats: butter (ghee, grass-fed), cheese, coconut oil, etc;
2. Monounsaturated fats: avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds;
3. Polyunsaturated fats: meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs.
OK, so what are examples of bad fats?
No matter what diet you follow, you want to avoid processed foods and trans fats at all costs.
These are the unhealthy fats that are largely correlated with diseases, cancers, poor health markers, obesity, etc.
They also tend to be used in most of those “not so good for us” foods we Americans tend to live on aka junk food like cookies, chips, fast food, and low-grade oil like canola or sunflower oil because they’re cheap and readily available.
The goal should be to incorporate the good fats into your diet & eliminate as many of the bad fats as you can. Not eliminate ALL fat which is what we were told for the past 50 or so years.
If you’re looking to kickstart your diet on a healthier path, use this knowledge to start choosing healthier alternatives.
Fat isn’t universally bad, it’s about making smarter choices and becoming more informed!
Be sure to stay away from processed foods, and stick to the healthy fats listed throughout this article.
Below are some great options to begin incorporating into your diet that contain healthy fats and other nutrients as well:
• Healthy oils such as coconut, olive, avocado;
• Fatty grass-fed meat;
• Nuts & seeds;
• Some fruit;
• Dark, leafy green vegetables.