For years, it was drilled into our heads: Fat makes you fat.
Fat History Lesson
Food manufacturers created processed low-fat versions of everything, and everyone ate it up, chowing down on “healthier” low-fat versions of cookies, cheese, microwavable lunches… name the food, and there was (and still is) a low-fat version.
Despite cutting the fat out, the nation’s waistlines ballooned. Fat had to be replaced with something so in came the excess sugar to ensure a similar flavor and texture. And, we all know the result: an obesity epidemic. Sugar is essentially a toxin that causes diseases like hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. Obviously, sugar – and low-fat processed foods – aren’t the best choice!
Find Healthy Fats
A better choice is real, unprocessed food that contain healthy fats, as fat is not bad for you! Our bodies need healthy fats – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and Omega 3 fatty acids – to function properly. Fats not only help keep us fuller, longer – which helps us cut back snacking in between meals – Omega 3s, for example, are anti-inflammatory and can help reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis as well can boost the immune system. Fat is also a source of energy and helps keep skin supple.
So, what foods contain healthy fats? Enjoy the following, and as with everything, in moderation: fish (wild sockeye salmon, tuna, sardines), avocados, nuts (almond, cashews, walnuts, etc.), olive and coconut oil, grass-fed meat, eggs, and dark chocolate, to name a few. I don’t know about you, but avocados are one of my favorites – so much so that I eat half of one every single day!
Stay Away From THESE Fats
Not all fats are created equal, however. Trans fat or partially hydrogenated oil (check your food labels) are both unhealthy types of fats and raise your bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower your good cholesterol (HDL). Avoid foods that contain these unhealthy fats, including most processed foods (baked goods, potato chips), fried foods, refrigerated dough, and margarine.
Fat is NOT bad for you! Avoid processed low-fat foods and instead enjoy, in moderation, real, unprocessed foods that contain healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and Omega 3 fatty acids.