Good fats: To eat, or not to eat
Once a ‘bad word’ in popular culture, dietary fat is making a comeback in popularity as many people are realizing it holds an important place in a balanced and healthy diet. While not all fats are created equal, leading nutritionists agree that including GOOD fats in your diet are necessary for optimal health.
Not convinced? Or scared ‘eating fat will make you fat’? That myth couldn’t be farther from the truth, so here are a few ‘fat facts’ to get you on board!
FUN FAT FACTS:
-Fat is a basic building block of your body.
-Fat makes up 60-70% of your brain! Say what?.. Yep. The right amount of the right type of fat is essential for brain function. So, you could say eating fat is a smart choice:).
-Eating fat aids in the production of cell walls, myelin sheaths that coat the nerves and hormones.
-Fat is necessary in the breaking down of many important vitamins.
-Fat helps stabilize blood sugar.
-Consuming good fats help you feel satisfied and full longer and can help curb hunger and cravings.
Experts agree, and you should too! Healthy fat is an important part of your daily diet. But not all fats are created equal!
What are good fats?
The TYPE and QUALITY of the fat you consume plays a bigger role in your health than the AMOUNT of fat you consume. Some forms of fat are good, some are fine in moderation, and some are just plain ugly! Let’s break it down together.
Good Fats: Monounsaturated Fat, Polyunsaturated Fat and Omega 3 fatty acids
These are the BEST kinds of fats. Great sources for these fats are found in: nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, and seafood.
But remember- even though these are the BEST kinds of fats to eat, you still want to eat the correct amount. It is possible to have too much of a good thing. All fats are calorically dense, and if weight loss is the goal then you will want to stay under your overall calorie goal. Read on to see how much fat you need in your diet!
OK in moderation: Saturated Fat
Evidence against Saturated fat is not as strong as it once was, but research continues and the jury is still out on how beneficial it is in your diet. Poly and monounsaturated fats are clearly superior. While we can’t say saturated fat is ‘good for you’, it CAN have a place in a balanced and healthy diet. It is recommended that you limit saturated fat to 10% of your total fat intake. But when possible, replace saturated fat with the better options.
Just Plain Ugly: Trans Fat
Trans Fats is the unwelcome member of the fat family. These fats are the result of food manufacturers messing around to make these fats solid at room temperature to increase shelf life. The result is a fat that is damaging to your heart and increases the your LDL levels (aka Bad cholesterol). These should be limited as much as possible.
Trans Fat can hide like a sneaky little devil. Food manufacturers are allowed to claim an item as “0 trans fat!” if it has less than 0.5g per serving. That is very different from 0g per serving. To be sure, check the ingredients list for “Partially Hydrogenated Oil” and avoid it as much as you can.
How much fat do I need in my diet?
For the average adult, fat should take 20-35% of your daily caloric intake. For example, if your body needs 2000 calories a day, you would want to eat between 44-77 grams of fat/day. (If you have special health considerations or aren’t sure how to apply this info to you, reach out to us and we’d love to help you!) Remember that if you are trying to lose weight, the total number of calories are key, so be sure to balance your intake with your goals.
The Skinny On Good Fats:
Allow good fats to have their place in your regular diet. Healthy fats will help you become lean, healthy and full of energy!
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