Fats have gotten a lot of bad press just like carbohydrates. The low-fat craze started in the '70s when food manufacturers started taking fat out of our foods...and people started getting sick. fat is an essential nutrient – your body and brain NEED fat to repair themselves.
Did you know that 60% of your brain is fat? Did you know that your body uses fat to build new cells? Did you know that fat (cholesterol, to be specific) is essential for hormone production? Fat is the log on the fire that gives you that sustained burn and kicks in when the kindling is gone. Here’s the best part – most of the fat you eat isn’t stored as fat. Excess carbohydrates are turned into fat and stored for later use.
Fat is also what gives food its flavor. If you take it out, you have to replace it with something else and, usually, that means added sugar, salt and artificial flavors.
Sounds like all those high fat/high protein diets got it right, right? We can all just expect to eat bacon with butter for breakfast from now on, right?
Just like carbohydrates, we don’t need a LOW fat diet, we need a RIGHT fat diet. Healthy fats (Unsaturated fats) are typically liquid at room temperature (bye-bye bacon fat). They're grown on the land or they swim in the ocean. Things like avocados, salmon, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, etc., are good fats. Less healthy fats (saturated fats) are usually solid at room temperature and come from animal products like meat and dairy. A little bit of saturated fat is okay but our American diet tends to over-do it (that may be the understatement of the year, btw). Completely-unhealthy-not-fit-for-human-consumption fats are man-made trans-fats or hydrogenated fats. This kind of fat is made in a factory and your body simply doesn’t know what to do with it. Their only function is to afford highly processed foods a longer shelf-life. They will not, however, improve your life in any way.
So what does that mean for your day-to-day? It means swapping your pork and beef for poultry and fish, topping your pizza with more veggies instead of extra cheese and saving grandma's fried chicken for special occasions (and that doesn't mean every weekend ;) ).
Want some more ideas on how you can incorporate healthy fats in your diet? Email me! Let's talk!