The word “FAT” makes most of us crinkle our nose. Except when used in a sentence like, “I got a big fat Christmas bonus this year,” the word generally describes something that is wrong or bad for us.
Certainly when it comes to food, ALL fats have been vilified. But there is a very big difference between bad fats and good fats. One category you need to stay away from while the other category is incredibly beneficial to your health.
Saturated Fats VS Trans Fats
When you think of saturated fats, you probably think of foods you should avoid, lest you are actively seeking to have a heart attack. For years we have been told to stay away from cheese, butter and fattier cuts of meat. But does the science really back up the initial claims that these saturated fats are bad for us?
No. In fact, recent studies on saturated fat reveal quite the opposite evidence. It turns out, meat, butter and other dairy products are far healthier for us than we were once led to believe.
It seems there are some people who want us to confuse saturated fats with trans fats. So what exactly are trans fats? I’m glad you asked.
While saturated fats are completely natural, trans fats are produced through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil. This causes the oil to become solid at room temperature. Can you say Crisco?
Hydrogenated oil is less likely to spoil, so many packaged food items use it to provide a longer shelf life. Also, the majority of restaurants use partially hydrogenated oil in their deep fryers because it doesn’t have to be changed as often as other natural oils. That’s a deliciously pleasant thought, isn’t it?
Here are some of the most common food items that contains TRANS FATS – the actual fats you should STAY FAR AWAY FROM:
Baked goods like cakes, cookies and pie crusts contain shortening (Crisco). Ready-made frosting is another trans-fat culprit.
Like to snack on things like popcorn, potato chips and crackers? Well, unless you are making your own at home from scratch, store-bought snacks like these contain dangerous tans-fats.
Fried chicken, French fries and doughnuts are generally fried in partially hydrogenated oils. Are they delicious? Yes. Are they bad for you? Indeed.
Canned biscuits, pizza dough and cinnamon rolls generally contain trans-fats.
Nondairy Creamers and Margarine
Nondairy coffee creamers and margarine (AKA fake butter) usually contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
The moral of the story is, natural fats are good fats and man-made fats that have been industrially processed are the fats you need to watch out for. Now let’s take a look at some of the healthy fats you should be eating more of.
5 Healthy Fats You Should be Eating More Of
Your body needs fat to work properly. Try adding more of the following beneficial healthy fats to your diet each week.
Go for grass-fed dairy products as they offer more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Beyond butter, Greek yogurt is a healthy fat food item and makes a perfect breakfast. Toss in some blueberries and a little cinnamon and you have an incredibly healthy start to your day.
2. Fatty Fish
Want to really boost your health with healthy fats? Then start eating more fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies, herring and mackerel. If the taste of fish is a turn-off for you, then take a daily fish oil supplement such as Primal Labs’ DuOmega.
Nuts like pecans, walnuts, macadamias and other hardshells are high in monounsaturated fats, a type of fatty acid. They are also loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Another healthy snack idea is grabbing a handful of seeds such as chia, sunflower, flax or pumpkin instead of reaching for chips or crackers.
Another food high in monounsaturated fat, avocados also contain high amounts of fiber. Add some sliced avocado to your sandwiches or salads. You can even spread some crushed avocado on your toast in the morning.
Hopefully I have shed some light on the topic of fats. There is so much bad information out there about what fats are good and what fats are bad. Remember, natural fats are good for you – manmade fats – not so much.
How Much Fat Should You be Eating Each Day?
Now that you know which fats are good for you, you may be wondering what percentage of your caloric daily intake should go toward fat? You may have even heard some doctors talk about the Keto diet being good for many people with chronic diseases like diabetes. The keto diet focuses on eating majority of fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrates. But how much of each should you be eating?
The Perfect Meal Plan (PMP) takes the guesswork out of healthy eating. Created by a doctor who treats metabolic disorders with nutrition, PMP provides you with recipes as well as organized grocery lists so you can easily shop each week.
And the best part is, all of this convenience costs less than buying a medium-sized pizza. That’s right, for less than $10 each month, you will have a specialist doctor tell you EXACTLY what and how much to eat. You’ll be taken by the hand and led through the grocery store in a matter of minutes. Eating healthy doesn’t get much simpler than this.