We can all admit that fat has a bad reputation. “Fat makes you fat!” “That’s so fattening!” These are phrases we’ve heard time and again, so much so that it is almost a habit to associate fat with having excess fat.
The fact is, fat is being wrongly accused and there is more to fat than what meets the eye.
In fact, we SHOULD be consuming fat. More importantly, we actually lose weight when we consume the proper types and quantities of fat.
The truth is, fats aren’t all bad and they don’t all fit into one category. It’s all about the type of fat that you are consuming (and of course, how much)!
For instance, saturated fats are extremely bad for our bodies and should be avoided for the most part. Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels in the body, which in turn increases our risk of strokes and heart disease.
Unsaturated fats are excellent for our bodies and should NOT be avoided! Unsaturated fats are fats that actually lower our risk of strokes and heart disease by lowering cholesterol.
Additionally, healthy fats allow us to produce hormones, which in turn, keep our bodies balanced. This is the main reason for saying that all fats are not created equal.
When choosing fats in your diet, it is ideal to keep saturated fats to a minimum in order to keep the heart healthy. This would be approximately 10% of your overall caloric intake.
Healthy (unsaturated) fats should be the ones we lean to first in order to maintain blood sugar levels, stay satiated and control cravings. Plus, they add delicious depth and flavor to our foods! Feel free to consume up to 20% of your overall daily calories in unsaturated fats.
See below for examples of both types of fats.
Saturated (Bad) Fats
- Red Meat
- Full-Fat Cheese
- Full-Fat Dairy
- Fats in Baked Goods
- Fats in Fried Foods
- Cream-Based Sauces
Unsaturated (Healthy) Fats
- Olive Oil
- Canola Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Nut Butter
- Seed Butter
Healthy fats are full of nutrients and very beneficial for our bodies! They maintain blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, increase satiety, control hormone production, reduce joint pain and even reduce cravings! In fact, a diet containing moderate levels of healthy fats is shown to increase compliance with healthy eating regimens.
With these tips, you will be able to successfully identify between healthy and unhealthy fats.
As you can see, there are many healthy choices when it comes to fats. While it is impossible (and unhealthy) to avoid fats altogether, it sure does help to know which ones to turn to.
Not all fats are equally created and some have a very important place in our diets.
It is wise to limit saturated fats to 10% of our overall calories consumption for a day. Unsaturated fats can be consumed up to 20% of overall calorie intake daily. Choose wisely and you heart will thank you for it!