Good and bad fats seem to confuse a lot of people. Not All Fats Are Created Equal.
Bottom line…you NEED fat in your diet, but you need the right kind of fat.
The problem is while we need fat, we get way too much of one type and not enough of the other and the food industry, once again has done its best to confuse us and keep us in track with the bad fats
In the mid 70s, government and scientific nutritional guidelines advocated for higher carb diets. Whole grains, breads, cereals…you know, all the foods that General Mills and Kellogg’s advocate for.
“High-carb, low-fat foods” became the norm.
When you take natural fats out of foods they lose their taste, so to combat no taste, sugar was added. Isn’t it funny when the obesity epidemic began, was about the same time high carb, low and no fat diets became the norm.
So what are the healthy and unhealthy fats?
Fat doesn’t make you fat, but even too much healthy fat can make slow you down.
Fat has direct impact on your blood circulation and your arteries. It’s linked to cholesterol and heart disease. Before the invention of trans fat, cholesterol and heart disease really weren’t an issue, so that is your first clue about which fat to avoid.
Here are the basics on good and bad fats.
SATURATED FAT (Mainly Healthy – too much unhealthy)
When fat became an enemy of good nutrition we were pretty much told to never eat fat that was solid at room temperature. Sorry butter, coconut oil, palm oil and a few other healthy solid fats.
Saturated fat has been linked to higher cholesterol levels but some evidence may support the foods that use solid fats are usually sugar dense as well. Pastries, deep-fried foods and doughs. Once again, sugar is in the mix.
Keep calories from saturated fat sources under 10%.
A note about room temperature…many saturated fats will turn to liquid in warm rooms.
TRANS FAT (Nothing good here at all)
This is a fat that has been transformed by the process of hydrogenation. Hydrogen is added to the fat molecules through a process involving heat and pressure. Throw in a little platinum or nickel and voila, trans fat. You want to completely avoid trans fats…these are truly the bad fats. They are also almost impossible to avoid in the North American diet.
Hydrogenation makes foods shelf stable longer. Don’t get fooled by “partially” hydrogenated…it still sucks for your health.
Snack foods, such as chips, crackers, cookies, most margarine and salad dressings.
Foods made with shortening and partially hydrogenated oils.
If room temperature in your home is warm and your fats stay solid, you’re looking at trans fats.
UNSATURATED FAT (Healthy Fat)
Unsaturated fat is mostly in oils from plants. Olive, avocado. Unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat may help improve your cholesterol levels. (So does exercise). Unsaturated fat is broken into two categories:
Monounsaturated: Avocado, nuts, some vegetable oils (as long as they aren’t hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.
Polyunsaturated: Corn, sesame, safflower, sunflower oils, Omega 3s and Omega 6s
TOTAL FAT ON A FOOD LABEL
Total fat includes saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and trans fat. Generally labels will break down the fats as Total Fat, Unsaturated Fat and Trans Fat…pay attention to all, but especially Trans fat.
You need to have fat in your diet for many reasons and fat is actually beneficial for removing bad fat. So don’t get worked up over “fat-free, low fat and half fat.” Pay attention more to the type of fat and where the fat comes from.
Here are my favorite healthy fat sources.
1. Avocados (and Avocado Oil)
Avocados are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. They’re loaded with monounsaturated fats, which raise levels of good cholesterol while lowering the bad. They are also contain Vitamin E that boosts immunity and acts as an anti-aging nutrient for your skin.
I’ve replaced the use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Avocado Oil for cooking as its high smoke point of about 520 degrees and because it isn’t solid at room temperature, it’s a excellent to drizzle on salads or veggies.
2. Butter – Grass Fed or Ghee
Real butter from grass-fed sources is what you should reach for.
The omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids found in butter help your brain function properly and improve skin health. More importantly, these two fatty acids are considered essential, meaning the body needs them but can’t produce them on its own; they must be derived from food sources.
Ghee, or clarified butter, is simmered to bring out butter’s naturally nutty flavor, leaving it with a high smoke point, making it ideal for cooking at high temperatures. Ghee benefits include being loaded in fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E which are all vitamins best absorbed with, fat. They are great at keeping your metabolism and digestion on track.
3. Coconut Oil
I use coconut oil for everything. I cook with it, use it in protein shakes, use it on my hair, my skin and even remove make up with it!
The fatty acids in Coconut Oil improve brain and memory function. Plus, the high amount of natural saturated fats in coconut oil mean that it increases good cholesterol and promotes heart health, while the antioxidants found in coconut oil make it an effective anti-inflammatory food and help reduce arthritis.
Just like Olive Oil, it can be found in extra virgin meaning it hasn’t gone through a deep refining process.
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
You can’t talk about healthy fats without mentioning Olive Oil. But, only extra virgin olive oil is the one to choose.
Part of the reason that I’ve shifted to Avocado Oil from Olive Oil is because it’s harder to find and trust EVOO.
A lot of the top manufactures realized that no one knows the difference between extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil and processed olive oil. So, to save a buck, they processed it, which means OO goes further. Some have been sued over the practice.
It’s also not great for cooking at high temperatures, but is awesome on veggies and salads.
Omega 3s are considered essential because your body can’t make them. There are 3 types of them with the first two being found mainly in cold water fish (salmon, tuna, sardines) and the third comes from plant sources, mainly nuts.
The best omega-3 nuts to consume are walnuts while seeds with the most significant omega-3 nutrition include chia seeds and flaxseeds. Some of the vegetables highest in omega-3s include Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach and watercress.
Cholesterol…it’s been mentioned a few times in this email. Did you know that your body actually produces cholesterol? It’s something else that helps your bodies metabolism.
There are two types; LDL and HDL. The best way to remember how they effect your body is this;
L = Lousy
H = Happy
The best way to manage your LDL and HDL is through a healthy diet. The easiest way to change them is through…EXERCISE!
Yup…simple exercise naturally lowers LDL and raises HDL so get out and exercise people. It’s good for you!
Need an exercise to try?
Here is one of my workout videos that doesn’t require any weights, no special equipment or a gym. Grab a bottle of water, a towel, a mat (Not needed) and just hit play.
This was a Facebook Live I did a while ago…30 minutes, great workout, anywhere, anytime.
Have an awesome day!
Quote Of The Day
~ Your previous failures are rarely your fault if you haven’t been given the right information. Once you’ve been given the right information you have a responsibility to yourself to never fail again.~
Join The 90 Day Weight Loss Plan…this is your EVERYTHING FIX!
- Stubborn weight and fat.
- Broken Metabolism
- Obesity related disease and pain.
- Improved health and fitness.
- Improve Your Quality Of Life!
We go after it all in 90 Days!