Fat...it does a body good! Fat has gotten a bad rap over the years and it has been very misunderstood. The bottom line is that you need to include good fats into your eating plan and not fear them, as once believed to be true. Certain fats can actually improve cholesterol, balance hormones, increase vitality and play a huge role in satiety - not to mention they make food tasty! Let's simplify things a bit, here's what you have to remember - the last one on this list is the one to stay away from. Period.
There are 4 kinds of fats:
Saturated - Saturated fats in the diet are good for us and provide a multitude of benefits like: structure for our cells, regulation of our hormones, energy source for our bodies, and help with inflammatory responses, to name a few. These are found in coconut oil, palm oil, meats, butter and full-fat dairy.
Monounsaturated (MUFA) - Monounsaturated fats are also good for you. They benefit your heart and cardiovascular system and improve insulin sensitivity. These are found in olives, olive oil, nuts, avocados, lard, tallow, certain types of fish and meats.
Polyunsaturated (PUFA - omega 3 and omega 6) - Polyunsaturated fats are omega 6 and omega 3 essential fatty acids. They have a direct effect on cellular, immune, and hormonal function. In an effort to balance the omega 6 is omega 3 ratio, it's important to consume excellent sources of omega 3s found in fish oil, salmon, mackerel, sardines, anchovies.
Trans fat - Trans fats cause a host of problems from inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, dementia and cancer. These fats are lurking in most processed baked goods and common snack foods (chips, microwave popcorn, crackers, cookies, cakes) and frozen dinners, fake buttery spreads, Pam spray, Crisco, margarine, coffee creamer, and most fast food. Keep an eye out for the words "partially hydrogenated oil" on your food labels.
Which Fats to Eat, and plenty of them!
EAT but don't Heat:
Which oils to avoid:
- Blended olive oils-used in many restaurants to cut costs
- Cooking Spray’s-Pam
- Low fat butter spreads/spritzers
- Most commercial salad dressing-read the label
- Grape seed oil
- Safflower oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Soybean oil
- Canola oil/Mazola oil
- Rice Bran oil
- Corn oil
Reasons to avoid these oils and fats:
- They oxidized during high heat processing, which creates pro-aging free radicals - yuck!
- They increase inflammation and risk of cardiovascular disease - not a good thing!
- They are made from genetically modified seeds which have never been tested but deemed safe by Monsanto
- They contain toxic chemicals
- They are bleached and deodorized to make them more palatable
- They increase gut irritation which add to autoimmune diseases
- They increase weight gain because they have appetite stimulating compounds
- They increase risks of cancer
For more on the truth about Fats, be sure to read Dr. Mark Hyman's new book; Eat Fat, Get Thin. This will provide you with a greater, in-depth understanding of which fats to include into your everyday eating plan to regulate blood sugar, lose unwanted belly fat, and keep you feeling full longer.