Fight Fat with…Fat?!

Dear Leah Renee, 

There’s so much buzz going around emphasizing the important of good fats and how they won’t make you fat.  How does that work and how do I know I’m eating the right, or wrong, ones?  ~Anne, SD

That right!  It takes fat to lose fat.  This may sound like a contradiction, but it is a vital part of keeping healthy and trim.

I remember when I was younger the low-fat diet was all the craze.  I also remember I couldn’t get enough of those Snackwell’s Low-Fat Creme Sandwich cookies either, oops, back to the point.  Diet crazes come and go, but some have lasting effects because we’re taught to trust the ideas behind them.  It sounds believable–if you want to lose fat, eat less of it.  But that’s SO wrong.  Some even argue that’s in part how we got to the epidemic of weight and health we’re at today.  Incorporating the right kind of fats into your diet will have many beneficial effects on your body.

Here’s the low-down on the good-for-you fats:

  • Monounsaturated Fats (MUFAs): Liquid at room temperature and turned to solid when  it’s refrigerated (or chilled).  MUFAs help to improve our blood cholesterol levels which in turn helps decrease the risk of heart disease.  Healthy fats help to decrease inflammation in the body.
  • Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFAs): Like MUFAs, polyunsaturated fats are beneficial to our cholesterol levels and help lower the risk of heart disease.  It also offers Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s, essential fatty acids (EFAs) that we must get through our food because our body does not produce any by itself.  EFAs are crucial for proper brain function and normal growth and development.  We need both MUFAs and PUFAs  for cell repair and healing.

Here are the fatty foods to get skinny on: 

Healthy Fats pic

  • Avocados
  • Peanut Butter
  • Nuts: Walnuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Cashews, Pistachios, Macadamia
  • Seeds: Sunflower, Flax, Pumpkin, Chia, Hemp
  • Oils: Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Sesame Oil, Walnut, Avocado, Olive Oil (as a garnish–not heated), Ghee
  • Fish: Salmon (Wild Alaskan), Trout, Sardines, Mackerel

While all of these are very good for you, it’s important to consume them in moderation.  Have an ounce or two of almonds as an afternoon snack or sliced apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter.  Drizzle some olive oil on your salad that has slices of avocado in it with grilled salmon on top!  So yummy, so healthy.

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