The skinny on fats
Updated: Dec 13, 2019
Eat those healthy fats! Your body needs them to function.
Can fat cause you to be overweight? Fat doesn't directly make you fat, that generally comes from excess calories. Fats do tend to be high in calories and eating them in moderation is key. For instance, when I eat avocado smash toast, I limit myself to 1/2 an avocado so I don't consume more calories then I need.
Healthy vs. unhealthy fats...
What is a healthy fat? A healthy fat is a relatively unprocessed fat from whole foods, like chia seeds or eggs.
What is an unhealthy fat? Typically those that are industrially designed to be nonperishable, such as:
• trans- fatty acids that appear in processed foods
• hydrogenated fats such as margarine
• most shelf-stable cooking oils (e.g. safflower, soybean, corn oil, etc.)
Fats have powerful effects within the body, like: having enough fat will keep you feeling full between meals, as well as boosting immunity and absorption of vitamins A and D.
Additional effects of fats:
• energy source (in fact, it’s the most energy dense macronutrient)
• energy storage
• help manufacture and balance hormones
• form hormones to regulate body processes
• needed for growth, development, and cellular function
• proper brain and nervous system function
Here are more healthy fats and their benefits:
Walnuts: Contain antioxidants, beneficial to heart & brain health, improve metabolism
Olives: Contain antioxidants, may lower blood pressure, beneficial for heart health, help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, prevent osteoporosis Brazil Nuts: Anti-inflammatory properties, contain antioxidants, may elevate mood, beneficial for heart health *2-4 Brazil nuts/day is considered the sweet spot
Tiger Nuts: Contain antioxidants, vitamins E & C, magnesium, potassium, high in probiotic fiber, help control blood sugar, promote a healthy cholesterol profile, digestive aid *Tiger nuts aren't actually nuts, but are a tuber that grows below the ground's surface. They have all of the nutrients and energy benefits of nuts, but do not adversely affect allergies.
Dark Chocolate: Powerful source of antioxidants, reduce risk of heart disease, contain flavanols that may help to protect the heart, may lower blood pressure, can induce satiety, anti-inflammatory properties *look for dark chocolate that is 70% or higher
Avocado: Rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamins A, E, K, B, C & folate, carotenoids, trace minerals, fiber, antioxidant phytochemical, and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients
Maybe you're thinking, "Ok, what do I do with this information now?"
Here's your call to action! Reflect and focus on the fats you consume on a daily basis. Are they healthy? Some times unhealthy? Could you make some changes now?
Here are a few suggestions for making changes:
- Substitute an unhealthy fat with a healthy fat.
- Add a healthy fat to your food, like chia seeds or coconut.
- Modify the amount of fat in your meals. Looking for more detailed information on the right portion size of fat for you, please email me.
Consider trying one (or more) of the three suggestions above for a week or two and see how you feel — how your body feels. I know when I'm cognizant about which fats I include and how much fat I eat, I generally feel more energetic and satiated sooner. Check out recipes that include healthy fats under the food tab. Got questions? I've got answers.
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