Fat is not your enemy. I can’t stress this enough.
But, so many of my clients are still sailing past the avocado bin at the grocery store or grabbing powdered peanut butter instead of the real thing, all in an effort to avoid eating anything “fattening.”
Well, here’s the deal with fat, and listen closely. Consuming too much of anything will make us fat. But when you eat the right amount of food overall, fat by itself does not pack on the pounds. Studies have even shown low-fat diets can actually make that number on the scale CLIMB AND CLIMB!
Why do I love fat so much? It tastes good (think, guacamole), helps you absorb vitamins (yes, the dressing on your salad ACTUALLY helps you to absorb nutrients), helps you burn fat (it’s true, fat indeed burns fat!) and helps you to feel satiated after eating (i.e., keeps you feeling full). But, truth be told, not all fats are created equal.
Saturated and trans fats are both solid at room temperature (think lard and butter), but there is a big difference between saturated fat and trans fat.
Saturated fat has been labeled as a dietary no-no for a long time, but there IS room in your diet for it if you’re getting it from real, healthy foods like dairy, coconut … even dark chocolate.
Trans fat on the other hand is a definite diet devil. You’ll find it in packaged, highly processed foods that you already know you should be avoiding. Just no.
Now let’s talk about the angels of the fat world: monounsaturated fats (like those found in avocado, nuts and seeds) and polyunsaturated fats (also in nuts and seeds, as well as fatty fish). These “good” fats have been shown to have many, many health benefits! For more than a decade, the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil have been studied by researchers all over the world.
You want to make sure you get enough of all these good fats - so stop avoiding the avocado bin already, and drop by the seafood counter for some salmon. In fact, salmon and walnuts in particular are two of the richest natural sources of omega-3s. If you’re not a flax, salmon or walnut junkie, a supplement could be just what you need to ensure you’re getting sufficient fat in your diet. I actually recommend an ultra-pure, ultra-concentrated Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplement to all of my clients as insurance.
Keri Glassman MS.RD.CDN