There was a time when consuming fat became a stigma and we all tried to avoid it like the plague. Fat-free foods quickly became diet staples and for those who haven’t been reading up on health and wellness in recent years, they still may be afraid to get on board with fat.
I’m not saying all fat is good, of course not all fat is created equal and anything in excess will negate the positive affects of something but it can be extremely beneficial for weight loss and overall health by contributing to healthier hair, skin and digestion.
Lets talk about the good fat.
Polyunsaturated fats are the fats found in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and fatty fish. You may have heard them referenced as containing large amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (essential fatty acids our bodies can’t make on their own) but they are also known for lowering your cholesterol!
Unsaturated fats are found in most oils and can be easily detected by their ability to remain in liquid form at room temperature (think olive oil) and can help your body with the absorption of other nutrients (i.e. putting olive oil on a salad).
Monounsaturated fats raise HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and you can find it in nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados.
Omega-3 Fatty acids fight inflammation, help control blood clotting, and lower blood pressure and triglycerides. You can find them in fatty fish, walnuts and some vegetable oils.
Let’s talk about bad fat.
Saturated fat is the type of fat we need to limit and keep an eye on. It increases our LDL cholesterol and can increase our Type 2 diabetes risk. Saturated fat is found in meat, seafood, dairy, and some oils including coconut and palm oil.
Trans fat is one we need to severely limit or eliminate. It is found in processed and fried foods and increases total cholesterol and LDL or and decreases HDL.
Knowing the difference between fats is essential when you are trying to add them into your diet. Once you are aware of the types, it’s also a good idea to keep the amount you are consuming in mind especially if weight loss is your goal. I try to have ¼ to ½ half of an avocado, shot glass full of nuts or seeds, 1 TBL of oil and 1-2 TBL nut butter a day.
You will notice shinier hair, plump skin, and happy digestion if you haven’t already incorporated fat into your diet and the pounds will start melting off because you will feel fuller and satisfied and will be better absorbing nutrients in your meals.
Don’t skip the fat if you want to trim your fat & you’ll see what I mean!