For a while, many people felt that this little three letter world was leading to the extremely large North American Problem of Obesity. Well, I am here to tell you that this is not the case. Fat is essential to our well being! Unfortunately, you must be very careful with regards to the quantity of fat consumed and the quality of fat you are eating.
Consuming adequate "essential fat" ensures the body:
- Has a necessary source of fuel
- Is well insulated and protected
- Has a healthy immune system
- Is able to absorb nutrients and use them to function properly
Unsaturated Fats (Healthy Fats)
Found in plant foods and fish, these fats are good for heart health. Feel free to consume these in higher quantities as the fat is used in the body for promoting health and well being rather. They will not store in the body as "fat", therefore will not result in obesity. The best sources can be found in olive oil, tuna, salmon, hemp hearts, chia seeds, and flax seed.
Saturated fats are found in animal products such as butter, cheese and milk as well as in the meat of the animal. Saturated fats are also in palm and coconut oils. Eating too much saturated fat can raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. With that being said, coconut oil does not lead to the same risk, despite being "saturated". Coconut oil is quickly absorbed by the liver and used in the body for energy. It can be consumed daily.
These are the fats found in margarine and in pre-packaged and restaurant foods. Foods we consider snacks, baked goods and fried are all full of this unhealthy fat selection. Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils listed in an ingredient list are a sign that the food should be avoided. Similar to saturated fats, trans-fats raise cholesterol and can lead to an increased risk for heart disease. These should be avoided if at all possible.
Hopefully this short and simple breakdown gives you a little clarification on the goods and the bads of fat. Contact me for more information or to help you create a meal plan that will give you all of the benefits your body deserves.
All the best in Health,
Deanne Dietz, CNP