Yep that’s right. FAT is your friend… but wait, before you get carried away this isn’t a hall pass to go and stuff your face with pizza & hot chips.
Dietary trends are funny. For a while carbs were to blame for all our health problems…. Then the focus switched to fat, apparently we ate too much of it? Now it’s sugar (although I think they may actually finally be on the right track).
Fat is a necessary component of a healthy diet & something which many of you probably don’t eat enough of. I think that’s the media’s fault, for way too long now it’s been drilled into us that fat is bad bad bad. Well guess what? It’s all a big FAT lie!
Our muscles need fat. Our heart needs fat. Our nervous system needs fat. Our organs need fat.
Just so we are clear…. We need fat. Now nod your head slowly, have you got the message?
There are a few types of fats. A few we need more of and a few we need none of.
Unsaturated fats known as the ‘healthy fats’ by many can be separated into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated depending on their chemical makeup.
- Monounsaturated fats are found in foods such as avocados, nuts and olive oil. These fat sources are important for the cardiovascular system, helping to raise our levels of good cholesterol whilst lowering the bad.
- Polyunsaturated fats are also important for cholesterol control. They are found in foods such as salmon, seeds and fish oil. Unsaturated fats contain omega 3’s and omega 6 ‘essential fatty acids’. Both are particularly important for a healthy heart, normal brain functioning & can also assist with reducing inflammation in the body.
Saturated fats can sometimes get bit of a bad rap, but it’s just another big misunderstanding. There are a whole heap of health benefits that come from the consumption of foods such as eggs, dairy and red meat which contain saturated fat. For one they are more satiating… meaning they will make you feel full for longer. They are packed with lots of great nutrients and play an important role in producing hormones, particularly testosterone.
Then there is trans-fats. The black sheep of the fat family and the one you want to try and avoid at all costs. These fats are found foods such as hot chips, deep fried foods, pastries. Generally these are ‘man-made’ fats. If your food is pre-packaged it’s probably safe to assume it’s filled with trans fats.
The thing to remember about fats is that you want to make them a good friend BUT you don’t want to necessarily hang out with them all the time. Good healthy fats found in nuts, seeds & avocado are high in calories so you don’t want to be going overboard, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
Personally I love the motto ‘Everything in moderation’. If you have a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly and feel like a little treat one in a while a chocolate bar of pack of chips isn’t going to kill you!
Healthy snack ideas? Celery & peanut butter, this is probably my fave snack like ever (don’t knock it till you try it); A tablespoon of almond butter with fresh blueberries or the homemade protein bliss balls with a mix of nuts, seeds, protein and coconut.
Have a great afternoon!