The idea that eating fat makes us unhealthy or causes weight gain has been mostly debunked; culprits of poor health are refined foods, processed foods, packaged foods and foods eaten out of the home, not fat alone. What is more important than the amount of fat is the type of fat eaten. If you are still confused about what fats you should eat, you are not alone.
Fat has many important functions. Fat helps improve skin quality, increase energy, helps our hormones to work efficiently, helps with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E and K), provides insulation and protects internal organs.
When thinking about fat, keep it simple. Focus on getting a mixture of healthy fat from whole, unprocessed foods. Do not simply add these foods. Take the opportunity to simultaneously avoid processed, artificial and factory farmed foods.
MAKING THE BEST SELECTION
First, avoid Saturated and Eliminate Trans Fat
• Saturated fats raise blood cholesterol more than any other dietary factor
• Food sources of saturated fat: red meat, bacon, full fat dairy, cheese, butter, lard, poultry skin, coconut oil, palm oil
• Trans fats also raise blood LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, can lower HDL (good cholesterol) levels and raise triglycerides
• Food sources of trans fat: commercially baked goods, processed foods, fried foods
Replace saturated fats and trans fats with mono unsaturated and some poly unsaturated fat
• Studies have shown that when monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat replace saturated fat in the diet, plasma LDL cholesterol is lowered.
• Diets high in monounsaturated fats also raise HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides
• Food sources of monounsaturated fat: olive oil, nuts, tahini, olives, avocado
• Food sources of polyunsaturated fat: plant oils, seeds
Also be sure to consistently include Omega-3 fat
• Studies show that consumption of omega-3 fats can help protect against heart disease, high blood pressure and hypertriglyceridemia
• DHA and EPA are the two main sources of omega-3
• Food Sources Include: sardines, salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, walnuts, chia, ground flax seed
FATS TO INCLUDE REGULARLY:
• Olive oil
• Fish oil
FATS TO LIMIT
• Animal Fat
• Genetically altered plant oils
FATS TO ELIMINATE