It is sad because fats have this stigma of how HORRIBLE they are. However, not all fats are created equal. As a matter of fact fats are 100% necessary for the body because they help create energy for our busy bodies.
Fats are crucial because they are the vital component of cell membranes in each and every one of our cells in the body (and we’ve got about 100 TRILLION cells). Not only that, but fats are important for energy especially while working out. Twenty minutes into a workout we get the rest of our energy from fats versus carbohydrates to keep us going!
There are different types of fats that should be discussed to clear any confusion on this topic.
1. Saturated Fats: these are the fats that are found in mostly animal products and dairy products. Saturated fats raise total blood cholesterol levels and LDL “bad” cholesterol, which can increase your risk for many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease.
2. Unsaturated Fats: these are commonly called the “healthy fats” and there are a few unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats). These fats you can find in a variety of foods, and even oils. Unsaturated fats improve your blood cholesterol levels and have been scientifically proven to lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease.
As with EVERYTHING you consume stick to this rule of thumb: “everything in moderation” especially if you are watching your weight. Just because it says “healthy” does not mean you should go ahead and eat triple the amount. Fats are highly caloric and should be eaten in moderation.
Here are a few examples of unsaturated “healthy” fats you can start adding into diet:
Avocados, fish (salmon, tuna, trout, sardines), oils (safflower, flaxseed, coconut, olive), nut butters (peanut butter) nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds).
Written by Danielle Maina, NASM Certified Nutritionist