Don’t Fear the Fat!

So I’ve come to realize that there’s a misconception a lot of people have about eating fat. A lot of people think that if you eat fat, you automatically store that as fat as well. This is not true! While yes, it is bad to eat high amounts of saturated fats (the stuff you find in greasy food like fries, fried chicken, butter, donuts, etc), you still need sources of healthy fats in order to function properly! Eating fat does not make you fat. By healthy fats I am referring to your sources of unsaturated fats (both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated). Humans need these healthy fat sources! Healthy fats actually lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. These can come from a wide variety of food sources, such as nuts, natural nut butters, avocados, fatty fish (like salmon and tuna), olive oil, and more.

Nuts and nut butters are a great source of protein and fiber and also contain vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6. In addition to reducing the risk of heart disease, they also decrease your risk of diabetes and breast cancer.

Avocados are also high in fiber and contain potassium, folic acid, and high levels of vitamins A, C, K, and B6. They help prevent arthritis and other signs of aging. Most interestingly, the healthy fats in avocados actually assist in weightloss and fat burn!

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna (even cheap, canned tuna!) provide a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. This type of healthy fat in particular is important for memory and other cognitive functions. It is not naturally produced by the body, so consumption of omega-3 fatty acids are important for overall emotional health. They boost the immune system, help fight fatigue, reduce the symptoms of depression, reduce inflammation, sharpen your memory, and so much more!

One of my favorite sources of healthy fats is chia seeds! They are also a source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Additionally, they are a source of protein, antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cancer, fiber, magnesium, and potassium. Plus, they’re so fun! They gel when added to any liquid, making them a great way to keep you filling full for a busy day. You can great “jelly” using chia seeds by simply adding melted fruit; you can add them to oatmeal or smoothies to plump it up. You could also just toss them in your water to drink throughout the day! I love them.

So overall, fat should not be the enemy in our every day diet! As long as we get the RIGHT fat. Go for unsaturated fat sources and try to avoid the saturated fats (ie cook with olive oil instead of vegetable oil or butter). This doesn’t mean go out and binge on peanut butter though ;) maintain your fat intake to about 20-35% of your daily calories and you’ll be good to go!

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