Good Fats? Bad Fats? Fish Fats?

When people buy fat free foods, to try to keep from becoming fat, and you hear that the fats in nuts and fish are good for you… could that really be true?  They’re still fats after all….

In our fat sensitive world, there is a lot of confusion about fat and our diet.  Today we are going to clear the confusion and help our readers and fans better understand  this important component of our diet.

Eating foods that have fat isn’t going to make you fat.  Poor unbalanced diets make you fat.

The 8 Weeks to Wellness Program Manual explains it best:

Fat does not make you fat. Severely restricting calories, eating loads of high-glycemic-index carbohydrates, and eating poor quality fast (in other words the Standard American Diet) makes you fat.  Therefore over 65% of Americans are indeed fat.  We have no shortage of “fat-free” foods in this country. And yet, we do have a shortage of “fat-free” Americans. Coincidence?…The point being, when we restrict fat, we have to increase something else.  This something else is usually sugar in some form.  Most people do not realize sugar is stored in very small amounts in the body.  Once this storage is filled, the body automatically converts any extra sugar into fat.

(page 27)

Fat has more than twice the calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein.  Fats satiate your hunger and you will not have to eat as much to feel full. (Whereas you have to eat a lot of carbohydrates to feel full.)

Now that we understand where body fat comes from we have to also understand high quality fats and low quality fats.

The best way to plan good fats in your meals are learning to read nutrition labels and understanding the different types of fats.

Bad Fats: Bad fats are used to process foods and extend their shelf lives. These fats are bad for your heart and brain…

Trans fat

Solid Margarine

Hydrogenated Oil

Neutral Fats: These fats have been in the human diet for thousands of years.  While there are associations between saturated fats and heart disease, these fats are okay in moderation for most people.  If you have indicators of heart disease, discuss how much of these neutral fast you should have in your diet, with your Doctor.

Saturated fat

Animal Products

Beef

Cheese

Butter

Coconut Oil

A Steak BBQ
Barbequed steak – a neutral fat

Good Fats: These fats can improve your health by improving blood lipid levels, and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Monosaturated/Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Avocado

Canola Oil

Cold Water Fish (Salmon)

Flax Seed Oil

Olive Oil

Nuts

Fish at a fish market
Fish at a Chilean fish market by S. Striegnitz

The omega-3 fatty acids you find in fish, like salmon, increase the ratio of good fats to bad fats.

When you’re empowered and understand nutrition – good fats and bad fats, and how they affect your health, you can take charge of your health and your weight.

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