Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fat is Good and here's Why

When I originally got into personal training, 5 years ago, I thought low-fat was the best way to eat. I mean, eating fat makes you fat, right? All the butter people put butter on their rolls, the cheese and sour cream on potatoes, the fried food, too many nuts in your snacks, cooking with olive oil, it's all fat and it's making us fat! Well, my stance has changed after massive amounts of proven research over the last few years.

So what's the deal? Should we watch our fat like a hawk and eat 20-30 grams a day? What about those carbs? Can people sustain themselves on low carb diets and low fat diets? No. Not possible long term. Not healthy long term. When the low fat diet craze took full effect in the 1990's, Americans didn't get thinner. There was no drop in cancer, diabetes, or heart disease (read here).

Now I'm not advocating a loaded baked potato or fried chicken and biscuits; don't hear what I'm NOT saying. A calorie is a calorie and if you eat too many you will gain weight, plus we know there's nothing healthy about fried food in crappy oil. But let's get back to the basics of eating real food instead of processed substitutes. It is important to look at what type of fats you're getting (read study). Are saturated fats the devil of all fats like we thought? Nope. Take a look at coconut oil, very high in saturated fat but extremely healthy for you. So let's take a look at healthy fats we should be eating plenty of. 

- Coconut Oil
-Olive Oil
- Avocados
- Walnuts
- Almonds
- Cashews
- Peanuts
- Butter
- Eggs

Things like coconut oil and olive oil contain medium chain triglycerides which are actually proven to reduce triglycerides and promote healthy cholesterol (read here). Plus an oil like coconut contains many other properties that provide a host of health benefits and the healthiest people in the world eat a diet high in coconut oil. 

Fats are very important for our bodies. Fat is important for brain health, hair growth, nail growth, skin, and it is important for our organs*. There are certain fats that are extremely unhealthy of course. Such as trans fats which don't technically make you fat, but far worse. Trans fats actually lowers your good cholesterol, which filters bad fats to your liver to be disposed, promoting heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, and makes you susceptible to weight gain. 

So what causes us to gain weight if it's not the fat? White flour, sugar, processed foods, lack of fruits and vegetables, soda, sugar substitutes and chemicals. We all see the research and hear repeatedly that these things only cause harm to our bodies and for good reasons. Our bodies are working machines that need whole foods to function properly and to THRIVE.

So next time you're afraid to eat a handful of almonds and avocado in your salad because of the fat content remember that they will actually help you maintain a healthy weight! Plus they are full of other important nutrients our bodies need. Don't be afraid to eat fat anymore :)

*ISSA Sports Nutrition Edition

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