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August 7, 2017

Is Fat actually Bad for Us?

For the longest time this has been one of my favorite myths to bust: fat is not bad for you!

In fact, fat in our diet is not only necessary, but it’s critical to keep our bodies operating the way they should.

If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, suffering from PMS, ridden with anxiety, or battling cravings, then you may be in a dietary fat drought!

For years we were fed the low-fat diet concept by media and big food companies, and it’s created a real fear for a lot of us.

Fear that eating fat will make us fat. Fear that eating fat will cause or increase high cholesterol. Fear that eating fat is “unhealthy.”

If anything, this fear is the real killer—not fat!

When we eat fat, our bodies do not keep it in its original form and plaster it on our artery walls or add it directly to our fat stores. If that were the case, then we’d be walking blobs of protein, fat, and carbohydrates looking like some strange art piece.

Eating fat is critical for hormone balance which enables weight loss, keeps PMS in check, fights off anxiety and cravings, and much more!

Every single hormone needs dietary fats to exist in our bodies. Fat is the building block for hormones—without fat, it’s like trying to build a house without a foundation.

Healthy dietary fats are also needed:

>> To balance blood sugar (this prevents cravings and keeps energy up).

>> For hair and nail growth.

>> To build cells and maintain skin elasticity.

>> For certain “fat soluble” vitamins to be properly absorbed and used.

Fat actually yields more energy per gram than proteins and carbohydrates.

Fueling our body with the right amount of fat can also keep fatigue at bay and boost energy levels.

Not all fat is good though, and this is where most people get confused.

There are four types of dietary fats found in foods we eat:

>> Saturated: primarily in animal meats and fats, and dairy products.

>> Trans: primarily in processed foods, hydrogenated oils, and small amounts in animal products.

>> Monounsaturated: primarily in plant-based fats such as olives, avocados, and nuts.

>> Polyunsaturated: primarily in plant-based fats such as corn, soy, and sunflowers, and in fish.

Looking at this list, which one seems like the worst?

If you guessed trans fats, then you’re right!

We typically can’t go wrong eating fats that are naturally occurring such as the ones in animal meats and plants. That’s what our ancestors lived on. So, our focus should be on getting fats from organic animal products, olives, avocados, coconut, nuts, and fish just like our ancestors.

However, we have to also consider quality. Fats that are animal or plant-based are only good if they are organic, unprocessed, and non-GMO.

My typical daily diet consists of almost 40 percent fat. For breakfast, I eat eggs and bacon plus some avocado in my smoothie sometimes. For lunch and dinner, I always have some kind of fatty piece of meat (chicken thighs, beef, pork, or salmon). I feel more energized and balanced with more fat in my diet and most of my clients do, too!

So don’t ditch the egg yolks or cut the fat off your meat anymore (if it’s high quality, organic stuff!).

Eat your fat—it does a body good!

~

Author: Jenn Malecha
Image: Instagram
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Social Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

 

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Jenn Malecha