Eat Empowered Healthy Eating Tips

3 Reasons Why I Love Fat

By Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN

Fat doesn’t make you fat. I promise! Fat is your friend. Not your enemy.

But I still get questions all the time about this.

Is this too much avocado?

Is it OK to eat peanut butter?

Overconsuming anything, in general, will make us fat. But when you control the amount of food you are consuming, fat by itself does not make you fat. Studies have even shown that low-fat diets can actually make you gain weight!

Why do I love fat so much? It tastes good! But keep in mind, not all fats are created equal.

Saturated and trans fats are solid at room temperature (think lard and butter). However there is a big difference between saturated fat and trans fat.

Saturated fat has had a bad reputation for a lonnnnng time, but there is room in your diet for saturated fat from real foods (like dairy, coconut, dark chocolate, and grass-fed butter) and it can actually be good for us.

Trans fat on the other hand is just bad bad bad. People mostly get trans fat from packages of processed foods. My advice: Ditch ‘em!

On the other hand, monounsaturated fats (from avocado, nuts and seeds) and polyunsaturated fats (from fatty fish, nuts and seeds) have many benefits, like boosting immunity, improving brain function, being good for our heart health, and helping us lose weight.

Here’s what to focus on when it comes to fat:

Fat helps you absorb vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E and K get absorbed better when there is fat consumed with them. But this doesn’t mean you should pour the ranch dressing on to your beautiful, healthy salad! Use 1 tablespoon of an oil and vinegar dressing on your greens, such as roasted broccoli rabe or mixed greens salad instead.

Fat helps you burn fat. Fat helps take fat out of your cells so you can use it for energy. Again, portion control is key, but be sure to get fat in consistently throughout the day (about 30% of your calories should come from fat). Instead of having a big apple for a snack, have a small apple with 2 teaspoons of almond butter.

Fat provides satiety. That’s a fancy word meaning it helps keep you satisfied. See, carbs have a single bond: Carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Fats have a double bond. What does this mean? It’s harder for your body to break it down, so you digest it slower, and you end up staying more satisfied.

So there you have it. Three reasons why I love fat and you should, too.

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