20 years ago when I was studying for my associate degree in nutrition,
the very first fact I learned was this. Every meal must include three parts – protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
That one piece of information stayed with me as I felt it was extremely important for continued health and well-being. I basically follow that rule consistently today.
For this week, let’s concentrate on those fats. What are they? Why are some good and some bad? What should I include in my daily diet?
Somewhere along the line,
nutrition “gurus” claimed that fats were bad, fats added unnecessary weight, fats clogged your arteries, fats were to be avoided at all costs, adding up to the “fact” that you should stay away from fats completely the rest of your life.
That is so far from the truth.
The bottom line is that there are many kinds of fats – some good, some not so good, and some actually bad. To add to that, our systems need fats. That doesn’t mean you should eat bacon every single day, but you must have a balance in your system, and preferably that would include eating mostly the good fats.
The good fats are found in plant based foods
such as avocados, nuts, peanut butter, olive oil, beans, and also include the fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, anchovies, trout, tuna, mackerel, and herring. These fish contain the very beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids that are needed for continuing good health.
The bad fats are either saturated fats or trans fats.
Saturated fats are those fats from animal sources such as red meat, poultry, and full-fat dairy products. Trans fats are artificially produced through a food processing method called partial hydrogenation. This is done so that some foods will last much longer or stay solid at room temperatures.
The trans fats have no nutritional value and are considered extremely unhealthy and could result in disease and the consistent decay of your health. They are found in processed foods, many frozen foods, cakes, desserts, icings, deep fried foods, and microwaved popcorn. These would fall into the not so good category so should be extremely limited in your daily routine.
The saturated fats – meats, poultry, and diary should only be a minor part of your daily nutrition and the trans fats should be avoided or very severely limited.
The healthiest most beneficial diet is derived from including the good fats as much as possible with the other fats rounding (excuse the pun) out the rest of your diet.\
When you concentrate on eating primarily the “good” fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, beans, fruits and vegetables, and all that good fish, you will reward your system in the following ways:
♥ You will feel full quicker so you do not eat as much
♥ Your skin will have a healthier glow to it since the Omega-3’s help prevent inflammation
♥ Good brain food since your brain consists of 60% fat
♥ Healthy fats feed the brain, nervous system, hormones, joints, eyes, and muscles
♥ Keeps your blood sugar under control
♥ Lower cholesterol, and help reduce the cravings for sugar
♥ Nervous system normalizes, calming down if it’s too high or ramping up if it’s too low
♥ Reduces frequency of spikes and drops in blood sugar
♥ Breast tissue becomes healthier
♥ The heart becomes stronger
♥ Enhances long-term endurance
♥ Provides energy to enhance physical strength