The Skinny on Healthy Fats and Why Not All Fat is BadPosted on March 25, 2014 at 10:18 am
I have something to tell y’all. Not all fat is created equal. The whole “fat free craze” from the 90s needs to be put to rest already. We actually NEED fat. Certain types of fat, anyway.
Have you heard the term “healthy fat” before? That’s another one of those terms that people throw around/hear but they don’t really know what it is. If you’ve never heard of it, you might be under the impression that all fat is bad and that you need to go toward “low fat” only options. Well that is not the case!
I’m here to give you the skinny on healthy fats.
What are healthy fats?
Monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats (includes both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) and unsaturated fats are the healthiest of fats.
Then comes the saturated fats. These are typically found in butter, cheese, lard, meat, etc. Saturated fat intake should be limited. The American Heart Association says that no more than 7-10% of your calorie intake should be from saturated fats.
Finally we have trans fats, which are the unhealthiest type of fats. These are found in fried and processed foods. Try to avoid trans fats. The American Heart Association says that no more than 1% of your calorie intake should be from trans fats.
What do healthy fats do for my body?
- boosts healthy skin
- protects your heart and blood vessels from cardiovascular disease
- lowers bad cholesterol (LDL)
- supplies your body with essential fatty acids that it cannot produce otherwise
- help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K)
- reduces inflammation
- helps with developing proper eyesight and brain development in kids
How much healthy fat should I be consuming?
The USDA tells us that, for adults, 20-35% of our calories should be coming from fats. The minimum that we should be consuming is 10%.
Some examples of healthy fats:
- olive oil
- beef, dairy, poultry & eggs from grass fed animals
You don’t get fat from eating fat. You get fat from consuming more calories than you are burning. These calories can come from fat. But they can also come from carbs, protein, etc. Consuming healthy fats won’t necessarily make you skinny, but it will help your heart to stay healthy…which I’d say is a pretty big deal.
I try to incorporate a little bit of healthy fat in all of my meals. It’s time for us to stop hating on fat. Fat-free diet crazes, be gone!