For years, we've been told to eat a low-fat diet. Fatty foods make you fat, cause high cholesterol, clog up your arteries, right? Well not necessarily, because not all fats are created equal. First of all, foods that are "low-fat" or "fat-free" are typically loaded with sugar to compensate. The negative effects of sugar on the body usually far outweigh any negative impact from fat. Secondly, fat can be a great source of energy and actually GOOD for your heart. Certain types of fat are also essential to healthy brain function. But the key is to eat the right types of fat. So what's the difference?
GOOD FATS include polyunsaturated and monounsaturated which are rich in Omegas and cannot be produced by the body alone. They support healthy brain and heart function plus help your body absorb vitamins and minerals. Oils that do not solidify at room temperature such as olive oil (my favorite) and avocado oil are good sources of these fats. Nuts, seeds, avocado and certain types of seafood (like salmon) are other great sources of good fats.
BAD FATS include saturated and trans fats which are loaded with bad cholesterol (LDL). This bad choloesterol reduces the amount of good cholesterol (HDL) in our bodies and can lead to strokes and diabetes. These are fats are found in many types of junk food and should be avoided when possible.
Consuming healthy fats should be a crucial part of your diet. However, it is important to limit your consumption because all fats are high in calories. Most experts suggest that you limit your consumption of fat to 30% of your total daily intake. So throw out your mamas Crisco and potato chips, and instead grab some EVOO and nuts. It's a strategy that will help your heart and brain function plus improve your quality of life.