Healthy Fats are Back!
Trends and fads set the landscape for what and how we eat. Everyone seems to have a list of “good” vs. “bad” foods and most often it is based on what they hear, read, and see. Our diets consist of 3 macronutrients- protein, carbohydrate, and fat. In the past, fat has been the main culprit related to the incidence of heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity and weight gain. But wait, not all fats are bad.
Avocados, most nuts, and seeds contain healthy fats that are good for our brain, mood, vision and skin. For example, avocado toast is a great way to start your morning: it’s delicious and will keep you satiated! Another source of healthy fat like Walnuts and seeds, are perfect mixed into Greek yogurt, as a topping for your salad, or incorporated into a home-made trail mix.
One of the main reasons that fats are making their way back into our diets is that consumers are becoming more aware of the health risks of a high sugar diet. I’m talking about foods like cereal, sodas, juices, fried foods, etc., that are consumed in excess and without balance.
We’ve been through a low-fat or non-fat diet craze yet our country is at its heaviest in terms of an overweight and obese population. To give consumers the flavor they crave without the fat, food manufacturers have no choice but to add in extra sugar. You would be better off eating 1 delicious cookie, then 6 non-fat cookies. Why, because the fat (which is butter in this case!) keeps you full. The sugar keeps your craving more.
Fish is another great source of healthy fats. While you can always take an Omega-3 supplement, you can also offset this by enjoying fish two times a week.
When it comes to nutrition labels, generally, we tend to focus more on calories. My advice however, is to start reading the ingredients list. Whole food and real ingredients you can pronounce are a good indication that the food is going to do your body good. When it comes to fats, you want to look for foods that are lower in saturated fat and void of trans fats. In my opinion it boils down to the quality of your calories.
As always, pay attention to your portions and servings of fat. One day, enjoy avocado on your salad, the next opt for nuts. Having both at the same meal may bump up your calorie count. So remember, it is possible to have “too much good stuff”!