Good Fat, Bad Fat
Sarah Reid, RHNC
The word “fat” has long been the unofficial “swear word” of the weight-management sector. Butter, bacon, nuts and cheese are all laden with the stuff – and if we don’t want to be labelled with the awful “extra large body proportions” stigma, we must eschew it all from our menus, right?
The “good” fats are unsaturated – liquid at room temperature and commonly referred to as “oil” instead of “fat”. This category also includes the omega-3 (Ω-3) and omega-6 (Ω-6) fatty acids, also called the essential fatty acids because our bodies don't make them -- we have to get them from food. Polyunsaturated fatty acids(or PUFAs) decrease the risk of developing ALS (or Lou Gehrig's Disease) The EFAs in PUFAs also decrease the risk of depression, high blood pressure, and even have a link to lowering ADHD symptoms. You can find polyunsaturated fats in nuts, seeds, vegetable oils such as corn and safflower oil, and fatty fish. Foods containing monounsaturated fats (such as meat, milk products, nuts, olives and avocadoes) reduce LDL cholesterol, but carry a higher risk of oxidizing into free radicals, so should be eaten in moderation.
When it comes to the weight loss war, it’s important to remember that fat of any kind contains 9 calories per gram. While it is important for our bodies – and should make up about 20% of our total daily calories – going hog-wild with the butter knife and having the extra cheesy pizza will not give your body the total support it needs. Choose your sources judiciously and enjoy every bite!
Sarah Reid is a Holistic Nutritional Consultant with her company NEW-trition