Nutrition Basics, part 2: The Facts on Fat

I am a serious advocate for high fat foods.  No, not plastic-wrapped breakfast danishes riddled with thick pasty hydrogenated oils or fried oreos from the county fair dripping with lard.  Sure, sure, there is a time and a place.  But that’s never…and in the trash.  I’m preachin’ ’bout the healthy fats!

I already went over my high protein/high fiber breakfast groove, so I’ll tell you right now that I usually snack on something chock-full of healthy fat.  Typically it’s raw unsalted nuts.  Sometimes it’s a hard boiled egg.  Other days it’s 2% or full-fat plain unsweetened Greek yogurt.  Oh lawd how did I forget peanut butter?  Lot’s and lot’s of peanut butter.  Fats are extremely satisfying and keep you feeling fuller, longer, so they really are the perfect snack for me.

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Let’s take a look at the science behind it, hmmm? Although the nerd in me is dying to go balls out, I won’t get too technical, scouts honor.  You want to limit Saturated fats and completely avoid (like, the way one would try to evade the black plague) Trans Fats; these are the “bad fats.”  What are some examples of this?  High saturated fat foods may include animal fats, butter, fried or fast foods, and a bunch of others.  Trans fats are found in many commercial baked goodies, fast foods, different margarines, among others. And whyyy should we side step these? They raise total and bad cholesterol levels…the same ones that can bring on heart disease, diabetes, a stroke, and obesity to name a few.  The healthy fats, such as the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated types, do wonders for your waistline because they keep you full and satiated so that you don’t overeat later on (munchies, BYE).  But aside from the aesthetics, they can prevent the onslaught of diseases that the bad fats have the potential to induce.  Rant: over, but if ya happen to be interested in reading a little more about this, check out this site on Good and Bad Fats!

So like, uhhh cool, but what are some good healthy fat options?  Let’s take a gander, eh?IMG_2201

1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds: 200 calories, 17 g fat

1/2 Avocado: 160 calories, 14.5 g fat

1/4 cup Almonds: 207 calories, 18 g fat

2 T Peanut Butter: 200 calories, 16 g fat

1 Whole Egg: 78 calories, 5 g fat

5 oz Wild Alaskan Salmon: 295 calories, 18 g fat

I realize fats are still pretty controversial in the diet world; just look at how many labels we get bombarded with every day that tout “fat-free” this and “low-fat” that.  I also know that fats can be higher in the calorie department…but you’ll feel more satisfied with less.  That being said, the perfect balance is easy to strike if you focus on health first and foremost, ditch the calorie counting, and understand the way our bodies respond to fats.

Fat-Bottom line: Stop the war on fat!

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