Fats: Yay or Nay?

There is a belief that in order you lose fat, you have to avoid fat.

True or false? 

As always, my belief is that in order to get the best results, you have to do some homework to discover these facts. (Knowledge is power, and all those sayings).

There are a few types of dietary fats to learn about:

1. Saturated Fats

Saturated fats are similar to trans fat in the sense that it is not really healthy for the body. A diet high in saturated fats can lead to clogged arteries, high cholesterol, and other health problems that we don’t want. A good rule of thumb to know what types of fats are saturated is that these are most often solid at room temp: cheeses, red meat, butter, and coconut oil are examples. 

This doesn’t mean you can never have these foods - if your goal is health and weight loss oriented, you’ll just want to be cutting back in these choices. You've heard me say (or read) it before, the key is moderation. How much saturated fat you can have without affecting your health is a person-to-person thing, but I think 1x week is a good standard way to start out.

2 & 3. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats

These types of fats can actually help to reduce bad cholesterol if added to your diet moderately. These fats are rich in nutrients and oils that the body uses to develop and maintain cells. Polyunsaturated fats give us essential fats that our body needs but doesn’t produce on its own, like omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. Examples of these types of foods are olive oil, sesame oil, fish, nuts, and avocado. 

So back to the original question - you have to avoid eating fat in order to lose it. True or False?

FALSE! In fact, avoiding fat altogether can be harmful. A low-fat, or moderately-fat diet that includes monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats is very healthy for you, even if you’re trying to lose weight. The only time you should be on a complete elimination diet is if you have discussed a specific health matter privately with your doctor and they have instructed you to do so. Food fuels our bodies to perform basic functions, and if we cut them out completely, we can put ourselves at risk for serious health issues. 

While social media and the internet are awesome for staying informed and learning more about health, here are a lot of myths floating about too, so be sure to do some research before you drastically change your eating habits.


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