Will eating fat make me fat? This question comes up quite frequently. The haunting fear that eating fats will put fat on your body. This myth simply isn’t true. I can assure you that eating fats will not make you fat!
There are a number of things that contribute to weight gain such as: eating low quality food like substances, overeating, lack of sleep and STRESS. Notice how none of those include eating healthy fats.
Eating proper portions of healthy fats will not cause weight gain.
In fact, healthy fats fuel our bodies and give us energy. Fats are one of the contributors to a well balanced whole foods diet along with plant based protein, healthy carbs and fiber. Good fats actually eat the bad fats which of course is a good thing.
Healthy fats improve brain health, improve blood cholesterol levels and prove heart health. They can also help with joint health as well.
Any way you spin it, increasing your healthy fat intake is a good thing.
Let’s break these down so you have a better understanding of them.
It’s best to increase Omega-3s and Omega-9s, and reduce Omega-6s, saturated fat and trans fat.
So which ones are those?
Omega-9s is Monounsaturated Fat and found in olive oil, avocados and nuts may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering bad LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid which cannot be naturally produced by the body and must be obtained through our diets which is why it’s a great idea to consume some extra omega 3 rich foods when possible. Increasing omega-3 fats can help reduce inflammation in the joints which can aid in arthritis.
Omega 3 fats are found most abundantly in seafood such as krill, anchovies and sardines. They are found in other fish as well but I like to choose the smallest seafood possible because there is less chance of hard metals in the smaller fish.
Many people don’t know that you can also find Omega 3 fatty acids in nuts and seeds. My favourites include: Chia seeds, walnuts and flax seed. This is a great reason to start adding more nuts and seeds into your diet especially if you don’t consume fish on a regular basis.
Omega-6 in most cases, isn’t something we need to supplement with. Omega-6 is found in many different foods, especially package foods. Given the fact that most of us in North America consume far too much packaged food, we likely get enough Omega-6. Our goal is to balance all of the Omega 3, 6 and 9. So it would be more important to add Omega 3 than any of the others.
Saturated fat found in processed foods including snack foods, baked goods and processed meats, raises the bad (LDL) cholesterol in blood and has been linked to increased risk of coronary heart disease.
Small amounts of saturated fats can be incorporated into a healthy diet, which I mention when talking about grass fed butter.
Trans-fat, which can be found in many processed foods, raises your bad (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your healthy (HDL) cholesterol. A high LDL cholesterol level in combination with a low HDL cholesterol level increases your risk of heart disease and inflammation. These fats in particular are the ones you want to stay away from whenever possible.
Unfortunately they use these trans fats in fast food that most of our population consumes which is a leading cause of inflammation, which then leads to more sore joints, achy muscles and overall pain in the body.
Is the taste of fast food worth all that pain and reduction in quality of life for those that don’t make a better choice when it comes to what to prepare on Friday night? It’s an easy answer for me but a question each of us will have to answer on our own.