I used to be scared of eating fat. I was terrified that it would make me gain weight, so I refused to eat it.
What I didn't realize at the time is that fat is not only really important for our health, it can actually help with weight management.
Here are some key benefits of eating fat:
Not only is fat a major element of the membrane that surrounds and protects your cells, it’s also a vital component of certain hormones, it’s essential for absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K, and it protects your organs. Certain fats also play an important anti-inflammatory role. And, one of the key benefits of fat is that it helps satiate you, keeping you full longer and making you less likely to snack later on, which can help with your weight management goals.
The bottom line is that every healthy diet should include fat -- the key is moderation, and knowing which fats to stay away from and which ones to eat.
These fats can harm you and increase your risk of disease, so avoid them:
- Fats cooked above their smoke point: these fats become oxidized which damages them and can cause inflammation and increase your risk of atherosclerosis.
- Trans-fatty acids and partially hydrogenated oils, refined oils (canola, corn, soy) and margarine: these fats can cause inflammation and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
These anti-inflammatory sources of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, or healthy saturated fats are loaded with benefits. Incorporate them into your diet either in raw form or cooked lightly:
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Nuts (preferably raw and sprouted)
- Sesame seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Raw coconut (oil, milk, cream)
- Alaskan wild Salmon
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Hazelnut, pecan, and walnut oils (best for salad dressings and other non-heat uses)
If you ever find yourself fearful of eating fat, remember that not only does your body need fat to function the way it’s meant to, but fat can support healthy weight management by filling you up and making you full longer.