Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fat does not equal fat!

In the world of math, this equation may be a little confusing, but this time, the numbers lie. This is something I could rant on about for hours- Fat free is NOT better for you than their fatty counterparts. Contrary to popular belief, consuming FAT does NOT make you FAT.
So, without further adieu, here is my unprofessional and seriously overzealous opinion for necessary fats in your diet (And I mean, daily eating habits, NOT "so I can lose weight temporary starvation plan!):

Eggs: Not just egg whites, the yolk may contain the cholesterol AND the fat, but my defense is two parts; whole eggs are a complete protein- with all eight essential amino acids only found in the yolk. Part two, this is a natural source of fat; it is not chemically engineered, altered, or crafted, it simply is. Now, don't overdo it, but enjoy them. They are good for you.

Oils: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Coconut Oil, for example.
The olive oil is a must have for dressings, and the coconut oil for sauteeing and baking. Coconuts get a bad rap because technically, they are just fat (and saturated fat at that!), but as we dig deeper, we are finding that not all fats are created equal. Poly-unsaturated fats are good for you, Mono-unsaturated fats are better, and Saturated fats are bad for you- or are they? Well, yes, those saturated fats that come from animal products and processed foods (boxed, or prepared/frozen meals) are bad for you. They raise your bad cholesterol, lower your good cholesterol, elevate your blood pressure, and definitely contribute to heart disease (the #1 killer of women, by the way), and are SO difficult for your body to digest and discard, that they do make us fat, BUT- studies now show that just like unsaturated fats, there are also good Saturated fats. I could go on and on about this subject- so if you are more interested, here's a link for information I cannot take credit for sharing with you : http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/features/cocgood.html  

More fats, include Avocados, olives, butter (though in small quantities- it's a natural source of fat, but provides little else for you nutritionally), and nuts, and seeds! Nuts like walnuts, almonds provide fiber AND protein as well as fat (the omega-3 fats too- those are the same ones found in fish that are so good for you!), and peanuts, sunflower and sesame seeds provide a great source of omega-6 fatty acids. These two types of fatty acids are the only two types that our bodies cannot produce on its own- making them essential to our health.  
So, there we are. I think what I am trying to say is- the natural, unprocessed fats are good and necessary for us. They are something that, in small quantities, pack a powerful punch to our health, even improve it- including smoothing and clearing our skin, improves auto-immune diseases, and can actually help us lose weight. So, enjoy those candied walnuts! :-)

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"That which we persist in doing becomes easier. Not that the nature of the thing has changed, but the power to do has increased." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson