The big question is…Does fat make you fat?? And they answer is NO! But with some stipulations. There was a period of time when we thought “fat free” meant we would lose weight. But “fat free” usually meant products that were full of sugar, chemicals and who knows what else, and that lead to obesity and diabetes. But Healthy Fat does NOT make you fat. Whole foods like eggs, nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, red palm oil, ghee, salmon, grass fed beef and olives all contain healthy fats that aid in brain development and actually help keep you full longer. Think of healthy fat as “brain food”! Moderate portions of these foods everyday are good for you and DO NOT MAKE YOU FAT! Fat is just as crucial to your diet as carbs and protein are in giving your body energy. We rely on the presence of fat in our bodes. In fact, some vitamins even require fat in order to dissolve into our bloodstreams and provide nutrients.
We want to avoid trans-fats, for sure (which include hydrogenated oils like safflower, sunflower, cottonseed and canola)! But mono saturated and poly saturated fats are good for us! In fact, MCTs are actually a special form of saturated fat that have both antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that support our immune systems. MCT’s are found in coconut oil. Many studies are showing that MCT’s actually aid in weight loss and increases metabolism.
So here is some more of the confusion…fat has nine calories in each gram, while carbohydrates and protein each have four. In other words, one would think that eating low-fat foods allows you to eat a larger amount of food without gaining weight, which makes you feel fuller longer and not deprived, which, in turn, makes you stick to a diet for longer. So that sounds really great, right? Well, not really. Although it may be true that fat has more calories than protein or carbs per gram, this really means that fat is more satisfying than protein or carbs. In other words, when we eat high-fat foods, our bodies tell us to stop sooner, and we don’t want as much.
So when we eat too much high fat, processed junk food, we get addicted and this high caloric food has no beneficial properties. In fact, it make us want to eat more and leaves us feeling less satisfied. In contrast, healthy fats leave us feeling full and satiated and helps us eat less.
Aim to eat 2-3 servings of healthy fats per day, ideally one at each meal! Good fat IS your friend!