I know you were much smarter than I was and either didn’t listen in the early 90’s when we were told that fat was BAD, or if you, like myself, did believe it you came to your senses much quicker than I did.
Sad, but very true fact…when I heard that fat would make me fat being the naive “health conscious” 19 year old that I was, listened with all my being, and stayed away from ALL fat (other than olive oil in my homemade salad dressing). I stayed away for at least 15+ years from raw nut butters, nuts, seeds, and avocado’s. I, like so many, believed the media and the “experts” out there telling us calories in=calories out and with fats containing a whopping 9 calories per gram compared to carbs and proteins only having 4, I literally ran the other direction. At the time I didn’t realize there was a difference between healthy and bad fats and avoiding ALL fats was not the wise thing to do.
What’s the difference and why are healthy fats important?
You know that bad fats (trans-manufactured to increase shelf life and saturated-found in animal protein) have a negative impact on our bodies. Raising our “bad” cholesterol or LDL, may lower “good” cholesterol HDL and can increase the risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke.
A few examples of foods containing BAD fats are donuts, french fries, baked goods including pastries, pie crusts, biscuits, pizza dough, stick margarines and shortenings
Good or healthy fats have a positive impact and are necessary. A few healthy fat options to add to your diet are wild caught salmon, coconut oil, olive oil, raw nuts, seeds, and nut butters.
Some of the health benefits that come with good fats include fat-soluble vitamins (A-vision, D-bone strength, E-immune booster, K-helps w blood clotting) relying on healthy fats to transport and absorb them into our bodies.
Weight management is another helpful benefit of consuming healthy fats. We will eat less when incorporating healthy fats like avocados, raw nuts or seeds to our salads because it will fill us up faster and sustain our hunger for longer periods of time. Win win!
Energy….seriously who doesn’t want or need more energy? When we exercise we burn carbs first, but when those run out our bodies shift to fat. We all need as much energy as possible to get through our workouts, so try having a small smoothie with a 1/4 of an avocado or 5-10 raw nuts blended into your smoothie to give you the extra energy needed to push a little harder during those workouts.
Thankfully I have moved past my old ways and I now appreciate and consume healthy fats daily, but within moderation. I add avocados to my smoothies to thicken them up, I eat raw nut butters, homemade hummus and raw nuts and seeds. And oh…it has not made me fat. The amount (half a palm of raw nuts/seeds and the size of your thumb for nut butters and hummus) and the type of good fats (mono and poly-unsaturated) you choose are the key.
Keep healthy fat options available to you and your family. A great place to start is with my homemade hummus. It is seriously the easiest thing to make and when you have it made in the fridge you have a go to spread for sandwiches or dips. You’ll get a lot of good healthy fat and protein and discover a new tasty way to enjoy more veggies. My recipe is for a basic hummus, so be creative and “flavor” your hummus anyway you and your family will enjoy. Sun dried tomato, roasted red pepper or homemade pesto are all really good options.
Learn to enjoy fats again the healthy way! Your body and your brain will thank you!