Today I want to talk about fat. Not the fat that wobbles round your middle, which I know we all want rid of. But fat in food, and I want to start with one simple statement;
NOT ALL FAT IS BAD.
Far from it, fat is an essential part of a healthy diet, we need fat for the absorption of several key vitamins and nutrients and fat gives us the energy we need to live our lives. The key is to make sure you’re eating the right fats.
When I first started my “diet” I got totally obsessed with making sure I wasn’t eating fat, protein is the thing to eat I thought, keep the carbs low and the fat as close to zero as possible. How wrong I was. I’m not advocating a diet of cheese burgers and cake, but keeping a decent level of GOOD fats in your diet is key to weight loss and becomes even more important if you’re incorporating workouts into your routine.
It can be confusing as somebody who’s never really assessed their diet to understand what a good fat and a bad fat are. The difference between saturated and unsaturated fat, what the hell even is a trans fat?
So let’s make it simple. Trans and saturated fats are bad. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat them at all, although personally I try to avoid trans fats, but you should moderate your intake. Unsaturated fats are not unhealthy, yes if you eat nothing but unsaturated fats your body isn’t going to thank you, but it is not the evil I used to believe. These days I try to keep my good fat intake to about 25-30% of my daily food.
So where do we find these good fats? Personally I get mine mostly from avocado, cheese, eggs, and nuts. I make my own energy bars for pre workout that are packed with good fats. (I’ll put the recipe in a later post). Good fats can also be found in vegetable based oils and fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon. These fats can actually lower your cholesterol and improve your health. They also keep you full for a long time so you don’t feel the need to pick at convenience food during the day.
Bad fats are found in all those delicious things we know we shouldn’t eat but still do, cakes, pastries, burgers, pies all those tasty things. Saturated fats are found in fatty meat, butter and most fried foods. So put the McDonald’s down.
Saying this I still eat a fair amount of lean beef in my diet, I’m a real carnivore so I need my meat fix, I eat vegetarian meals but I like meat and it’s a good way to get my protein fix. I try to temper it by eating beef twice a week, pork once a week and skinless chicken the rest of the time, and always have lean cuts.
So there you have it, the big fat truth is that not all fat is bad, and not all fat makes you fat. Don’t get hung up on those 0%’s!