We’ve all seen the food labels claiming that products are ‘low fat’ or ‘non-fat’ and we’ve heard all about the low-fat fad diets, prompting all of those fat-related questions:
Should I be eating fat?
Is fat bad for me?
What purpose does fat serve in my diet?
The truth is, fats are an essential part of your diet, and you shouldn’t be cutting them out. In fact, if you choose the right kinds, fats are really good for you.
First, we have to determine which fats we’re talking about here. When we say ‘good fats,’ we’re referring to unsaturated fats.
Mayo Clinic breaks unsaturated fats down into three categories: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and Omega 3. Choosing to consume these fats instead of saturated fats can help lower cholesterol and, according to Mayo Clinic, can decrease the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Fats are an essential part of any diet because they help you absorb vitamins and will keep you full longer, so you won’t eat more than your body needs. These high-fat foods also give you lots of energy and often are high in fiber, protein, and vitamins.
How much do I need?
Everyone’s body is different, so the amount of fat each person needs will be different.
But according to Cleveland Clinic, you should aim for about 30% of your calories to come from fat, and you should spread that across each of your meals. As mentioned before, this will ensure you absorb all of the nutrients in your meal and make you feel full after you finish eating.
So which foods have these good fats?
You can find unsaturated fat in all sorts of foods. However, researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health determined that heart disease risk was lower when unhealthy fats were replaced by plant-based sources of saturated fat.
Some of our favorite plant-based fat sources are:
- Nuts and seeds (or nut/seed butter)
- Ground flaxseed
Our coaches have discovered all sorts of different ways to incorporate these healthy fats into every meal (ever tried putting an avocado in your smoothie? Game changer!) What ideas do you have to bring more healthy fats into your life?