Dietary Fats

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, eating certain dietary fats are an important part of a healthy nutrition program and a healthy body.  

What??  You just had me convinced to lose weight by burning fat.  Why are you telling me to eat fat now?   You are driving me crazy!

Be honest, you probably had one or more of those thoughts just now, didn't you?  Just chill.....take a breath....I will explain.

Good vs. Bad Dietary Fats

Simply stated, not all fats are created equal.  Sure, there are fats that you want to avoid at all costs.  Still, there are fats that your body truly needs in order to function efficiently and effectively. Just like carbohydrates, there are good fats and bad fats.

The good dietary fats typically will contain EFA's or essential fatty acids.   Our bodies are not capable of making these on their own so we have to eat foods containing them so that our bodies function correctly.  Nearly every function in the body needs EFA's.  Here are some sources of essential fatty acids:

  • Salmon & Mackerel
  • Flax seed oil
  • Fish oil capsules
  • Nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds)
  • Avocados
  • Olives and olive oil

These fats help a number of bodily functions.  They also make skin soft, elevate mood and reduce certain food cravings.   Here is another source on EFA's.

The bad dietary fats are the ones that you probably already know are bad for you.  They include trans-fatty acids, saturated or partially-saturated fats.  You find these in processed (man-made) foods, fried foods, many beef and pork cuts along with lamb, most cheeses, cream and butter. 

Pick up any package of a processed food you are currently buying at the grocery store and look at the fat % by calories.  If it has 20% or more, put it back ASAP.

Here are some sources of bad fats:

  • Processed lunch meats
  • Most red meat & pork
  • Cheeses & butter/margarine
  • Egg Yolks
  • Sour cream, salad dressings & mayonnaise
  • French fries/any deep fried food
  • Various chips (potato, corn, etc.)
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate (sorry)

It is important to limit the bad fats and consume some good fats.  Don't over-consume the good fats, however.  They are still fats.  The more unprocessed foods you eat, the more likely you are to get what you need.  If you are unsure, take a tablespoon of flax seed oil with your three main meals or be sure to cook with olive oil.  Eating a handful of nuts with your 2nd and 4th meals is a good way to get EFA's, too.

As with all the nutrition categories we have been discussing, it's about balance and discipline.  If you slip up, don't stress about it.  Get right back onto your nutrition program. 

Click on another page and keep building your new leaner lifestyle.

› Dietary Fats