Food Myth Busted: Why You Should Be Eating Fat

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Why You Should be Eating Fats
Photographed by Jeremy Zaessinger for Savoir Flair

For years, fats have been the subject of much debate. Does eating fat make us fat, or can it actually help us lose weight and burn the very thing we are feeding our bodies? Gaining clarity on the topic isn’t easy when both statements are true, so we want to tackle the big ‘fat’ question head-on, revealing which fats are good for you and which ones you should avoid.

Avocados, cheese, nuts, oils, chips, cereals… They all contain fat and provide our bodies with energy, so why are some better than others? Good fats provide us with something called essential fatty acids. These are the omega-3 and omega-6 oils so commonly talked about nowadays, which our bodies cannot produce and therefore must be ingested through food. Fats also enable us to make use of all the nutritious vitamins we get from the likes of kale and spinach, because they are transported around the body by fat. Good fats are great for healthy skin, good eyesight, and brain function too, so are an essential part of our daily diet.

These are the top five fats you should be eating:

1

Avocados

These are great at any time of day and taste delicious. Top tip: If you need to ripen your avos, simply place them near bananas and they’ll be beautifully soft and green in no time!

2

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been proven to support fat loss as well as overall health and brain function. You can use it for cooking instead of regular oils and have it raw with salads to replace unhealthy dressings. Be sure to buy ‘virgin’ coconut oil to keep the healthy benefits in check.

3

Unrefined Virgin Olive Oil

Use unrefined virgin olive oil generously in salad dressings and sauces, as it’s full of healthy omega-3 and omega-6 oils, as well as protective antioxidants. However, try to avoid cooking with it, as heat changes its beneficial properties.

4

Nuts and Seeds

These are perfect for on-the-go snacks to keep your body fueled with healthy fats. Research has shown that eating nuts and seeds will keep sweet cravings at bay and promote healthy weight loss.

5

Fish

Oily fish like tuna and salmon are rich sources of omega-3 oils and are lower in calories than red meat. Aim for two servings of oily fish a week.

The Fats to Avoid:

Any food or drink containing “trans fats” is a big no-no. Trans fats are formed by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fatty acids, and this changes the chemical structure of the fats. They raise bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and lower good cholesterol levels (HDL) and are bad news.

Look out for the words “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on the ingredients labels of food. If they’re on there, don’t eat it! The worst culprits are:

  • Deep-fried or battered food
  • Fast food
  • Chips
  • Packaged cakes and cookies
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Donuts
  • Margarine
  • Pre-made cake mixtures and icings

Steering clear of bad fats and nourishing your body with healthy oils, vitamins, and minerals from good fats will keep your health and weight on track, and helps make for some deliciously tasty snacks.

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