Did You Know Your Body Needs Good Fats?


Avocado, Nuts and Olive Oil

Contrary to popular (and in the past, medical) opinion, people do need to eat fats. Your brain and nervous system won't work properly without healthy fats in the diet. And eating fat can actually help you lose fat.

Fat Fictions

For decades, fat was demonized, and a huge industry grew up around low-fat or fat-free versions of snack foods. But many of those foods used sugar or refined carbohydrates to improve taste and mouth-feel. Because they weren't as filling as regular fat versions, people tended to eat more. That may be partly because fat helps you reach satiety — that feeling of fullness. In fact, as Americans tried to eat less fat, they actually got fatter.

You Need Fat

Fats are one of the top three nutrients we need for health. You can't absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K without adequate fat in your diet. Your liver metabolizes fat, whether it's the fat you eat or the fat you want to lose when you go on a diet. If you want your liver to work efficiently when you're trying to lose weight, it needs some fat from outside sources. Otherwise, it's going to get stubborn and hang on to every fat particle.

Choices, Choices

So what should you eat? Healthy fats come from sources like avocado: hello guacamole! Or add avocado to a smoothie. Wild Alaskan salmon is one of the best sources for the all-important omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts and seeds also contain healthy fats; use as snacks, on salads, cereals or in smoothies. Choose raw and unsalted nuts and seeds for best nutrition. Coconut oil is another good choice — use it to cook vegetables or mix in a smoothie. Avoid canola oil, oils that are heat-extracted rather than cold-pressed, and oils that have been hydrogenated.

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