Are All Fats Created Equal?

Potato chips

Image via Wikipedia

I know it has been a while since I have published a post, but in all truthfulness I have been extremely busy.  I haven’t wanted to quickly slap something together without having any substance to it, so I opted to not write anything until I could dedicate the time to put a post together that I could be proud of.

What I want to focus on with today’s post is the topic of fats; both good and bad. Low fat diets have been a topic for discussion for many years.  If you look around your grocery store, we are surrounded with low-fat, no fat and supposed guilt free options.  But if you look at the people around you and you read health and wellness journals, you will see that obesity is on the rise.  If all these healthy options are available for us, why is there such a problem with weight gain in today’s society?

Lets look at how products are marketed.  When a label reads low-fat what do they really mean?  Low fat compared to what? 

When you are reading the product’s label, what should you be looking for?  The first thing you want to look for is the amount of saturated fat  and how much trans fat .  Is there a healthy level for these fats?  I would like to say that everything in moderation is not bad, but for these two types of fat, I would say that they are just plain bad.  It is a proven fact, bad fats increase your cholesterol and risk for heart disease.

Where are these bad fats found?  Here is a breakdown for you:

Saturated Fat-fatty cuts of meat, chicken with skin, whole fat dairy products (whole milk, heavy cream), butter, cheese, palm/coconut oil, lard.

Trans fat-Doughnuts, muffins, cakes, cookies, packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips), stick margarine, vegetable shortening, fried foods (fries, fried chicken, breaded fish), candy bars.

Healthy fats on the other hand help to manage your moods, help you stay mentally alert, fight fatigue and aid in weight control.  These types of fat include monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega 3’s.  These can be found in the following:

Monounsaturated-Olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, avocado, olives, nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia, pecans, cashews), peanut butter.

Polyunsaturated-Soybean oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax-seed, salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines, soymilk, tofu.

Reducing the amount of fat that we eat would be one of the keys to weight loss, managing our cholesterol and preventing further health problems.  Remember that it is the type of fat that you eat that is most important.  The best thing you can do for yourself is to eat a variety of foods that are whole, fresh, colourful and not processed.  Read your labels carefully and don’t get fooled with clever advertising.


About Lisa

Lisa is a Certified Personal Trainer who is passionate about fitness and living an active lifestyle. She has a strong background in nutrition, having been a Chef for almost 15 years and applies this knowledge to helping her clients achieve their goals.
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