“The fat you eat is the fat you wear.” Dr. John McDougall
Fat is an essential nutrient but be mindful not to consume too much (good or bad fat) because of its high caloric density. Fat is naturally higher in calories (9 calories/gram) than protein and carbohydrates (4 calories/gram). Alcohol has 7 calories for every 1 gram as well.
There are 4 types of fats, and each vary in chemical structure: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, saturated, and trans-fat.
Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and provide nutritional benefits when consumed. These are beneficial fats that are essential for cell function. Monounsaturated fats include avocados, nuts, seeds, and plant oils; however, plant oils are not necessary and can pose unhealthful consequences. Our recommendation is to avoid all vegetable oils and cook with non-stick cookware or with water or vegetable stock if needed. Polyunsaturated fats include walnuts, pistachios, peanuts, walnuts, or cashews. Nuts are a good source of healthy fats and proteins, and they contain essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Saturated and trans-fats are solid at room temperature and provide little to no nutritional value when consumed. We want to limit or avoid these fats because they are known risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Saturated fats are naturally occurring in all animal-based foods (e.g., dairy products, meat, eggs) and some vegetable oils (e.g., palm, coconut, and palm-kernel).
Trans-fats can be naturally occurring, but in most cases, it is artificially added into foods for flavor and shelf life. Often found in frozen pizza, biscuits, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines.
Cholesterol is produced by the liver and is necessary for cell development and producing hormones. The good news is that our body makes cholesterol, so we do not need to consume dietary cholesterol.
When consuming fat, avoid cholesterol and choose unsaturated fats over saturated/trans for the healthful benefits. For weight management purposes, be conscious of your fat intake because of its caloric density. Fat is essential, but you should aim to consume unprocessed whole-food plant-based foods to get healthy unsaturated fats while being mindful not to overconsume some higher fat options.
Do you consume meat, dairy, eggs, and oils regularly? If so, you may not realize how much cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans-fat you eat daily. You must consume dietary fat, but we want you to get your fat through healthy unprocessed foods.
Starting today, make a decision to make your fat intake count!