Myth buster: Fats can be good

by admin on November 29, 2014

good fats

Don’t eat fat, don’t eat carbs, don’t eat sugar, don’t eat red meat…over the years, diet advice has changed the way we eat and if we followed all of it, we wouldn’t be able to eat anything.

When losing weight, patients often ask me about what they should be eating and how much fat is too much fat. The answer is some fat is good for you and “low fat” foods might not be as good for you as you think. Bagels, fat-free desserts, and low-fat processed turkey breast might be low in fat, but they might be more harmful for you than eating avocados and nuts — which are high in saturated fats.

Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found when they compared people who ate saturated fats to those who ate very little saturated fats that there was no clear different in heart disease risk.

However, other studies have shown that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat like the fat found in soybean and canola oil can lower heart disease risk — but replacing saturated fat with refined carbohydrates does not. In fact, when people cut their fat and eat processed carbs instead such as many low fat desserts and cereal bars, they are increasing their sugar intake. This could lead to obesity, diabetes and the formation of artery-clogging plaque.

We are so fat-focused that we forget about the big picture. Foods like toast seem innocent and low-fat, but most breads are high in sodium and made from processed grains. A better breakfast would be to skip the toast or bagel and have an egg cooked in extra-virgin olive oil with spinach and mushrooms.

The same mistakes are made with meat. We assume that low-fat deli meat would be a healthy choice, but it’s full of sodium and preservatives. A better choice would be fish like salmon. And don’t feel bad having a freshly made burger or a small steak once and a while. It’s all about moderation, quality and portion control.

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