Dietary Fat – Is it Good or is it Bad?
Grasping the concept of fat being good for the body can be a hard task to undertake. The right kind of fat is good for your body and understanding the difference between the good and the bad can certainly be a frustrating process. I’ve been there and I know you have too; standing there in the grocery store aisle looking at selections from which to choose. Should you choose “no trans fat”, “zero fat” or maybe “low fat”?
Understanding Dietary Fat in Your Diet
Which type of fat; where is it found, and how much of it should one eat? This is a complex question, but if you have the knowledge the answer is simple and it’s easy to choose the right foods. I want to share with you what I know so that you too can choose and create nutritious meals with great tasting foods.
Why Do You Need Dietary Fat?
Your body requires a number of things to function properly. Essential acids, vitamins and other nutrients that the body (inside and out) needs can be found in fat. The most beneficial type of fat that should be included in your daily diet is unsaturated fat. This type of fat can actually provide needed nutrients while reducing the risk of clogged arteries at the same time. Some foods that contain unsaturated fats are:
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
- Nuts (almonds, peanuts)
How Much Fat Should be Consumed?
Once you begin adding healthier fats into your daily diet, you will need to ensure that you don’t overdo it. Your fat total will depend upon what your daily calorie intake is. Let’s say you are currently on a 1,800 calorie plan. The amount of your total fat intake should be roughly 600 calories. Read the labels for specific serving size to gram count ratio.
Which Fats to Avoid
Foods that contain high levels of trans fats and saturated fats can be found almost everywhere from the local quick stop convenient store at the gas station to the checkout line at the grocery store. Obesity is a huge health concern today. Other health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes are also on the rise. It is best to avoid eating these fats when possible to minimize the long term health risks. What kinds of foods contain high levels of trans and/or saturated fats?
- Packaged foods (cookies, candies, chips)
- Fried foods (heavy oils)
I know it is hard not to eat these foods. This isn’t to say that you can never do so. Just keep them at a minimum.
Knowledge about food is power especially when you’re grocery shopping. With this knowledge, you can be confidant to take on those alluring ads in the grocery store and make the healthiest choices for you and your family.