In a world of low fat "fad" diets, we have become fearful of fat. I understand the fear behind diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. You want to do what's best for your body to avoid or reverse these conditions. What if I were to tell you that fats are essential for your body to function correctly? Fat's are needed by your body to stay healthy. Here is how fats help:
Provide our body with energy and provide storage for energy
Our body needs fat to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K
Supports temperature regulation for our bodies
Helps decrease inflammation
Fat is necessary for brain development and brain health
These are essential benefits for your body's health! Now not all fats are created equal. There are three primary sources of fat: saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats. Let's discuss the difference between fats and which ones are safe.
These are our danger fats. You can find them in fried foods, baked goods, and processed foods. These fats are what hardens in our arteries, causing heart disease and potential stroke. These fats should be severely or completely limited.
These are found in our meats and dairy foods. These fats in large quantities will clog your arteries and cause heart disease, and high blood pressure. These fats are ok in very small quantities. For optimum health, these should be eliminated.
These are the good fats, in moderation, of course. You can find these in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oils. Keep an eye on your serving size. Your body needs good fats but only in moderation. Only 30% of your daily caloric intake should be in healthy fats.
To sum up, fats are great for our body, in the right form, and the right amount. The rule of thumb is eating from the earth is always a better choice than eating processed foods.
Read your labels. If it has a long shelf life, it is not the best option for your body. Choosing to live a whole food plant-based diet is the best way to ensure you are only getting the right type of good fats! Eating meat and dairy is a choice that only you can make. If you would like to learn more about eating a healthy whole food plant-based diet, check out our friends at Rochester Lifestyle Medicine, where they have a medically trained staff to guide you on the right path. Remember, in life, moderation is the key to optimum health.
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