Non-fat, reduced fat, and fat-free are all things we tend to see a lot of on our food labels. Fat, when it’s the right kind, is very important for your body to function properly. Most of the time when you see the above labels they are being altered by some form of chemical or processed sugar to make them that way. It is extremely important to be getting enough fat in your diet, especially when you are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant, or are breast feeding. The reason being that good fat is essential for brain and eye development and health. For the mom’s to be and breast feeding mom’s, instead of supplementing you can eat one avocado and 3 tablespoons of coconut oil a day to get the fat your body needs. Another popular way to get your good fats are by supplementing with omega 3’s, flax seed or fish oil; it is recommended that you take 1-3 grams/day. Other natural sources of good fats are walnuts, olives, hazelnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, sesame seeds, salmon, cod, halibut, and olive oil to name a few. Another good tip is when cooking with oil it is best to use coconut oil, and for cooler temperatures like salads you olive oils are the best!
The main difference between good fats and bad fats is how the body responds and digests them. Good fats are recognized by the body and are properly processed and digested, where bad fats, like trans fats, end up stimulating the bodies defense mechanisms causing and or leading to inflammation, increased blood pressure, pain, and heart disease. On a more positive note, even though this may sound strange, good fats can even help you lose weight by stimulating your metabolism! One common mistake people tend to make is to buy margarine, Smart Balance, or other similar products instead of going for just plain butter (especially grass fed). Smart Balance and other brands are made chemically, and have little to no real ingredients in them. Look at the attached pictures of the labels of real butter, margarine, and smart balance. You go from 2 ingredients (cream and salt) in real butter to around 16 different ingredients in the other two!