Your Healthy Fat Survival Guide

I’m in a really weird head space right now. I’m having a hard time getting out the words I want to say and I’m stuck in between writing what I know to be true versus what I know you want to hear…

Non–Fat foods are good for me, right? Like, they’ll help me lose weight?

WRONG!

We actually need fats; can't live without them, in fact.

Okay, mayyyyyybe it’s right in the fact that your relationship to gravity WILL change from eating nonfat foods and eating smaller portions – those are things we know to be true. The fact of the matter is, however, THEY AREN’T *HEALTHY*.

Anyone that ever told you Low-Fat anything was better than the full-fat version of it was WRONG (see the explanation here). *Many* foods low or void of fats are mainly high in sugars, refined carbohydrates, and calories. If you look at the last 35 years and read myths regarding the Low-Fat Diet fad, you’ll find that obesity doubled in America since it began. You NEED healthy fats, aka fats that are unsaturated (mono and poly), like extra virgin olive oil, nuts, and avocados in your diet to help you manage your mood, mental balance, fight fatigue AND – whoa! – control your weight. Our brains are 60% fat, so it’s *vital* to our body’s physical function to have and absorb healthy fats. The answers aren’t to CUT the fat out – it’s to make the best choices for your body.

So look, I get it – Ever since the 1970’s (I hear) we’ve been told that we need to cut out fat from our diet in order to be fit, healthy and lean… Well – that’s outdated and you need to get rid of that mind set. I was just talking to a co-worker of mine last week that the diet he’s currently on is absolutely terrible. It’s lacking protein, it’s making him eat just a half of a grapefruit and an egg for breakfast, and the protein is IS ingesting from his selections of “grilled meat” doesn’t necessarily outline what kind of ‘meat’ – leaving this ‘diet’ (we all know how I just love that word) open to interpretation and error.

I don’t say this to rip on all nonfat foods. Some are great, but like I’ve said in previous posts – everything in MODERATION. If it’s small, sure – I’ll eat some nonfat Greek yogurt instead of full fat or replace a cooking ingredient with it. However, I’m not ONLY eating that and depriving my body it’s basic nutrients it needs to survive and thrive.

So, Jaycie, what CAN we eat? Well, that’s up to you. If you want to lose weight, eat whatever diet fad you can, and if it works for your body and what you want out of it – by all means, eat it. You don’t need me to tell you what to do. BUT If your goal was the same as mine was (and still is) you want to build lean muscle, displace fat, and be a healthier version of yourself.

You can’t do that if you eat a “tablespoon of fat free cream cheese” and “one slice of tomato on toast” for lunch. WHERE IS THE PROTEIN?? That’s too few slices of tomato, and too much of the wrong ingredients in one sitting. Not to mention that the cream cheese itself - sure it might not have fat, or as many calories, but let’s take a look at the nutritional label:

FAT.png

What most people get wrong in this whole thing is thinking that fat and calories are the only things you should be watching out for - INCORRECT. You should read the WHOLE label. If you lose protein, you're not winning. If you gain sodium in a no fat product, you're DEFINITELY not winning. A tablespoon of non fat cream cheese has NINE PERCENT of the total amount of sodium you should be ingesting during a whole day, opposed to the 4% of it's full fat counter part.

I'm not saying that in moderate doses or portions, you can't have non fat or low fat items. I'm saying it SHOULD NOT be the only thing you eat at lunch. PERIOD. You need to find a balance of proteins, simple carbs and healthy fats.

Well, Jaycie, what are "healthy fats" anyway?

I'm glad you asked... AGAIN. I wrote about this in the 3 Secrets of Clean Eating that Everyone Misses AND in How to Boost your Metabolism.

Healthy fats are UNSATURATED fats (or poly and mono saturated fats to be specific), or ones that raise our HDL/good cholesterol and lower LDL levels. They provide essential fatty acids, keep our skin soft, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and are a great source of energizing fuel. But it's easy to get confused about good fats vs. bad fats, how much fat we should eat, how to avoid artery-clogging trans fats, and the role omega-3 fatty acids play in heart health.

What You CAN Eat

  • Lean protein
    Turkey, Salmon, Skinless Chicken, Shrimp
  • Complex carbohydrates:
    Oats, Quinoa, Sweet Potato
  • Simple Carbs
    AKA vegetables - YES veggies ARE carbs!
  • Unsaturated fats: 
    E.V. Olive Oil, Avocado, Grass Fed butter, flaxseed
    walnuts, 
  • Fruits

What to AVOID:

  • Over processed foods, (white flour & sugar)
  • Artificial sweetener (SweetN'Low, Equal, Nutrasweet - STEVIA/TRUVIA IS OKAY in small amounts
  • Sugary drinks (soda & juice)
  • Alcohol (Check out my post about this HERE)
  • Chemical additives (food dyes & sodium nitrite)
  • Preservatives
  • Artificial foods (cheese slices)
  • Saturated fats and trans fats

This is definitely the survival guide to fat intake - since if it's not on the above list of what you CAN eat, it means, you SHOULD'NT be adding it to your meal prep for the week. FULL FAT greek yogurt, cream cheese is better... But like I said, only in small amounts of any fat variation, regardless.