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Is It Time to Change Our View on Consuming Dietary Fats?

For decades we have heard about how we should consume foods with little or no fat. We have been brainwashed by the media and grocery stores to believe that consuming fat will make us fat. When we walk down the cookie and cracker aisle or through the dairy section, we see tons of low-fat cookies and fat-free yogurt. Well if you read the June 23, 2014 edition of Time magazine, you will see that studies are showing that we may have been wrong about the consumption of fat, at least the healthy ones. Scientists are discovering that many of us are eliminating all fat from our diet and our bodies are suffering because of it.

Fat is an essential nutrient that our body needs in order to function properly.

Here are the benefits of consuming healthy fats:

1. Fats Build Healthy Cells. Fats are an essential part of the membrane that surrounds cells. If the membrane of a cell is unhealthy, the rest of the cell won’t function.
2. Fats Provide Energy. Fats are the most efficient source of food energy. Each gram of fat provides 9 calories to the body.
3. Fat is Essential For Forming a Protective Cushion For Your Vital Organs. Many of our vital organs such as our heart, kidneys and intestines are surrounded by essential fat. This fat protects those organs from injury and holds them in place.
4. Dietary Fat Keeps You Fuller Longer. Consuming a little bit of healthy fat at each meal can hold off those hunger pains later. This can help aid in weight loss.
5. Fat Gives You Healthier Skin.
6. Fat Helps the Body Use Vitamins. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins, meaning that the fat in foods helps the intestines absorb these vitamins into the body.
7. Fat Can Aid in the Prevention of Heart Disease. Consuming healthy fats that are in the form of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as salmon, walnuts and olives) can reduce your LDL cholesterol levels. Lowering your LDL levels reduces your risk for stroke and heart disease.

So now you know how consuming fat can make your body healthier, but don’t run off and order that extra value meal before you continue to read all the “fine print”.

Including fat in your diet does not mean you can stock your pantry shelves with Oreos and Pop Tarts. It is important like with all foods, you understand what kind of fats are most nutritious and beneficial. And how much of those fats should be consumed so that you are not overindulging too much on the good stuff.

Here are a Few Tips for Consuming Fats in a Healthy Manner:
1. A little goes a long way. Consuming too much fat, even the healthy fat can lead to weight gain. So don’t sit down with a bag of almonds. Measure out your portions so as not to consume too much.
2. Try switching your oil to olive oil for salad dressings, dips and cooking. It is rich in vitamin E and is a great source of antioxidants.
3. Throw a little flaxseed in your morning oatmeal. Flaxseed is rich in Omega-3s and will keep you fuller longer.
4. Add avocado to your sandwich or salad instead of salad dressing or mayo. This will reduce your consumption of saturated fats and add great flavor to your meal.
5. Spread a tablespoon of peanut butter on your piece of whole grain toast for a satisfying addition to your breakfast.
6. Go natural! When you are looking to add fat to your meal, chose the healthy ones, the ones that grow in nature (avocado, pecans, pumpkin seeds).
7. Avoid choosing foods high in saturated fat (french fries and pastries). Choose the foods with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (salmon, trout and sunflower seeds).

Here is a List of Some Great Foods That Provide Healthy Fat In Your Diet:

*Avocados          *Butter          *Olive Oil          *Canola Oil          *Almonds          *Pecans

*Cashews          *Walnuts         *Olives             *Tofu                     *Peanut Butter

*Fatty Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Trout)                  *Pumpkin Seeds

It is important to remember that there is a place for all fats in a healthy diet, even the saturated ones. When you automatically assume that a food is off limits, your abandoning the opportunity to truly enjoy your food and find a healthy balance.

Contact ABS Pilates for your Health Coaching consult and learn more about the foods you should and should not be consuming.

Amanda Smith - Licensed Physical Therapist, certified Pilates instructor, ACE certified Group Exercise Instructor, ACE certified Health Coach, Certified McKenzie Therapist. Ready to help you become stronger and healthier in a safe, fun and holistic manner.