We just love to hate fat don’t we? It is the baddy that is the root to all our problems. We want nothing to do with it, yet it is the biggest percentage of our diets. It just tastes so amazingly good. We are drawn to fat like a moth to a flame. We can’t help it, it just happens, as soon as we see, that plate with a burger and fries are standing in front of us and we are halfway through the meal already!

Let us backtrack just for a moment and clear a couple of things up. All fat are not public enemy number one. In fact, if you try and cut all the fat out of your diet, your health will decline at such a rapid rate before you even know it. Our bodies need fat to survive, the question is why? What kind of fat? And how much?

Let’s start with why:

There are so many kinds and terms of fat that it feels like we are filling in a word puzzle with no clues! Saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, need I go on? It doesn’t matter how you pronounce the words, the important part is that it is essential to have fat in your diet for overall health and fitness. We tend to hammer on the nutritionist fact that no more than 30% of overall daily intake should be fat. We, however, are so consumed not to consume too much, that we actually consume way too little fat! So why do we need fat in our diet? Well, if you consume under the daily recommended allowance of fat you will start noticing that your hair will start falling out and the hair that stays on your head will look dull and unhealthy. Your nails will start either breaking if you just look at it or it will be so hard that it will be painful to point in someone’s direction and of course the most important reason of all is that all our vital organs need a layer of fat around them for cushioning. So if you bump your head on a cupboard that jumped out in front of you, the layer of fat around the brain will absorb the shock of the bump without causing brain damage. This alone is a good enough reason to consume fat in your diet. Some fats help lower cholesterol, it helps maintain body temperature. The list just goes on and on.

Now let’s see what kind of fats are to be consumed because like everything in life, all fats aren’t created equal. The best option is unsaturated fats. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. If you use these fats in place of the bad fats you can lower you risk of heart disease by reducing the bad cholesterol (LDL). The polyunsaturated fat that is king is Omega 3 that will lower blood pressure. Who is the bad fat in this equation. This will be trans fats and saturated fats. They will increase your risk of heart disease and bad (LDL) cholesterol.

 

So how much fat must you consume? Moderation is key of course. A Havard study says that there is no real evidence of a good percentage of fat to be consumed. We will stick to 20% of your total intake per day must come from fat, good fat that is. Your sources are: Extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, nuts like walnuts and almonds, salmon and cold water fish. If you still fry food, do so with canola oil or extra virgin olive oil, but of course it is way better to grill. Food like cheese, milk and beef can still be part of your diet, just in much smaller quantities. Try and avoid stuff that contains hydrogenated oils like most of your snack foods and margarines.

So don’t shy away from fat. This part of the diet puzzle can actually help you lose weight. Go ahead, get the healthy fats in your body and start feeling the effects immediately.