Since my last post was about the dangers of trans fats, I thought it was only “fitting” to point out that fats are NOT bad for you. Yes, it’s true ladies and gents, to be fit means to eat fats. Eating fat is not synonymous with being fat. Fat is not bad, BUT the type of fat you eat, and the quantity does matter. Now, the trans variety is not so good, and you want to be careful about saturated fats as well; but fats are a necessary part of our diets, and needed for optimal mind and body functioning.
Those of you who know me, know that my all time favorite source of good fats is nuts! Almonds, pistachios, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, filberts, and on and on and on…I love them, a bit too much in fact. Like every person, I too have weaknesses when it comes to food, and nuts is big one for me. I easily eat about 2 cups worth a day, and all you really need is a handful or ¼ a cup. That said, you can eat more than a handful, and because nuts are packed with tons of nutrients they can be quite beneficial for one’s health. Also, they are high in protein and fiber, meaning I stay full longer and my body easily digests the food. They are one of my go-to foods when I am traveling and limited on my food options, because they are easy to store and to find; pretty much every vending machine has them. I will definitely post more about nuts in the future, but on to other good fats to incorporate into your diet. Another great source are avocados (which I wrote about previously).
I know what you are thinking…yummm tell me more please!!! What are all the others, how much do I need, and what are bad fats? Here’s the good news, there are a ton of good fats, and they are easily “accessible” and “available.” Just remember to take it easy on consumption. More is not better, and fats do pack more calories per gram than carbs and protein, so you don’t need as much. How much more you ask? See if you can guess through voting below. It’s difficult for me to tell you an exact amount of fat to take in on a daily basis, as fats are a percentage of one’s individual caloric intake/needs for the day. And, I find that some days you may take in more fat, which can easily be balanced out by taking in less on a subsequent day. There are a lot of theories and suggestions out there regarding fat intake (too many for me to understand quite frankly), but I have read that the number to shoot for is between 20-35% of total daily cals (e.g., if you consume 2000 calories, then 400-700 should be from fats). For those of you who are numerically challenged, that would be about half a jar of peanut butter, OR (not and) a half a cup of olive oil, OR (again, not and) one cup of nuts.
What’s the right answer, and what should you do? If nothing else, use this picture as a guide to what fats to eat and not eat, and just remind yourself not to over do it. The answer can be found here.
I leave you with interesting research regarding fats from the Dr. Oz show. I included this as a separate post, as I thought it warranted its own 🙂