We’re not the tinfoil hat wearing kind, but we’ve got to be honest – we’ve been lied to. The food industry has been slowly telling us that food should be ‘skim’, ‘low-fat’ or ‘light’. This has created the perception that fat is bad. Well, here’s the truth there are bad fats and good fats.

There are four major types of dietary fat found in food from plants and animals:

Good: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including omega-3s)

Bad: Trans fats

Open to debate: Saturated fats

This is where what we’ve been taught makes us scratch our heads when we hear about diets such as the Ketogenic diet. Adopting a ketogenic diet requires you to change everything you’ve been taught about food. It’s a high-fat, very low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein approach that, when done correctly, shifts your body’s preferential fuel source from carbohydrates (or glucose) to fat in the form of ketone bodies and fatty acids. [2]

 

Myths and facts about dietary fat [1]

Myth: All fats are equal—and equally bad for you.

Fact: Some fats raise your cholesterol and increase your risk for heart disease, while others lower cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease, and provide other health benefits.

Myth: Fat-free means healthy.

Fact: A “fat-free” label doesn’t mean you can eat all you want without consequences to your waistline. Many fat-free foods are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and calories.

Myth: Eating a low-fat diet is the key to weight loss.

Fact: The obesity rates for Americans have doubled in the last 20 years, coinciding with the low-fat revolution. Cutting calories is the key to weight loss, and since fats are filling, they can help curb overeating.

So, let’s break it down – what are some good fats you can start incorporating into your diet?

 

Good Fats [1]

Monounsaturated fat

Avocados

Olives

Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)

Natural peanut butter (containing just peanuts and salt)

Polyunsaturated fat

Walnuts

Soymilk and tofu

Sunflower, sesame, flax, and pumpkin seeds

Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)

 

 

 

[1] https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/choosing-healthy-fats.htm

[2] Volek, J. S., Noakes, T., & Phinney, S. D. (2015). Rethinking fat as a fuel for endurance exercise. European Journal of Sport Science, 15(1), 13-20.