Everything You Need to Know About Fats
Do you know if you are eating beneficial fats versus "bad" fats? Today I would like to dive in a bit more and let's check it out!
One of the fun ways our customers like to use a fresh bottle of Nuvo Olive Oil is to top popcorn with it. Spicy popcorn? Early Harvest popcorn? Blood Orange Fused EVOO Popcorn? Why not, it tastes great!
And it tastes great because just like we might add butter to our popcorn, olive oil and butter are both fats, and fats make everything taste awesome!
Why do you think those Keto people are in heaven? They’re following a diet that tells them to eat some of the yummiest foods around!
But when I was growing up in the 1980s, it was the middle of the low-fat craze. Physicians, government agencies, mass media all pushed the idea that fat should be eliminated or severely reduced.
How our attitude about fat changed over the years
Now we can look back on 40 years of data and see how it all worked out. A recent publication by Harvard medical notes how the low-fat trend took flight, so too did the median size waistlines in the U.S. Obesity and diabetes exploded as more Americans ditched or dangerously reduced their fat intake while processed foods flooded store aisles.
The problem with the thinking back then is that instead of trying to understand how much fat is required in a diet, fat was posited as something to be excluded or suppressed. This created a massive imbalance in our diets as now the emphasis was placed upon carbs.
The Anti-Carb movement
What’s interesting is that in the ’90s and ’00s, there was a major anti-carb movement, which if you think about people’s attitudes as swinging on a pendulum, it makes sense.
After 30 years of anti-fat, too many carbs thinking, we now have even more heart disease, diabetes, and obesity than ever before; it makes sense there would be carb backlash.
Fats in our diet
That’s all the empirical data, but let’s take a closer look at fat and its role in our diet.
Fat makes you fat, right?
Well, do carbs make your carb? Proteins more protonated? Of course, the answer is that too much of any of them will make you fat.
It just so happens that our most energetically rich macronutrient (which contains 9 calories per gram, as compared to 4 calories/g each for protein and carbs) shares a name with the unhealthy body state – i.e being fat.
Fat is one of 3 macronutrients our bodies produce in order to power our bodies.
Protein and carbohydrates are the other 2. It should seem fairly obvious that when our bodies break food down into these groups, then we would need a well-balanced diet which gives our bodies enough of these nutrients.
Saturated, Trans and Unsaturated fats
Fats are further broken down into saturated, trans and unsaturated fats.
- Olive Oil mainly contains monounsaturated fat, which the American Heart Association says can have beneficial effects on your heart. However, it also contains Polyunsaturated fats, which we can’t live without.
- Polyunsaturated fats contain Omegas 3 and 6, essential fatty acids, which the body needs in order to function optimally, but the only way to get them is to ingest them. Olives, olive oil, salmon, avocado, walnuts, peanut butter, almonds are all great sources.
- Saturated fats include – butter, cheese, heavy cream, cold cut meats, coconut oil etc. The jury is still out on saturated fats, though current science says we should moderate our intake of these foods.
- Trans Fats are most often found in processed foods. Nature does not create trans fats, laboratory’s do. The body hates and rejects it. Simply put, stay away.
The issue again is not whether carbs are good or bad or if fat is good or bad. The question is how much of each is the right amount for you to enjoy a healthy diet.
Just look at the Europeans as an example. They eat a diet high in fat and even high in saturated fat – yet year after year they are at or near the top of every cardiovascular metric. What’s the secret?
Enjoy a well - balanced, fat-rich diet! - The Mediterranean diet