The Skinny on Fats
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The Skinny on Fats

Enjoy the re-run while I'm away!

Fats have been made the villain in the world of diets.Salad dressings were some of those food items supposedly be bad for you. I remember the diet craze that people were on about 15 years ago involving non-fat foods.  Those salad dressings tasted awful! The spices were too strong while more sugar or salt was added to compensate, while the vinegar overpowered the flavor.  Although people lost weight, everything tasted terrible, they felt hungry, and the diet was short lived.

The good news is that fats are actually good for you as well as necessary for good health.  Now don't run out to buy elephant ears or deep fried Twinkies! These are some things that fats do for us:

  1. Cellular repair. Our cells are made of lipid bi-layers (i.e. fats). Without fats, the cell walls begin to break down.
  2. Aid in conduction of neurological processes.  Good nerve conduction depends on fats.
  3. Aids the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. 
  4. Insulates the body. With too little, it is difficult to maintain one's own body heat.
  5. Acts as packing material and keeps internal organs in place with fatty web-like tissue.
  6. Gives us the feeling of satisfaction after eating a meal.

How much is too little?  A daily intake of 2% of is minimal.  We actually should take in 30% of our daily caloric intake for weight maintenance.  Of that amount, 10-30% may be from animal products such as meat and dairy.  Fats are 9 calories per gram, so you may cut that down to 20% total. Then 10%-20% of that total 20% would be from animal fats.  If you go lower than that, you will find nothing tastes good, you will be constipated, and always feeling hungry. Keep in mind that fats are 9 calories per gram, as opposed to 4 calories per gram for protein and carbohydrates. If you are counting calories to stay in a specific range, this is important to know. Stick to the weight loss range and you will do well.

What should we look for in our foods? Polyunsaturated fats are best, such as corn, safflower, soybean and cold-water fish.  Some monounsaturated are fine such as olive, canola and peanut.  Look for dairy products that are low fat, but watch the sugars and sodium content.  Meat products should be the leanest possible.  Don't be fooled with poultry, though.  "Lean" ground turkey can have as much fat as 80/20 ground beef! Read the fat grams.  I look for under 10 grams. The reviews I've found regarding coconut oil are mixed since it is considered a saturated fat. I would recommend limiting it's use as you would with animal fats until more consistent evidence is out in reputable reports.

God has given us all things to enjoy, but not all things are beneficial. You can enjoy your food without guilt by eating what is right and reasonable.  God bless!

American Dietetic Association

NETA Exercise Instructors Training Manual

4 Comments to The Skinny on Fats:

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jobs in canada on Friday, July 11, 2014 9:02 AM
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Charlaine on Monday, September 22, 2014 8:18 AM
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