About two (2) years ago I started training Treves Janszen. She was a hard worker and seemed to want to know more and more about health and fitness. Fast forward to now. Today I’ll introduce Treves Janszen as our nutrition expert and, in a few months, she will be our certified nutritionist. When you get into the health and fitness industry, you never really know where it will take you or who you will meet along the way. Luckily two (2) years ago I gained a client who turned out to be as passionate (if not more) about this industry as myself and now she can teach others how to improve their lives the way she did when she started her journey. Treves has an awesome story so I’m not going to get into that, but look forward to a post or two about her transformation and what it took for her to lose 100lbs and end up in the best shape of her life. Until then, here’s her first post that will give you a little introduction to healthy fats.
By now everyone has heard about the downside of fats. It has been pounded into our heads that fat contributes to heart disease, obesity and cancer to just name a few. There is another type we are now hearing about called “healthy fat”. We need fats in our diet to help our bodies function optimally. This article hopefully will help you to have a basic understanding of how to use and balance fat in your diet in a healthy way.
To keep it simple, there are 3 main types of fats. Saturated fats are those that are solid at room temperature such as animal fat and tropical oils (coconut/palm). Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, avocados and tree nuts. The third type is the polyunsaturated fats broken into omega-3 (fish, fish oil and flax oil) and omega-6 (most seed oils-canola, safflower etc). “Healthy” fats are found in whole, unprocessed foods. “Unhealthy” fats are found in processed foods. Unhealthy fats have been treated with chemicals or heat turning them into hydrogenated fats and trans-fatty acids. Our bodies run best on real food and not the man-made fake stuff.
Next, we have to balance the fats in our diets. Too much fat or the wrong type of fats can be stored as well… fat on our bodies. You should aim to get 1/3 of each fat into your diet daily. For example you can get saturated fats by consuming grass fed meats or cooking omega-3 enriched eggs in coconut oil for breakfast. Monounsaturated fats can be obtained by consuming a small hand full of almonds with your salad that has been drizzled with extra virgin olive oil for lunch. Polyunsaturated fats could be in the salmon you are having for dinner. Now keep in mind that this is not a free pass to eat a pound of bacon or slather your pancakes with a stick of butter. Once again make sure your fats come from whole, unprocessed food. Are you seeing a theme here?
Our local Kroger’s doesn’t have an isle titled fats. How do you make sure you are getting a balance of fats in your grocery cart while shopping? Easy–mainly stay on the perimeter of the store. This is where you will find most of the healthy fats you should be consuming. You will have to visit the middle for your coconut/palm/olive oils, olives and oh yea sardines if you like those. Try to stick with grass fed meats, butter and wild caught seafood. Choose your oils wisely since they have all undergone some type of processing. Look for cold pressed and extra virgin. Oils each have a different smoking/burn point so be careful which you choose for cooking, baking and sautéing. Smoking oil causes it to undergo a chemical process which produces toxins that lead to inflammation in the body. Avoid canola, flaxseed and walnut oils for cooking since they contain omega-3 which are heat sensitive and will easily breakdown into trans-fatty acids.
In conclusion, get your fats from whole unprocessed foods. Avoid all processed fats hence processed foods and try adding more fish into your diet. Begin with just one night a week if you are eating none now. Your body will thank you.