To eat fats or not to eat fats. No, we didn’t just flash back to the 90’s. It was a hot topic then and it’s still one today.
Truth is, not all fats are equal so we’re bringing you the facts by busting the top five hottest fat myths.
Myth 1: No Form of Dietary Fat Is Ok To Eat
Yes, there are dietary fats that you should limit. These include avoiding trans fats and limiting saturated fats, due to their ability to raise cholesterol1 and potentially have negative consequences on your health.2
Avoid these fats by limiting your intake of foods that are high in these fats, including meats and margarine as well as processed and deep-fried foods.3
Myth 2: All Fats are the Same
Saturated and trans fats aren’t the only types of dietary fat. There are also “good fats” which include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fat that includes Omega-3 ALA fatty acids. And these can be beneficial to have in the diet because, among other things, dietary fat helps with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, vitamin A,D, E and K.4
Foods with this type of fat include olive oil, sesame oil, avocado, peanut butter and many nuts and seeds. Omega-3 ALA cannot be made in the body, therefore you must get it from your diet. Omega-3 ALA can convert into different types of fatty acids once in your body (DHA and EPA). Plant based sources of ALA include walnuts, flax, algae, chia or hemp seeds.5
Myth 3: Fat-Free Foods are a Smart Snack Choice
There was a time when it seemed every food marketed and manufactured was fat-free or offered a fat-free alternative. Here’s another truth for you, fat tastes good! To make up for that, with the removal of fat typically comes the addition of other ingredients including sugar, salt or other ingredients to make up for removed flavor, texture and taste.
Myth 4: Eating Fat Will Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease
While it’s true that excessive intake of trans fats is detrimental to hearth health , plant-based sources of unsaturated fat can help support heart health. Monounsaturated fats may positively influence cholesterol in the body6 supporting heart health. Sources of monounsaturated fats include avocado, olives, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.
Now that we’ve taken it back to the 90’s, covered the hottest of topics and busted fat myths, we’re feeling a little hungry. You too? Head over to our recipe center to try this easy and flavorful (thank you fats!) Peanut Butter Smoothie.
- American Heart Association (2015). Trans Fats. Accessed on 7/26/16 from: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Trans-Fats_UCM_301120_Article.jsp
- National Institute of Health (2011). Weighing in on Dietary Fats. . Accessed on 7/26/16 from:https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/dec2011/feature1
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2016-2020 http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/chapter-1/a-closer-look-inside-healthy-eating-patterns/#callout-dietary-fats
- Dawson-Hughes, B. (2014) Dietary fat increases vitamin D-3 absorption. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 115(2):225-30
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2016-2020 http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-6/#o
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2016-2020 http://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/chapter-1/key-recommendations/