Foods with healthy fat
Nutrition Essentials

Fat: Good vs bad

Our complicated relationship with fat stops us from getting the right kind of nutrients

So which one is it?! The truth is that fat is good for you, but it needs to be the right kind of fat and it needs to be the right amount.

Our modern relationship with fat has turned into something toxic and rather confusing... It’s become both something we need to get rid of, with slogans like ‘burn more fat’. While at the same time, something we need to eat way more of, with the arrival of new fad diets.

Fat: The good, the bad and the ugly

Unlike the carbohydrate storage system, the human body can store fat like there is no tomorrow, which is a good thing... Our ability to store fat is one reason why humans have survived and thrived as a species! With its ability to promote endurance, it has played a huge role in our brain development and why we can run and walk for extraordinarily long distances.

Did you know?

Fat is an important fuel for most of the cells in our body and obligatory for muscle function. It protects our major organs like our heart, liver, spleen, kidney, brain, and spinal cord by insulating them against trauma. This kind of fat makes up to four percent of our body’s fat storage.

Certain vitamins such as A, D, K and E are fat soluble and your sufficient intake of these vitamins depends on the fat you eat. These vitamins must be digested with fat, otherwise the body can’t absorb them effectively!

Where to find the good fats

Healthy fats exist in foods like olives, avocados, nuts and seeds, peanut butter and oils like sesame seed oil and olive oil. In moderation, you can also find healthy fat in foods like fish, like sardines and classic food combinations like milk and eggs.

To be eating the right amount of fat required to process and digest vitamins and minerals while avoiding gaining extra weight, you need to be eating healthy fats. Fat also helps optimize physical performance while working alongside proteins and carbs to give you all the health benefits you need to live well.

Fats to avoid

There are some foods that as tasty as they may be, aren’t that good for you. Some bad fats to look out for include: cake, pastries, processed foods (ie. packaged and microwaveable), hamburgers, fries etc. These foods have an unhealthy amount of fat in them and are often processed using oils that cause them to lose any health benefits from exposure to air, light, and heat.

Too much fat

In some extreme cases, there can be side effects from an extremely fatty diet, some of the symptoms include poor skin, hair and nails. Your immune system can also suffer from too much fat and induce a hormone imbalance, deregulating important bodily functions.

The moral of this long, fat story is to not to be afraid of eating fat. Instead, just be sure to choose good fats as often as you can and if you’re going to treat yourself every once in a while--which, let’s face it; we all do. Just don’t make it habit.