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21 Oct

The hidden truth behind fat

Posted by Bikini Owner

Healthy fats to help you look your best
By Lacee Kine,

Fat free fad diets were uber trendy in the 90’s and often laden with mounds of sugar, artificial ingredients, flour and starch. Nutritionists are now coming out of the woodwork to proclaim fat, when eaten correctly, can actually lead to a fitter, leaner body.  

The truth is, fat does not make you fat. In fact, a diet rich in healthy fats can help to break down unwanted fat in your body. We need fat in our diet to build our skin cells, balance our hormone levels, keep our neurological system in shape and help the body utilize vitamins A, D and E. One of the most widely discussed hormones is leptin, which is the satiety hormone produced by fat cells that signal the body to eat less thus feeling satisfied and not overindulging. Researchers believe consuming healthy fats improve leptin response.

So, while some people are scared to eat fat in their diet, a deficiency of fat can cause more problems than solutions.  

I sat down with nutritionist Jenn Zerling, author of Breaking the Chains of Obesity: 107 Tools, for a little further insight.  

Zerling says, “The problem is America’s overconsumption of fat in general. While good fat will aid the body in vital functions, the country eats over 40% of its calories from bad fat, which may be the issue. While all macronutrients are important for the human body, any of the three (carbs, fats, proteins) eaten in excess will make you fat. Low fat, low carb and low protein diets are a thought of the past. If you want to lose fat, then check out the facts about fat before cutting them out of your day to day life.”

Good fats? Bad fats? What’s the difference? I thought all fat was bad.  

Think again.

Good fat comes from avocado, wild cold water fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and anchovies, free range eggs, nuts (think almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts and cashews), seeds (go for flax, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp and chia), olives, and some oils (try olive oil and grapeseed oil).

Bad fats come from food with heavy levels of saturated fats such as whole milk, many cheeses, red meat, fatty meats, palm oil, chips, and fried foods just to name a few.  

Trans fats are hopefully a word of the past. New York is among the movement of states to ban trans fats from restaurants and mandate that restaurants use better cooking practices to spare the population from unwanted atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Another word for trans a fat is hydrogenated oil so if you see those words you might want to pick a different food item.

Now that we know where to find good fats and how to avoid the bad ones let’s dive a little deeper. Good fat provides your body with Omega-3s, which can lower inflammation and decrease your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Good fat is a vital ingredient for healthy skin, hair, nails and digestion.   

Zerling says, “The best rule of thumb is to eat 30% of your daily calories from healthy fats, and consume low glycemic carbohydrates (think brown rice, apple, oats, most veggies excluding carrots, corn and root veggies), along with one gram of protein per pound of lean body weight. This general rule can provide you with a lean body.”

And now for a few quick and easy ideas to add the right fat to your daily diet:

  • Mix 1 ½ tsp. extra virgin olive oil and 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar to make a healthy dressing to drizzle on greens, chicken before baking and just about anything that calls for a dressing.
  • Snack on turkey, goat cheese and avocado rolls. Combine 2 slices low-sodium, nitrite-free, lean turkey breast, spread with 1 tbsp. soft goat cheese, top with ½ tsp. Chopped raw walnuts and 2 thin slices of avocado. Roll up and enjoy!
  • A delicious sweet snack: slice half an apple, add blueberries, a scoop of almond butter sprinkled with chia and hemp seeds, mix in a bowl and enjoy.
  • Add ¼ avocado to fresh fish or chicken tacos.

As a female who has tried just about every diet, trend and workout phenomenon, I have at last had a personal revelation about fat and health. Eat healthy and fuel your body with delicious and real whole foods. Much of how we look is determined by what we are eating.

You do not, I repeat, you do not need to log two to three hours a day at the gym five to seven days a week to have a lean body. Move. Smile. Eat healthy, nourishing foods. Hydrate your body. Smile some more. Break a sweat. I can nearly guarantee if you are obsessing about a fat free diet, depriving yourself and draining your body, mind and spirit at the gym every day you will never truly be happy with how you look.

Instead embrace your body, shockingly enough when you ditch the artificial, fat free junk and trade up to real foods (with some good-for-you fats) your whole body will thank you.  

Lacee Kine is a health, beauty and wellness writer based in Los Angeles, CA. When not blogging, she’s wandering through Downtown LA, planning a day to Metro hop around greater LA and dancing in her bedroom while working out to P90X. For her favorite health and beauty professionals, products and places in L.A.


Lacee K