Healthy Fats vs. Bad Fats

That word..."fat". Yuck. It is so completely negative. Yet we frequently hear the words "good fat" and "bad fat" bandied about. Good fat? How could this exist?  And why label anything as "bad fat"? Isn't it all bad??


In fact, there is a difference and a lot to know. Let me help you weed through the information!


Remember those fat free days?   We were told to buy low fat cheese, low fat single pack snacks and then those Snackwells?   Those cookies were tasty!   But don't you want to know what made them so good?    Truth is, when the fat comes out, so does the flavor.  Can you guess what is then added to put the taste back in?  Yep.  It’s sugar.  So those low fat products we thought were helping us were actually hurting us.   By adding more sugar to our diet, our bodies naturally require more and more, thereby creating a sugar addiction. Sugar is our enemy... Watch for THAT blog post in the near future!    


Let’s begin by talking about healthy fats.  What are they and how do they help us?  The good fats, along with healthy portions of fruits and vegetables can be incorporated into our diet and help to crowd out the bad fats and the sugar cravings.  Do you crave those greasy fries or a cheeseburger?  That is your body craving the fat it needs to bring you back to balance.  


Sounds good, right?  Let’s get out there and hit the nearest greasy spoon for a burger and fries!  Come on, let’s go!  


Not so fast.  We need to choose the better fats for our body to get the nutritional benefits, the Omega 3s (good fats).   Those fries and cheeseburgers are all Omega 6 fats (bad fats).  


Dr. Hyman has a great article helping us understand the good and bad fats. This article references the Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acid differences.


What the good fats do is to help keep us full and they allow our body to absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.   


Recall DHA, an extremely important Omega 3 fatty acid needed for a baby’s proper brain development and function.  This fatty acid continues to be critical throughout our lives, not just during infancy.   It can enhance our vision as well as boost our memory development and functionality.  Good fats can even ward off dementia and Alzheimer ’s disease.    There is so much to learn about why we need the good fats!


Need help at the grocery store?  The Chalkboard has compiled a list from Dr. Hyman of the good and bad fats as a helpful guide to fill our carts at the store.  Examples from this list include avocado, olive oil, grass fed beef, coconut oil, clarified ghee, organic butter, nuts, and wild caught salmon.


 I know what you’re thinking…”there’s too much information and I’m still confused!”  I understand!  But get ready, because here is the key….simply do your best to sprinkle good fats throughout your diet and avoid the bad fats.  This will help us bring your body back into balance!  


We have to remember that we all like different foods and we all eat differently.  We may call our diets by different names:  Vegan, Paleo, Vegetarian, Pescatarian.  Incorporating the good and bad fats into our diets may be different for everyone.   Also, every body will respond differently to these fats.  


That is why I truly believe each and every one of us will function and thrive better on our own personal diet plan.  A food that works for one person may not work for another.   Some people do really well on a Vegetarian diet while others need organic, sustainable lean meat to function properly.  It’s all about finding what works for each of us!  Keep it simple, stay mindful, and you will find the balance that your body needs!

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