Generally speaking when talking about nutrition or health, the word “fat” comes with a negative connotation. “Fat” is a word that people quickly associate with food that is bad for you; however this is not always the case. There are two different types of fats: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are the bad ones; some examples of foods containing a high proportion of saturated fat include animal fat products such as creams, cheeses, butter, other whole milk dairy products, and fatty meats. Many prepared foods are high in saturated fat content such as pizza, dairy desserts, and sausage. Foods with a high content of fat also tend to be calorically dense – meaning a small portion contains more calories than you think, but may not leave you feeling satisfied.
The other kind of fat found in our foods is unsaturated fat. This type of fat can successfully be added into your diet without worrying about choosing unhealthy foods. Unsaturated fats are generally referred to as “healthy fats” and can be found in foods such as avocado, nut butter, olive/almond oil, raw nuts/seeds, and fish. All of these are great options to add into your diet; but just because they’re “healthy fats” doesn’t mean you don’t have to monitor your intake. The FDA recommends no more than 30% of your daily intake come from fats.
The take home message here is that contrary to what you may think, fat is not all bad. It is required for numerous functions in your body, especially those related to growth and reproduction. Adding the right foods to your diet will help give you key nutrients and your body will benefit!
By Tyler Palmquist