Fat is such an ugly word. Or at least that’s what we’re taught to believe from the time we’re old enough to consider these things. The media tells us we should strive for slender and avoid the F-word, but the truth is, not all fats are created equal. In fact, some fat in your diet (and on your figure) can actually be good for you. Here’s the skinny:
Make Time for Monounsaturated Fats: Found in foods like olive oil, canola oil, olives, almonds and avocados, monounsaturated fats are known in the nutrition world as “good fats”. Liquid at room temperature, these fats are known to be heart healthy and lower the risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer. These good fats are also said to reduced cholesterol levels and belly fat. While it’s always great to get monounsaturated fats from whole foods, you can also seek out smaller brands like Boulder Canyon for Potato Chips prepared in real olive oil, rather than lesser alternatives. Go for baked goods from reliable artisan brands like Marlo’s Bakeshop that pride themselves on using the finest ingredients like non-gmo expeller pressed canola oil, rather than margarine or hydrogenated soybean oil.
Find Alternatives for Trans Fats: Plainly put, trans fats are the bad guys. The worst. Found in partially hydrogenated soybean oil and other non-soluble fats created by food scientists to lengthen the shelf lives of packages foods, trans fats are unhealthy. They are directly linked with increased rates of heart disease and cholesterol levels. In other words, ironically, they decrease your shelf life. Fortunately many companies have cut back on the use of trans fats and partially hydrogenated soybean oil, but sadly not all. We nearly cried when we investigated and found that kid-favorite Tootsie Rolls still list partially hydrogenated soybean oil as their 3rd ingredient (after sugar and corn syrup). Fortunately, responsible companies like Trujoy are creating tasty replacements in the form of Choco-chews that have all the flavor of your childhood favorite candies, but healthier fats and organic, all-natural ingredients.
Say Yes to Certain Saturated Fats: Nothing is black and white, right? And when it comes to saturated fats, things get a little trickier. In baked goods, solid saturated fats often help make products taste homemade and offer a desirable crunch and texture. Saturated fats from animal sources are generally less desirable, but saturated fats also come from places like coconut oil, what about those? Coconut oil has a high amount of lauric acid which is terrific for the immune system. Butter contains anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. Both add excellent flavor. Rather than tossing them to the wayside, use them in moderation and enjoy the benefits.