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Fat Talk

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A few months ago, the Atkins Diet felt my wrath when I stood up for Carbs.

Well, Atkins can breathe a sigh of relief now, ‘cause I’m going after someone else! Who came up with the idea to call the important nutrients that do so much for us “fats” anyhow?  Why associate something so good with something so negative?

If you’ve ever said, “I’m not fat” you’re wrong.  That’s exactly what you are!

Every cell in your body is made up of fat.

pet

(Remember her from the Banana Love post?)

Healthy fats are essential for your body to function. And ladies, we need fats for certain other functions as well.

Fats are responsible for soft skin, hair, and healthy nails. Of course, not all fats are created equal. I’m all for staying away from trans fats. (An easy way to tell if a food has trans fat is to look at the label; if “partially hydrogenated oil” is listed in the ingredients, it has trans fat.) And obviously I’m not a proponent of a diet high in animal fats (full of saturated fat).

But some fats—monounsaturated fats (such as olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats (such as flaxseeds)—ought to be included in a healthy diet. In fact, studies have shown that these fats may give one an edge against diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Fats do not make you fat!

Studies have shown that people who include some healthy fats in their diets tend to be slimmer than their fat-shunning peers. Fats help keep one satiated, so one eats less in the long run. Plus, fats make food taste better, so one won’t be as likely to binge on mass quantities of low-fat substitutes that might be higher in refined carbs, sodium, and sugar.

So eat fat… in moderation.

You don’t want to go out and drink gallons of oil in order to ward off cancer. But completely steering clear of healthy fats isn’t good either. Four reasons why:

  • Fat improves the taste of food and helps with satiety.  Eschew all fats in a meal and you might end up actually eating more due to the fact that your brain never feels satisfied.
  • The aforementioned health reasons; our bodies need some fat in order to function at their peak.
  • People on low-fat diets tend to replace healthy fats with not-as-healthy foods, such as those high in refined carbohydrates.
  • Many low-fat products replace the fat with extra sugar, chemicals, preservatives, or other nutritionally-devoid ingredients.

bpb

If you must eat a low-fat sub for pb, go with Banana Butter!

Choose a diet that emphasizes the consumption of whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables, as well as small amounts of healthy fats, such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils (like olive oil), and oils rich in omega 3s, like flaxseed oil. Don’t fear the healthy fats!

Especially if you’re an athlete, still growing, looking to gain some weight (in a healthy way), or missing periods, it might be a good idea to up your intake of healthy fats.

Here’s a list of healthy fats

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Valerie says:

    I always enjoy reading your posts, Katie. They are so well-written! Have you ever thought about writing for a magazine or newspaper? Or maybe a book? 🙂

    1. trajayjay says:

      She should, someone needs to combat all this misinformation about how carbs and fat are so bad for us. It’s refined carbs, refined sugar, palmitic acid (a rather harmful saturated fat), and trans fat that are really bad for us. But still, the media continues to lump oats with refined pasta, and coconut oil and almonds with trans fat.

  2. abby says:

    oh katie thank you for this post! i so needed to hear it! i need to add more fats to my diet, so this is a great post for me, and i’ll be looking back to the “healthy fat list” often.

  3. fats make you skinny! hehe.

    this post is so true. and its nice to be reminded and even more educated on this now. obviously every body will require a different amount of fat.. but rule of thumb- we all need it! especially our brains 🙂 xoxo <3

    1. trajayjay says:

      Ever hear of the Flat Belly Diet, I’m not on it but i love the idea of it because it exalts monounsaturated fats, and plenty of them. It allows for four servings a day, which may include 2 tbsp of nuts/seeds or nut/seed butters, 1/4 cup of semisweet or darker chocolate chips, 1 tbsp of any monounsaturated oil, avocadoes or olives. I think it’s ridiculous how the USDA gets a 2000 cal eater to limit her oils to 2 Tbsp a day! Flat Belly Diet FTW

  4. Anonymous says:

    HOMEMADE ARTISANA COCOA BLISS????!!!!
    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Mary says:

    I used to fear fats, I’ll admit it. But thanks to terrific posts from bloggers like you, I can honestly say that I love my fats now. And the amazing thing is that I feel so much better and have actually LOST weight to a healthy weight once I got off the low-fat diet I was on!

    1. trajayjay says:

      When it comes to fats, you are NOT what you eat!

  6. devyn says:

    this is a great post! PB is my favorite fat. My mom just asked me and I was not sure, is coconut milk good for you? I was wondering if you knew the answer

  7. Jess says:

    hahaha I agree with anonymous above me in being excited for that Cacao Bliss recipe.
    But maybe I’m not *quite* as excited as she is 😉
    Great post, Katie!

  8. Rosie says:

    Yayy! I love fat! And carbs (maybe a lil too much but I get lots of fruit/veggie carbs too not just grains!)! And protein! And all food! 🙂

    And BANANA BUTTER? Omg. I didn’t see this post before but now I’m all excited! 🙂 Did people decide how long it would last in the fridge? I looked through the comments, but no answer! I guess in all it probably doesn’t matter much–I’d eat it in a few days. Mmm.

  9. Little Bookworm says:

    Fantastic post Katie! 😀 Homemade Artisana Cacao Bliss sounds amazing!

  10. Jenny says:

    Oh Katie, this post is so refreshing to read and makes me INCREDIBLY happy!!! I’ll be honest, I fell victim to the “low fat” fad, and I still struggle from time to time with incorporating it in to my diet, but it’s so important to remember that our bodies NEED fat to function properly! Thank you for this – I needed it more than you know.

    LOVE YOU!!

  11. Aimee says:

    This post is amazing! I wish I’d read it earlier so you could have spared me from my years struggling with my weight and not understanding it because I was eating very little fat. But I was tired all the time, and my low fat peanut butter and snack cakes were LOADED with sugar. How could I have been so naive?

  12. Fats are my FAVORITE thing! I usually eat at least one avocado a day, everything I make has olive oil in it, and nuts and nut spreads (and peanut butter!) are one of my very favorite things.

    Fat is seriously a huge part of my diet, and I am slender, strong, and healthy! No need to fear the fats at all. (Of course, those creepy chemical laden trans fats are another story…but I’m sure I get my fill of those on occasion, too!)

    1. trajayjay says:

      Trans fats are despicable, lowering HDl and raising LDL. A 2000 cal eater should eat no more than 2 a day, ideally this number should be zero. I also hate it that when partially hydrogenated oil (the codeword for transfat) appears on the ingredients label, but the product claims 0g trans fat. It indeed contains transfat. Some popcorn contains 5g transfat in one serving! This stuff should not be in our food, it’s like arsenic.

  13. Inspired says:

    Thanks for the great reminders, both about fats and that yummy banana butter :).
    I’m too shy to send you my own fat love photos, but I’m excited to see everyone else’s!

  14. Rosie,
    I am a bad person to ask, because I haven’t been able to keep it around more than four days! I CAN tell you that it lasts at least four days… but after that, it’s always been gobbled up too soon to know.
    Sorry I can’t be more helpful! 😕

  15. Lunchmunchies,
    YES!! Oh my gosh yes it so does have healthy fat! Apparently dark chocolate has monounsaturated fats… plus it has other benefits like antioxidants. And, best of all, it gives you endorphins 🙂

  16. devyn,
    Yes! It is high in saturated fat, but studies have proven that its saturated fat acts differently in the body than the saturated fat found in animal products. I wrote a little about it in the following post, which also has a link to a great source about coconuts:
    http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2009/03/22/my-tongue-has-died-and-gone-to-heaven/

    1. trajayjay says:

      It’s cool to know that some saturated fat is not harmful. Thousands of nutritionists swallow their pride. But I think coconuts won’t get the reputation they deserve after satfat has undergone such hatred.

  17. Sarahishealthy says:

    Love this post! I needed to hear it!

  18. Ahh I am guilty of the Better n’ Peanut Butter! But I officially threw it out in favor of REAL food =D

    1. trajayjay says:

      I promise I will never buy that crapgarbage. I don’t want to propogate the “all fat is bad” misconception

  19. eatandrun says:

    Your not the only one, Megan! I still eat it every now and then, too. But your right, Katie. It takes me the same amount of time to eat twice as much as it would peanut butter, and I’m not even as satisfied when I’m done!

  20. Demelza says:

    Uh-oh, Katie. I’d be careful if I were you. I have a feeling that the homemade cacao bliss is going to gain you a truckload of stalkers. =P
    I’m pretty excited for everything on the agenda. The “Hug a Carb” month was an adorable idea, and applying the same concept to fats will no doubt produce some hilarious photos, too.

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