DO YOU EAT ENOUGH FAT?
Fat has a really bad reputation, with the low-fat diet industry now worth billions. You can get low-fat versions of just about every food these days… and yet obesity is on the increase across the UK, with the associated illnesses and conditions affecting millions of us. If we’re all getting fatter, how could it possibly be that we’re not eating enough fat?
Well, firstly there is the fact that actually, it’s not dietary fat that is making us fat; that’s sugar. Then there is the fact that while some fats are bad for you, others are good for you and should form an essential part of every healthy diet.
You might think of a high-fat diet as consisting of unhealthy foods like fast food and ice cream, and you would be right in thinking this is not a healthy diet! But there are certain types of fat we should all be aiming to eat every day as they are essential for our bodies’ proper functioning.
As a rule, saturated and trans fats are not good for us. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for us when eaten in moderation though, and we also need to ensure we get a good mix of essential fatty acids.
When we don’t have enough good fats in our diets, we can experience all sorts of ailments, from dry skin to trouble losing weight to even depression and trouble focusing. It’s worth bearing in mind that vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat soluble – so a lack of dietary fat can mean we are deficient in those vitamins too.
So what can we eat to ensure we’re getting enough of the good fats in our diets? Here are five ways to ensure you’re getting enough fat in your diet:
Avocados. These seem to be becoming more popular by the day, and with good reason. Avocados are high in oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat. Studies have shown that people who regularly eat avocados have less belly fat those who don’t.
Egg Yolks. There used to be a trend for people discarding the yolks of eggs and eating only the whites. Hopefully that’s a thing of the past now, as egg yolks are full of goodness – as well as good fats. In fact, an egg is one of the most nutrient dense foods available.
Oily fish. Fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and trout are all filled with omega-3s, which are super healthy and good for your heart. In fact, eating oily fish has been linked to improved health and a lower risk of many diseases.
Nuts. These are high in healthy fats as well as vitamin E and magnesium. They’re also a great source of plant based protein and great for those times when you really want something crunchy and savoury. We’re not talking about salted peanuts here though; always choose unsalted, and remember that technically, a peanut is a bean and not a nut!
Coconut oil and coconut. Coconut oil is actually saturated fat, but it is good for you. Unlike most other forms of fat, the fat in coconut oil consists of medium-chain triglycerides which are really good for us. These can actually suppress the appetite, and even boost the metabolism.
Try to include a little fat with every meal; you’ll find that it allows you to feel full for longer so that you’re not tempted to graze or binge later on. Just be sure to only include good fats, and to leave the trans-fats on the shelf.