Not all fats are bad. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, the sugar industry and the big food manufacturers began telling us eating fat was bad. They avoided mentioning the fact that your body must have certain fats for you to survive. Essential fatty acids are one example of fats you need to be healthy, and you need to consume healthy fats to keep your brain healthy. In fact, your brain is actually more than 60% fat. Let’s talk about which fats are good for you.
“Big Sugar” spent a lot of money telling us fat was bad for you and sugar was part of a healthy diet. Look up old ads, and you’ll see things such as using sugar to curb appetite, lose weight, and many other things that we now know just aren’t true. In the decades since, a number of reports have been brought to light which show how food manufacturers and sugar producers knowingly lied about the devastatingly bad effect sugar has on human health and well-being, both mental and physical. In some cases, scientists were paid to misreport test results and research, all in pursuit of the almighty dollar. Meanwhile, fat became their scapegoat, and dumping healthy fat in our diets did us a whole lot of harm. The no-fat, low-fat craze took hold. It got me too, and I thought I was doing a good thing for my health by avoiding fat. I was very wrong. I didn’t know fats are good for you.
We know now there are healthy and unhealthy fats, and not all of them are evil.
Some fats promote overweight and obesity, while others actually help improve your health. One fat may help keep your heart healthy, while another fat can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Some fats raise your risk of becoming diabetic, and other fats don’t need to be avoided. Some fats can increase inflammation which promotes depression, and some don’t.
Let’s focus on the “good” and “bad” fats with which you want to familiarize yourself, so you know which ones are in your best interest to include in your diet to avoid or combat diabetes.
- The Good Ones – These are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in plant oils like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil. Nuts, avocados, salmon, mackerel and other fish, flaxseeds and hemp seeds all contain good fats as well.
- The Bad Ones – These are saturated, hydrogenated, and trans fats and are found in cream, cheese, and butter. They are often present in processed meat products like deli meats and are ever-present in fast food, baked goods, highly processed foods, margarine, and palm oil. Read your food labels and avoid foods and beverages that list saturated, hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated or trans fats as ingredients. Because of their link to heart attacks, in 2015, the FDA banned the use of trans fats in the U.S. and gave manufacturers three years to eliminate them from their products. As of 2018, processed food should be free from trans fats, so you shouldn’t see trans fats included now on food ingredient labels. It’s important to note that meat and dairy products naturally contain some trans fats. That’s one reason it’s a good idea to limit their intake.
One way to automatically consume good fats and avoid the bad ones is to enjoy a largely plant-based diet.
People with prediabetes or diabetes who eat predominantly unprocessed and minimally processed fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds will immediately limit the amount of unhealthy fat that enters their bodies. I do want to mention that if you eat too much of any kind of fat, it’s not in the best interest of your good health. The good fats we just mentioned should be eaten in moderation, and you should strictly limit or totally remove bad fats from your diet.
I hope this is helpful, and if you have any questions, you are always welcome to email me: Cheryl@thinstronghealthy dot com.
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
I’m author, health coach, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you! If you’re new to the world of creating better health, both mental and physical for yourself, please check out my training on how to read food labels. That’s a wonderful way to begin your new healthy eating journey. What’s In a Food Label is where to check it out. Learn how to really know what’s in that package of food you’re buying and exactly where to find the truth!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter so you won’t miss my daily postings for health, wellness and mindset! And stay tuned for my new book, “Preempt Prediabetes” which will be published end of the year!