Will Good Fats Make You Fat?

By: Rebecca Meyerson, MS

There is still confusion among many people about whether good fats make you fat.  Common questions from clients include, “Is guacamole fattening?” and “ Are you sure nuts do not have too many calories?” and “Will coconut oil raise my cholesterol because it is high in saturated fat?”  

It seems logical to restrict these high fat foods from your diet thinking they might add weight to your waistline; but in reality nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil have many health benefits. These benefits include lowering cholesterol; lowering blood sugar; protection against cancer; improving heart health; supporting joint, bone and nerve health; increasing nutrient absorption; lowering blood pressure; and weight loss.   

Good fat can help lower cholesterol.  Your body makes eighty percent of cholesterol, and the other 20 percent comes from diet.  Cholesterol comes from fat, which in turn makes hormones.  It is important to choose your fats wisely. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help lower the LDL (bad cholesterol), and raise the HDL (good cholesterol).  These include raw almonds, pecans, walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, and wild salmon.

Saturated fats (palm oil, red meat) can raise your LDL and lower your HDL.  Trans fats (found in processed and fried foods) can also raise your LDL and lower your HDL. Weight gain is linked to low quality, processed, chemically treated, packaged foods with hydrogenated oils and trans fat. Check your labels for partially hydrogenated oils and for trans fat greater than zero.  

Replace your refined oils and rancid fats.  Good quality oils include avocado oil, coconut oil, and cod liver oil.  These will boost your immune function and help burn fat by improving your metabolism and help to balance out hormones.

When women do not consume enough good fats, they can stop menstruating, which could lead to health issues including infertility.  When men do not consume enough good fats, it reduces testosterone, which is necessary for reproduction.  Good fats have been linked to higher libido and regulation of male and female hormones.  

Some studies have shown that these good fats can protect against certain types of cancer.  Research has linked that continuous high levels of inflammation have contributed to different types cancer. When it comes to good fats, omega 3 fatty acids help to fight inflammation, lower blood pressure, and overall heart health.    
Here are some helpful ways to incorporate these good fats into your daily diet.  Try adding in a handful of nuts or avocado salsa to your salad. Have a baked piece of salmon for dinner. Eat carrots and celery with almond butter as a snack. Cook your fish or chicken in coconut oil. Enjoy a vegetable frittata (using organic eggs) for breakfast. Below is the recipe for a healthy vegetable frittata:


Serves 2

1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

6 free range, organic large eggs

¼ cup almond milk or rice milk

½ cup carrots shredded

½ cup zucchini shredded

¼ cup sun dried tomatoes

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

6 cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 fresh basil leaves, chopped

½ tsp herbamare

½ tsp oregano

*optional* organic goat cheese or nutritional yeast(vegan substitute)

Preheat coconut oil on medium heat in a medium sized pan. Place eggs and milk in a bowl and whip with a fork for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients to mixture except mushrooms. Stir to combine. Pour mixture into prepared pan and top with sliced mushrooms. Allow cooking for 10 minutes. At 8 minutes turn your oven broiler to low and sprinkle goat cheese on top of the frittata. Bake at 350 degrees until the top is golden for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle goat cheese on top of the frittata. Slide under broiler for about five minutes, or until it begins to brown.

For further healthy recipes and blogs, please visit my website www.simplyhealthyliving.org.

Rebecca Meyerson, MS is the certified Nutritionist at ProClinix Sports Physical Therapy & Chiropractic in Armonk. She can be reached at 914-202-0700. 


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