Fats... good or bad?
It depends... but in general, fat is good! Fat plays a role in a host of bodily functions - supporting brain function, optimum cholesterol levels, bone and organ health, and more.
I always recommend consuming AT LEAST 25% of your calories from fat, slightly higher if it works for you (and/or you prefer to eat slightly less carbohydrates).
For your knowledge, 1 gram of fat has 9 calories - whilst 1 gram of protein/carbohydrates has 4 calories. Making fat very calorie-dense, something to look out for when controlling your overall calorie intake.
But not all fats are created equal.
I want you to actually take something away from this, so I'm going to strip it right down... apologies if you find this to skip over details.
A highly debated topic in the nutrition space. To keep it simple, saturated fats from fried, fast, processed or baked foods are unhealthy. Saturated fats in their natural state are healthy, including full-fat dairy, coconut (and coconut oil), and grass-fed meats.
Unsaturated fat - which comes under three categories:
- Monounsaturated fat (healthy) - consume it in your diet from sources like olive oil, avocados, almonds, brazil nuts, and peanuts.
- Polyunsaturated fat (healthy) - the body can't manufacture it, so consume it in your diet. Comes in two forms, omega 3 and omega 6, commonly found in oily fish, nuts and seeds, meat, eggs, and poultry.
- Trans fat (unhealthy) - consume in moderation: Found in baked goods, fried foods, and especially processed oils (rapeseed, vegetable, soybean, corn, etc.) - if you take anything from this email, let it be swapping processed oil for olive (raw better than cooked), coconut, avocado, or sesame oil.
For more info on each type of fat, and why trans fat is unhealthy: Harvard Health