Food and oilHave you heard the news? Fat isn’t bad for you! We’ve known that all along, of course—our great-grandparents ate butter and lard, not low-fat margarine and zero-calorie mayo—but now even mainstream health experts are saying that a low-fat/no-fat diet is not a good idea. Mary Flynn, a professor of medicine at Brown University, recently told an NPR reporter this: “There have been a number of studies done, and there’s been no benefit for low-fat diets to lead to better weight loss, and there’s no benefit for low-fat diets to lead to less disease.” She added that avoiding fat is not the key to a healthy diet. Common sense is finally becoming more common! For the full story, click here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/03/28/295332576/why-we-got-fatter-during-the-fat-free-food-boom.

That said, remember that there’s a big difference between refined, rancid fats and fresh, unprocessed fats—you still want to avoid rancid fats. That means opting for unrefined oils (extra-virgin olive oil, not vegetable oil) and products from grass-fed animals whenever possible (grass-fed beef, not 99-cent-per-pound ground chuck). Here’s a quick rundown of what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to fats. Print out these lists and take them to the store with you!

GOOD FATS

  • Unrefined oils (look for the words “extra-virgin,” “cold-pressed,” and “unrefined” on the label)
  • Whole-milk dairy products (cheese, milk, butter, yogurt, etc.) from grass-fed animals whenever possible
  • Free-range eggs (also called pastured eggs)
  • Grass-fed or wild meats (including deli meats and cured meats like bacon and sausage but without the nitrates/nitrates)
  • Wild and/or sustainably farmed seafood

BAD AND UGLY FATS

  • Anything containing trans fat (look for the words “hydrogenated,” “partially hydrogenated,” and “interesterified” on the label)
  • Refined oils (these include corn, soy, grapeseed, canola, vegetable, and cottonseed oils; peanut oil is also often refined)
  • Olive oil that is not labeled extra-virgin
  • Reduced-fat dairy products
  • Conventional eggs
  • Conventional meats
  • Factory-farmed seafood

 

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