Back in the 1980's, fat was a dirty word and many fitness gurus and nutritionists were touting fat as the big bad wolf that was making us all fat. However, when people went to less fat and more carbs, we all starting getting even fatter. How could this be? I'm buying and eating all 'fat free' products therefore I shouldn't be fat. What happened was our bodies started turning all of the carbs into sugar in our system which stores very nicely, thank you. Also, many fat-free products are higher in sugar to enhance the taste (I mentioned this in last week's blog). So, now, we are told fat is good but only certain types. Here we go again!
First of all, run away from ALL margarines. I don't care who says it's 'heart smart' - run away!! Eating margarine is like eating plastic. Your body can't break it down because it's not natural. You are much better off eating butter but only in limited amounts. As most of us know, trans fats are not good for you. In fact, it's been proven that the more of this kind of fat you have, the more you want. It's addictive!
So, what's a good fat? Natural fats that haven't been chemically altered: olive oil, flax oil, nuts and avocados. These are fats that your body can not only easily break down but also use. These fats will help to lower your cholesterol (LDL - that's the bad one that you want lowered!), aid digestion, good for hair, skin and nails. There are more benefits but I think that what we've seen here is sufficient for now. Another great fat is natural coconut oil. It used to be thought of as bad for us but is now touted as one of the best oils. This oil builds your immune system, has a postive effect on thyroid and blood sugar control. It also helps to increase digestion and aids in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
Here's a few ideas for using some of these oils you're not used to using:
I never liked avocados until my daughter lived with us and she was eating them all the time. She suggest I try a bite of her toasts where she used avocado as butter and I quite liked it! Another idea is spread avocado on some nice whole wheat crackers with a little bit of tomato and minced garlic on there - yum!!
Using coconut oil, you can use the oil in muffins or banana bread - it does have a little bit of a flavor but very nice in baked goods. Also, in stir fries, it leave a little bit of a coconutty flavor - very nice.
Try experimenting and go on line - there's all kinds of recipes and ideas out there.