The misconception that all fat is unhealthy has been extremely detrimental to our health. If you study the human brain, it is made up mostly of fats. If our brains are mostly made of fat, what happens when we don’t eat enough healthy fats? Think about it.
Now it is true that there are plenty of unhealthy fats. Trans-fats, especially those used in deep-frying chicken and fries are among the worst. But good fats are extremely important and it has been scientifically shown that they help to satiate and nourish us and keep our bloody sugar stable throughout the day – which definitely helps keep our mood stable and prevents us from binging on high-sugar snacks or chips later throughout the day.
What does fat have to do with your bank account? A lot actually. If you think about how much starch or sugar we generally eat on a daily basis, and you instead factor in some healthy fats to include instead, I guarantee you that you will likely reduce your grocery bill. Yes, carrying around an avocado or hard boiled-eggs or a yogurt isn’t the hippest thing to do, but breaking your hip when you’re 60 because you have a premature case of arthritis from not supplying your body with enough of the necessary building blocks is not very hip either. Plus, this is your opportunity to go out and get some guacamole – or better yet, make it yourself; you will be the life of the party if you can learn to at least make basic guacamole.
If you’d like a guacamole masters’ recipe, please go else. I will give you basic guac for busy college students like me. Here are all two steps:
- Grab a couple avocados, tomatoes, (onion optional), a lime, and some salt or seasoning powder. Mash it all together with lime juice and seasoning.
Other great sources of nutrition, including butter, cream, and egg yolks have also been villified as being “unhealthy” because they contain high levels of cholesterol. While the exact link between cholesterol and heart health remains to be fully known, there is much evidence that much of the fear-mongering against cholesterol containing eggs and butter was based on flawed and limited scientific understanding of the 20th century. Excessive sugar and carbohydrate intake (i.e. soft drinks, breads, rice, pastries), and not fat, have been implicated in poor heart health and poor cholesterol levels, even though many of these foods have no fat or cholesterol in them. (1, 2)
Be sure however to avoid “vegetable” oils (i.e. soy, peanut, and corn), trans fats (found in fried foods), hydrogenated oils (“fake butter” spreads and candies), and rancid oils (old nuts and seeds). These are usually inflammatory to the body in some way and are not conducive to health. Ditch vegetable oils and use olive or coconut oils instead. Ditch the fake butter spreads and just use real butter; don’t be afraid of saturated fats. Make sure to minimize fried foods and old-smelling foods; they are likely rancid or toxic in some way.
Fat has been villified, but science now shows that it is healthy and a very necessary nutrient in moderation. In nominal amounts, fats coming from avocados, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, and butter can definitely be a healthy part of one’s diet, especially if they are replacing other low-nutrient foods like processed snacks, sugar, and starches. (1)
How this impacts you: if you want to be more satiated through the day, eat more healthy high-fat foods and less excessive starch and sugar. Though fat contains more calories per gram, it will keep you full longer and prevent you from eating other more expensive refined starches and sugary foods. This will save you money and health bills in the long run.