Understanding Good VS. Bad Fats

I’m sure you’ve heard it before and it probably gets very confusing at times. There ARE good fats and bad fats. They’re very different and affect our bodies very differently as well. If you’re on the path to weight loss, continue reading. 

How we have been manipulated into understanding fat:

“You eat fat, you get fat.” This is the greatest misconception there is and it needs to be stopped. Eating fat does not make you fat, eating carbs and sugar makes you fat. Carbs and sugar are the reason we have spikes in insulin (the fat storing hormone) to make sure these simple carbs are getting into our cell membranes to be burned as energy. If our cell membranes are full and all this extra insulin can’t get in, it stores as fat.

How do we burn simple carbs so they don’t turn into fat?

With fat! Healthy fats, such as Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) cannot be produced by our bodies and need to be eaten or taken through supplements. One of the main roles of these fats are to maintain healthy cells so that insulin transporting glucose (what simple carbs turn into) can get into them in order to burn instead of store. I’m not saying that eating fat will burn all those carbs and sugars so you’re good to go! I’m saying that no matter what, your body needs carbs for energy and it needs to be effectively burned within your healthy cells. If you are eating the right carbs and the right fats while eliminating the sugar, your body will burn off all the glucose instead of storing it. Thus: fat loss.

Fats and oils don’t affect insulin spikes, which are the main source of fat storage. This will not only stop sugar cravings but will also make you feel full quicker and for longer. They’re also great for our skin and brain health.

What are bad fats and what do they do?

Bad fats are those that are hydrogenated (trans fatty acids). These come in the forms of basically anything fried (as it turns oils into solids), margarines and baking shortening. Trans fats increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol, leaving us in danger of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. They also don’t aid in healthy cell membranes, and therefore inhibiting the insulin from getting through the walls in order to burn glucose. Saturated fats are another that are not needed for optimal health. They come in the form of animal fats, dairy products and vegetable oils. While trans fats should be eliminated completely from our diets, the right saturated fats will add to your daily intake of cholesterol, but they aren’t as bad as you may think and can be in your daily diet.

What are good fats?

Good fats are EFA’s (super hormones) from Omega 3 and Omega 6 sources. We only need a small dose of Omega 3’s and a larger dose of Omega 6. In the standard North American diet we are getting much more Omega 6 than Omega 3, which means that not only are we missing out on this EFA but we’re actually depleting it’s nutritional value within our bodies. We should be having a 2:1 (Omega 6:Omega 3) ratio of these fats on a daily basis. The best way to do this is with the use of Udo’s Oil. It is also important to know that these fats should never be heated, as they will lose all their nutritional value and become harmful.

Saturated fats are also healthy and important to include.

Sources of Saturated fats:

CoconutOil

  • avocado
  • coconut oil
  • grass fed beef
  • grass fed chicken
  • butter
  • eggs

Sources of Omega 3:

Omega3Salmon

  • flax oil
  • algae oil
  • salmon
  • sardines
  • tuna
  • herring
  • trout
  • mackerel

Sources of Omega 6:

Seeds

  • nuts
  • seeds
  • seed oils such as sesame and sunflower

By eating the right fats in the right amounts (portion sizing is key!), your body will begin to shift from burning glucose for energy to burning fat for energy – Score!