Healthy Dietary Fat: Why We Need It & How To Get It
It seems everywhere you turn, someone is talking about the “latest and greatest” ways to approach nutrition. The fad diets and myths revolving around food are endless. At CrossFit Simsbury our approach to nutrition is simple: we believe in eating real, whole foods and eliminating processed foods and added sugar. Consistency is paramount. (Hey...I said simple...not easy.)
Getting into each myth and fad that’s out there could become a lengthy read for you. Today-we’re going to focus on FAT.
Fat is essential to a healthy diet. It’s a key component to the membranes in our bodies, and required to metabolize a handful of vitamins. While not our primary source, fat does contribute as an energy source. Additionally, it helps us to feel satisfied after eating. I’m sure you’ve had an experience where you’ve eaten a meal or snack that is “low fat/no fat/low calorie.” What happens? You’re hungry very shortly after and looking for the next thing! Often times, with these low fat foods, the ingredient list becomes inflated to make up for the missing flavor that is a side effect of being so low fat.
Ideally, you’re including healthy fat sources with each meal and snack. So what are our healthy sources of fat? Plant based sources; your nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocado, various cooking oils. It’s worth mentioning that there are fat sources it’s in your best interest to avoid. These are your saturated and trans fats. You’ll find saturated fats in your high fat sources of protein (think: ground chuck, chicken thighs, sausage, etc.) and trans fats in your processed foods and many baked goods. Why keep intake of these fats to a minimum? Because they lend themselves to elevated cholesterol levels and cardiac disease.
Here are 4 of our favorite ways to add some healthy fats into our meals and snacks:
Drizzle some olive oil over a head of broccoli before roasting.
Add some peanut butter to your morning oatmeal.
Spread some guacamole on a rice cake, and then top it with a slice of turkey.
Add a [measured] portion of raw cashews to your meal
The next time you find yourself falling into the “low fat/no fat” meal/snack trap-think twice. The goal of your nutrition is to fuel the machine. A balanced meal includes [lean] protein, carbohydrates, and you guessed it…some healthy fat! Eat real food. Fuel the machine. And crush everything!