Before I started paying attention to my health, I used to “pay attention to my health”. At the time, that meant switching out “less healthy” fats like bacon fat and butter for “better oils” like olive oil. Yes, olive oil is “better” for you (most fats, even saturated fats are healthy in moderation) but when I didn’t have any idea what portion control was I’d use a metal canister of olive oil in a month.
But fat is important to the body’s functions, and fat has been given a bad reputation over the years. There’s a lot of talk about “good” fats and “bad” fats, but lately scientists have discovered there’s only one true “bad” fat: trans fats, or, more specifically, artificial trans fats. A lot of effort has been made to remove artificial trans fats from commercial food, so it’s getting easier to avoid these, but it’s still a good idea to check the labels. Want more info? Here’s a great infographic:
Despite what you may have grown up hearing, saturated fats are fine in moderation, and there’s more than one type of saturated fat. The saturated fat found in things such as coconut oil, salmon and whole milk dairy is far better than the saturated fats in takeout food and red meat.
I eat far less red meat than I used to, for two reasons: it’s usually too expensive and it has more fat than chicken breasts or pork loin. That and in my opinion the most flavorful steaks have the most fat. Because fat equals flavor! (Which is true, seriously.) So I eat it with less frequency than before, but when I do eat it, I really enjoy it. In fact, I’m making rib steaks for Easter dinner!
I also use far less butter and dairy milk than I used to, so when I do decide I want some butter on a baked potato or some heavy cream, I don’t feel guilty, because I don’t use it every day.
Want a cheat sheet? There’s a great one here:
Click here for a high quality PDF.
To sum up, your body needs fats to function, so you can still enjoy fat in moderation, as long as you choose healthier fats to indulge in. (And these days it would take me six months or more to get through a canister of olive oil that large!) You can find much more detailed information at these links:
Enjoy your fats! 🙂