FATS, your friends or your enemies?

In #MOVeat we have been talking about the nutrients you should consume in your daily diet to reach your nutritional goals.

This week we will talk about fats, the enemies of many, but the nutrients can become the best friends of those who learn to consume them in the right way. We will see how they can contribute positively to make you healthier, how to choose them and how you can prepare them for take advantage of all their benefits.

Fats are one of the most controversial nutrients of these times, because some of them are essential to eat (essential means that our body can’t produce them by itself, we should ingest this nutrients in food), but eat them in an excessive way can be harmful.

One of the main functions of fat is provides energy to your body, especially long-term energy that is not spent immediately. It also helps to regulate body’s temperature, and participates in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K. Essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6, are vital for brain development, blood clotting, inflammation control and regulate triglycerides and "bad" cholesterol levels in blood.

Fats have a high calories contribution, so they should be eaten with moderation, daily (about 3-5 servings a day). A serving is between 5-15g, or 1 inch portion. The food considerate "source of fat” is classified in 2 different types. I will share with you some features to differentiate and choose them:

 Saturated Fat

They are of animal origin (With the exception of coconut oil, it is the only vegetable fat that provides saturated fat) as cream cheese, butter, lard and sour cream.

Most are solid at room temperature, such as yellow cheese, bacon, meat visible fat and sausages, for example.

This type of fat increases cardiovascular risk factors, so it should be avoided.

Unsaturated Fats

They are of vegetable origin, such as avocados, olives, margarine and seeds or their butters, such as peanuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts or pistachios.

Many of them are liquid at room temperature such as sunflower, canola, corn, and olive oil, which by the way, is advisable to use only as dressing, and not subject it to high temperatures when is used for cooking or frying.

This type of fat helps to reduce cardiovascular risk, also, protects the heart and reduces the "bad" cholesterol.

It is ideal to cook with cooking spray or vegetable oils (except for olive oil) instead of lard or butter. It is also preferable to avoid frying or adding a lot of fat to food.

Now is Naty´s turn to tell her side of the story:

Fat: my endless problem. I’ve always had my body fat percentage very high and I think that it’s all because I’ve never had control the famous fat. Since I started my control with Sofy, she had taught me to count the portions of fat in a way that for the first time in my life, it’s working.

Controlling the amount of fat that you have to consume it’s very important for us to not exceed our limit, pay attention to the way we cook, what does the food has and what counts as a fat, really makes the difference, maybe my mistake was not controlling the portions, not pay attention to those details, I did not stop and thought how much fat I was consuming. Things as simple as start using cooking spray instead of regular oil, could start changing something.

As Sofy teach us to see the difference between a good fat and a bad fat, that’s how we have to learn to make the right choices about which fats we should avoid and which ones we shouldn’t. For example, avocado is allowed on my daily food (thank God), but I’m not going to eat a whole avocado, I should know how much I can eat. I always insist to people when I say that eating well is not about suffering and being hungry all the time, it’s about simply knowing how much I can eat of each thing, as simple as that.

I feel, well, I do not just feel, I know, that I shouldn’t be afraid of fat; actually I should just respect it. What fats do I eat daily that maybe you can eat too? On my daily eating you can find fats like: olive oil (ideally without heating it, just for salad), almonds, peanuts, macadamia, avocado, low fat butter, green and black olives, canola oil, sesame oil, etc. I always try to use different kinds, and avoid the ones I don’t really need or take turns of each to not end up eating a lot portions. I enjoy them as good as the other kind of food but I really appreciate them because I can’t eat a lot of them, on my actual eating I can eat two visible fats like avocado or seeds and three invisibles like oil or things I can add to the food.

For this topic, I’m going to share with you how to do homemade peanut butter without sugar or added fat, just with the fat the peanut has. What do you think? Do you want to do it?

LINK: http://healthyhappin3ss.com/recipe/mantequilla-de-mani-hecha-en-casa-homemade-peanut-butter/

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Sofía Ochoa Ávila Dra. Sofía Ochoa, Nutrititionist

Sofy have a degree in Nutrition, shes graduated since 2010, and duly registered at the Association of Professionals in Nutrition with the code 658-10 and owns AyE Nutrition, Nutritional Counseling and Education. She give's private nutritional care and counseling in different nutritional themes and speaks the Costa Rican Sign Language (LESCO).

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Natalia Salazar Graphic designer, art director and professor.

Naty is a designer that at some point in her life, in the middle of wedding plans decided to live a healthier life and the less thing she was expecting was to fall in love with all to that. Now she shares all her experiences at her blog and on social media in order to motivate other people to do the same and continue through this path together.