A Letter From Your Friend, The F Word
Dear Fitness Enthusiast,
It’s me. Fat. I feel like you’ve been avoiding me, but I’m wondering if you’ve heard the news. I’m not a bad guy! It seems to make sense that eating fat makes you fat, but that’s not true! Now, there’s good fat and bad fat, which I’ll get into in a minute, but please don’t be afraid of me. I’m your ally. I’m not only “not bad for you,” I’m actually beneficial! I exist to make food taste good and to help you feel satisfied.
I mentioned that I have a good side and a bad side. Bad fats can still be consumed occasionally as a treat, but for your normal daily diet, it’s best to avoid trans fats. Trans fats are created through hydrogenation. Hydrogen is combined with the oil used to cook things like packaged cookies and cake products. This process allows the product to last longer on shelves, but these trans fats are not heart healthy. Consuming these products that contain trans fats, elevates low-density protein (LDL) which is also known as “bad cholesterol.”
According to “Pop Sugar Fitness”, “recent studies have suggested that saturated fats in foods like milk, cheese, and meat may not be as harmful as previously thought, after an analysis found no correlation between a high saturated fat diet and an increased risk of heart disease… Current guidelines still suggest limiting your saturated and trans fats intakes, however, so it’s up to you to make educated decisions about how much you should eat.”
Good fats include monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). MUFAs reduce LDL levels, decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Omega-3 and omega 6 are known as essential fatty acids. It is important to consume the omegas because the human body does not produce these beneficial acids that help build hormones that regulate immunity function and blood clotting. Omega 3 can be found in salmon, sardines, and other cold-water fish. Vegetarians can obtain omega 3 from walnuts and flax. Omega 6 can be found in nuts, seeds, and oils and they “”play a crucial role in brain function, and normal growth and development.””
You may have heard that overall calorie intake and calories burned are the only real gauge for weight loss success. It’s true that protein and carbohydrates each contain 4 calories per gram. I contain 9. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid me altogether, but it does mean that you need to be mindful. A little bit of fat goes a long way in adding flavor and satisfaction to foods. Eating a serving of almonds is going to feel satisfying because of the healthy fats combined with a good dose of protein. Protein and I make a good team. Look at serving sizes and measure what you put on your plate. Eyeballs are not as accurate as measuring cups and tablespoons.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that buying low-fat products will help you consume a healthy balance of fats, carbohydrates, and protein. When fat is removed, sugar is often added. These empty calories rob you of energy and satiety. It’s better to measure out a portion of olive oil to cook with, than eat processed low-fat products that are not as healthy as their packages suggest.
There’s something else I do for you that is pretty important. I help the body absorb vitamins. I store and carry Vitamins A, D, E, and K. From the Healthy Eating column on “SFGate.com”, “Vitamin A helps with vision, vitamin D helps with bone strength, vitamin E boosts the immune system, and vitamin K promotes clotting.”
Bottom line is, I’m your friend, not your foe. Just look at labels and make sure you’re choosing the heart-healthy versions of me instead of my heart-breaking relatives.
Call Repke Fitness Personal Training – located a few minutes away from Severna Park, Pasadena and Severn. There, their personal trainers will help you get a great workout while also educating you on the topics of nutrition. You’ll learn about healthy fat, good carbs (complex carbs) and other health related topics. 410-656-2121
We are a private personal fitness training studio located in Millersville, MD. Our top-notched personal trainers provide quality personal fitness training to clients in Severna Park, Severn, Pasadena, Arnold, Gambrills, Crownsville and all over Anne Arundel County.
8268 Veterans Hwy #3
Millersville, MD 21108