Many people ask me: “Should I consume a low-fat diet?”
The most simple answer to this question is NO! Fat is an important and very vital nutrient! Too many people think foods that contain fat will make me fat. Then on the other side, people often mistake the term “fat-free” and think those foods will not make you fat. However, most packaged and processed foods labeled “fat-free” simply make up for the removal of fat by making up for it with added sugar, artificial sweeteners and other chemicals which can be much worse for you than consuming fat.
Essentially, I believe the misconception comes from the fact that it is really easy to overeat foods high in fat. Fat contains nine calories per gram, compared to carbs and protein which contain only four calories per gram.
It is very important to moderate your dietary fat intake, but do not try to eliminate it. It’s essential to giving your body the fuel it needs to function in almost every human activity, including brain function. It adds structure to cell membranes; acts as a hormone regulator; transports fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, and K; promotes the feeling of fullness; and slows the absorption of carbs. You absolutely should not avoid it.
I recommend getting 20% to 35% of your calories from fat. So, for example, if you’re eating 2,000 calories per day, you should be getting between 45 to 78 grams of healthy fats per day. Stay away from the saturated fats as much as possible. That is another topic for another day.
Need some ideas for healthy sources of fat: Try some of the following: avocado; olives and extra-virgin olive oil; coconut oil, raw unsalted nuts and seeds, nut butters and seed butters (natural of course) and cold water fish.