Fabulous Fats: The Fat-Free Decade is Over!
How often does this happen: You grab a jar of peanut or almond butter, whip it around to look at the nutrition facts and drop your jaw when you see the fats? Two tablespoons equal 16 grams of fat? “I can’t eat that,” you think, “it will make me fat!”
Thank goodness we are well beyond the nineties, otherwise known as the “Fat Free Decade”, when Americans ended up gaining weight instead of losing it. Why did this happen? When fat is cut out, it has to be replaced with something else to give the food flavor—usually sugar or salt. These other two evils are more harmful for your health than fat will ever be.
All fats are not created equal.
Some fats are more saturated by nature, and are usually known as the bad fats that clog arteries. Animal fats are typically saturated by nature, but plant fats like coconut and palm oil also fall in this category. However, we now know that even these fats vary, and most of the plant fats are not as harmful as we once believed.
The other two types of fats are called polyunsaturated and monounsaturated and are more desirable for human health. These fats are less likely to promote inflammation in the arteries, and are therefore less likely to build plaque on the artery walls. Foods like nuts, seeds, and avocado, and plant oils like olive, walnut, sunflower, safflower and grapeseed oils fall in this category. These fats offer tons of health benefits and satiety, and are the types of fats we need in our diets. Most of our hormones are produced from our fat cells, and fat soluble vitamins will only be absorbed when there is fat consumed in the diet. No wonder Americans have been vitamin D deficient over the past two decades…it’s a result of a fat free diet!
Many people have heard about the advantages of a Mediterranean based diet for longevity. This style of eating offers the most anti-inflammatory properties; it’s more plant and nut based with a focus on healthy fats and lean proteins like fish and chicken. A Mediterranean diet is quite different from the typical American fried everything, carb loaded and fat free meal!
The next time you look at the fat content on your Betsy’s Best Gourmet nut or seed butter, remember these spreads spread good health, not bad. But eat mindfully, and know that Betsy’s Best offers excellent nutrition with a delicious taste. A little goes a long way and is an investment in your health.