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You hear it a lot these days about good fats and bad fats.  Are there good and bad fats? And what about fat free?

You can’t escape our obsession to eat low fat or fat free diets. We all do it, we’ve all done it. Since I was a child we always bought low fat yogurts, low fat ice cream and low fat milk, you name it. Yet I still found myself as a “chubby” child growing up. But how? I used to always play outside, always ate my mum’s home cooked meals and even ate my veggies. Even as a teenager and young adult, I’m still buying the fat free, low fat options. Thinking “if I eat less or no fat, surely I will gain less or no fat?”   The whole fat free and low fat diet simply isn’t the way to go.

It’s not the word fat we should be concerned about, it’s the type of fats. Saturated and trans fats are known as the “bad fats”, these are the fats which you want to decrease in our diets. Eating too much saturated and trans fats and there is a risk to increase cholesterol and increase disease. Examples of bad fats, pastries, cookies, donuts, fried foods, sweets, ice cream, skin on chicken, fat on meats.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats”, you want to try increasing these fats as they are good to lower cholesterol, reduce diseases and improve your general health, help hormone balance, and if that wasn’t enough, they also help you lose fat also! Examples of good fats, olive oil, nuts, peanut butter, avocado’s, fatty fish, soymilk, seeds such as sesame and flaxseeds to just name a few.

You need to eat fat to lose fat! Our bodies still work very primitively. When we don’t eat fats our bodies will want to store as much fat as possible. When we eat good fats, our body will not go into storage mode and allow when we exercise to utilise any stored excess fat to be burnt off.

Low fat or fat free foods. You see a lot these days on low fat or 0% fat free foods, mainly yogurts, juices and snacks. But unfortunately these are no better than the “normal” version. In fact they could possibly be worse. A lot of the low fat or 0% fat are high in sugars, processed and refined carbs and a lot have the good fats removed. If you look at the label of your low fat or 0% fat product, you will most likely notice the carbs are a lot higher than the normal equivalent product and out of those carbs, most will likely to be sugar. And too much carbs/sugar in our bodies will be stored as excess fat.

To sum up, everyone can benefit from decreasing sat and trans fats and increasing their mono and polyunsaturated fats. A great way is to chop up some nuts or avocado into a salad and drizzle in olive oil, make a salmon fish pie for the family or have a bowl of nuts to snack on during work or at home.  Hope this overview has been helpful, if you need further information on how to Get Fit, contact me and arrange a free consultation.

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