Low Fat Foods —
Are They What We Need Most?
Many people who are pursuing anti aging are looking for low fat foods to eat, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. While the quantity of the fat we eat is important, the quality of the fat we consume is at least equally significant. Fat, it seems, has become the "bad guy", or the enemy, in our diets. Yet fats are a necessary element of the three macronutrients that must make up our daily diet. But are we doing the best thing simply by choosing to eat only low fat foods?
Finding the Best Fats
When people start to talk about saturated fats, poly-unsaturated fats, mono-unsaturated fats, omega-3 fats, omega-6 fats, and trans fats, perhaps your eyes just begin to glaze over. All of this is simply to say there are good kinds of fats, and bad kinds of fats. Here are some simple rules to make sure you are eating the best fats.
1) Cut off all the fat you can from the meats you eat
2) Don't eat foods that have added fats
3) Don't eat fats that have been heat processed
4) Don't eat hydrogenated fats
5) Eat fats that occur naturally in foods
Again, our simple principle is this: If God made it it's good for you; if man's messed with it, it's suspect. A corollary is this: If God says "Don't eat it," don't eat it. In the Hebrew scriptures, God told the people: "It is a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings: you shall not eat any fat." The context of this command makes it clear that he was talking specifically about excess animal fat. Yet, even thousands of years ago, he encouraged the people to eat beaten (cold-pressed) olive oil. With God there are bad fats and good fats!
Sorting Out the Fats
Do you see why low fat foods are not necessarily the thing you want to look for? While you're becoming aware of fats, look out for these common bad fat foods: coffee "creamers", most peanut butters, hard stick margarine, chips, french fries, vegetable shortening, cake mixes and frosting, frozen "TV dinners", doughnuts, and microwave popcorn. Many of the worst offenders contain hydrogenated fats that scientists invented and food manufacturers use to aid in production and increase shelf life. Unfortunately, fat in this form is the worst culprit for clogging arteries. (It shouldn't surprise us, since it wasn't made by the designer of our bodies!)
Now for the good fat foods... These kinds of fats are good for your body, and necessary for its proper functioning.
Check our Macronutrient Calculator to see how much fat is ideal for you.
The best kinds of fats are found in foods like: avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, and fish. Not quite as good, but much better than man-made fats, are: meat, dairy, and eggs.
Know Your Fats!
You can't just depend on someone else; you need to become knowledgeable about fats, and about every other kind of food you eat as well. Low fat foods are fine, as long as they're good fat foods too. You don't need to know everything about fats, but you do need to know a few important things.
Instead of just looking for low fat foods or low carb foods or high protein foods, how can you put the best of proteins, carbs, and fats together into a daily diet?