Following on yesterday’s post about sharing more of the overall health and wellness information I learned from my week-long stay at The Biggest Loser Resort, Fitness Ridge, today I’ll be kicking off a 3-part series on nutrition.
Counting calories, or even just being aware of the caloric value of the food we eat is important, but where those calories come from (Fats, Carbs, Protein) matters most of all. Since we all just love to focus on the dirty boy in that trifecta [Fat], let’s start there shall we?
So there’s good fat (believe it or not) and bad fat (quelle grande surprise!).
And the truth is, consuming the right amount of good fat can turn you into a wonderful fat burning machine. It can truly become a “miracle food” in that respect. What? You must be crazy, Nancy! No, I’m dead serious! The very well qualified nutritionists on staff at BLR told me so.
They even told me 5 reasons to eat good fats!
- Your diet needs good fats in order to burn body fat.
- Eating good fats provides a more consistent level of energy.
- Your brain needs good fats to function properly.
- Good fats help you to feel satisfied and won’t leave you hungry.
- Good fats have great overall health benefits for your whole body.
Isn’t this stuff fascinating??? No, like really, isn’t it? It certainly was eye-opening to me!
Good fats include: Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated and Good Saturated. The ones listed below are examples of the optimal fat to incorporate into your daily diet.
- Olive Oil
- Canola Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Peanut Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Peanut Butter (organic/natural)
- Nuts (pecans, almonds, cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts, macadamia)
- Soybean Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin)
- Chia seeds
- Fatty Fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
Good Saturated Fats:
- Coconut Oil
- Palm Oil
- Real butter (but only in moderation)
- Meats (organic/free-range/grass-fed: beef, chicken & turkey)
But Fat can also live up to its bad-boy image. Oh yes it can… namely in the form of Hydrogenated, Trans Fat and most Saturated Fat.
Examples of Bad Fats include:
- Fried foods
- Bakery goods
- Packaged snacks
- High-fat cuts of meat (beef, lamb, pork)
- Vegetable shortening
- Stick and/or tub Margerine
- Candy Bars
- Ice cream
- …pretty much all the tasty stuff you like. 😦
Okay, so let’s face it, some of the stuff in the “bad” list is stuff that we’re going to eat from time to time. Don’t look at me like that! Yeah, sure, just go ahead and pretend you’re never going to have Ben & Jerry’s again. Or a Snickers bar. Or an egg roll. Or a croissant. Or movie theatre popcorn with that hot mess of fake butter stuff on it. I know I will. (Sorry BLR nutritionists…sometimes you’ve just gotta be bad.)
The great news is, in now knowing about the good fats, and why they’re so important to our diet, I am now making better, smarter and healthier choices. My biggest takeaways that I’ve incorporated into my real life on a daily or near-daily basis are: coconut oil and chia seeds.
Coconut oil is FANTASTIC!!! Like hallelujah, the skies just opened up and a divine being just dropped this manna straight from the heavens, fantastic!
I use it to cook with, because a) it’s good for me; and b) it tastes great!
And to quote the Russian Princess, “It looks like lard, and that makes me happy.” 🙂 God, I adore this girl!
Oh, and did I mention, coconut oil is also wonderful for your hair (conditioner), your skin, even my antique dining room table got a new lustre after I rubbed a glob of coconut oil onto it! A miracle food! I love it!!!
Chia seeds are another easy-peasy thing to incorporate into your daily regime. I sprinkle them on salads; I add them to smoothies; I pretty much throw them on or into just about anything.
They remind me of poppy seeds! Chia seeds are great because they don’t really have a discernible flavour; at least not one that has left an impression on me. So, it’s really some added texture they provide (to salads, etc.) – in addition to being a wonderful addition of good fat to your diet.
And that, my friends, is the skinny on fat!
Hey you…pssst… yeah, you over there. Have you followed me on twitter yet? @nancytex Do it…you know you want to! 😉