One of my clients recently came into the session and said that she just found out that salmon has fat in it! Then she asked if she should avoid it because of that. I can understand her concern, because she is about my age – and “back in our day” we were always told that “low fat” and “fat free” is the way to go. It was almost as if ALL fats are bad, evil, and to be avoided at all costs. Today, health professional have realized that all fats are not created equally. For example, our bodies need the omega-3 fatty acids that are found in cold water fish such as cod, slamon, sardines, trout, mackerel, and eel. Consuming these types of fatty acids in combination with a diet low in saturated fat has the tendency to disperse fatty acids and cholesterol in the bloodstream, which seems to be help reduce arterial clogging. They also have a blood thinning effect and discourage excess clotting. They also lower blood triglycerides and raise HDL’s (high density lipoproteins, the good lipoproteins).
Basically, some of the “good fats” include olive oil, canola oil, cold water fish, avocado, and nuts. We all need to avoid saturated fats and trans-fats as much as we can. These fats are found abundantly in red meat and in processed foods (tip: look at the label – if it has the word “hydrogenated” – don’t eat it!).
A final note about fats… one gram of fat has 9 calories, where one gram of both carbs and protein each have 4 calories. Ultimately, when trying to lose or manage weight – it’s all about the calories. It takes a 3,500 calorie deficit to burn one pound of body fat. So, obviously you can cut calories by cutting out fat… just make sure the fat you’re cutting out is the right kind!