Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Why We Need Fat

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Good sources of fatFat –it’s a word that has a negative connotation to it. No one wants it on their hips, and it has also been given a bad rap to eat.  It may be the first thing you look at on a food label.  Some experts are now saying that not only should you stop dieting, but you should also eat more fat.

Fat offers so many great benefits. It gives you essential vitamins but also makes you feel full. When you try to fill your cart with fat free or low fat snacks, you end up eating more than you thought when you snack on them. If your body does not get what it needs, it will do all that it can to keep eating until it’s satisfied.

Dr. William Lessek, co-author of the book “Why Women Need Fat” states that the biggest contributor to this country’s overweight/obesity epidemic is over consumption of foods rich in omega 6’s such as fried foods and bakery goods, which make it harder for a person to store healthy fats like omega 3’s. His research showed that women in Japan eat foods rich in omega 3’s and low in omega 6’s. Americans are doing exactly the opposite.

Listed below are a few tips to help you avoid weight gain by incorporating more of the good fats into your daily routine!

Hydrate

Hydration is so important and many people negate this. Our bodies need water and it helps to flush out toxins from our system. Water is calorie free!

Load up on omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3’s are very important anti-inflammatory fatty acids that we must get from our diets. Good sources of omega 3’s are flax seeds, walnuts, salmon, tuna, olive oil, and canola oil. If you do not eat any of these foods, you can take fish oil. Make sure the label reads DHA and EPA and you are getting 1000 mg combined per day. My two favorite brands are Nordic Naturals and Nature Made.

Eat small portions frequently

I am a big believer in the “eat light, eat often” theory. If you keep your portions under control and eat something every 2-3 hours, you will keep your blood sugar stable plus it will help to prevent you from over eating later!  Snack on foods with healthy fats like nuts (almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts are my faves), nut butters, avocados, granola, and olives.

Read labels

Be sure to be on the look out for foods high in saturated and trans fat. These are the foods that contain hydrogenated oils and can increase total cholesterol and LDL levels. Foods to avoid include fried foods, butter, doughnuts, and processed foods.

Eat real food in moderation

80/20:  Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein most (80%) of the time.  There’s room for the “fun stuff” about 20% of the time. Don’t restrict too much or you’ll end up bingeing later!

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Tags: Healthy Eating , Nutrition

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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