When most people who, like me, are trying to lose weight hear the word fat, they run for the hills. But my nutritionist, Keri Gans, says that fats are an essential part of everyone’s diet. Essential means that the body can’t produce them itself and needs to obtain fat from food. Fats also help our bodies absorb important nutrients including vitamins A, D, and E, give food more flavor, and help us feel full.
But not all fats are created equal.
Saturated fats from food like pork chops, doughnuts, bacon, and butter, and trans fats from fried foods and baked goods, both raise cholesterol levels. Opt instead for healthy fats that are unsaturated (those found in olive oil, nuts, and avocados). You also should consume omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish like salmon.
Fats are high in calories, so when you’re trying to lose weight, you have to watch your serving size. As a general rule, you should only consume about 25 to 30 percent of your daily calories from fat, making sure that it is mostly healthy unsaturated fat, Keri says.
So I’m adding healthy fat, in moderation, to each of my meals. A few examples: sautéed veggies in olive oil added to an egg white omelet for breakfast, avocado on a turkey sandwich at lunch, and three ounces of salmon at dinner. It all sounds delicious to me!
Our 2012 Weight Loss Diary writer, Yasmin, is a 33-year-old web content producer who is looking to get healthy and love her body! Follow along on her year-long weight loss journey!