Choose a Good Fat by Eike Phillip

Choose a Good Fat

byEike Phillip

Kobo ebook | March 19, 2014

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Helping You to Understand the Role of Fat in a Healthy


The right types of fat in small amounts are essential for our health. Your body uses it to absorb vitamins, move nutrients around and build cells. However, because it tastes good, it’s easy to eat too much. It’s really easy for your body to store fat too, and some fats are just not good for us.


There are different types of fats and oils, each one affecting your body in different ways, and what type you eat is as important as how much you eat. There are two kinds of fat in the foods we eat – saturated and unsaturated fat.


Saturated fats don’t do much to keep your body healthy and will clog up your arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease. Fats with a lot of saturated fat in them are hard at room temperature and mostly come from animal products including lard, cheese and meat fat. Processed foods made from these fats include biscuits, cakes and pastry. Palm and coconut oil are also highly saturated and are often used in margarine, biscuits and bakery products.


We currently eat about 20 per cent more saturated fat than is recommended by health professionals. Use the information on product labels to keep a check on what you are eating. Some food labels use red, amber and green color coding which makes it easier to choose food that is lower in total fat, saturated fat, and sugar and salt. Choose more ’greens’ and ’ambers’ and fewer 'reds'. Labels also have the percentage of the “reference intake” for the main nutrients. For saturates (saturated fat) this is 20g for adults – it’s not a target to be achieved but an amount that shouldn’t be exceeded. More than 25% of the reference intake per 100g or 30% per serving is high.


Unsaturated fats – mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated - can actually help to lower blood cholesterol and provide the essential fatty acids our body needs. They are found largely in plant sources like olive and rapeseed oils - including spreads made from these ingredients – as well in avocados, nuts, seeds and oily fish such as salmon and sardines, mackerel and herrings.


There is a range of easy ways to enjoy fat in moderation without having to remove it completely from your diet: -


Less Fat


Choose lower fat lean meats; trim any excess fat and remove the skin from poultry


Use semi-skimmed, 1% Fat or skimmed milk rather than whole or condensed milk


Swap cheesy or creamy sauces for vegetable sauces such as tomato and herb


Choose strongly flavored cheese varieties to make a little go a long way; a matchbox-sized piece of cheese (30g) is the maximum recommended portion


Look out for reduced fat or “Lighter” products


Healthy Fat


Snack on a handful of nuts rather than chocolate


Have oily fish like salmon or mackerel once a week


Add mashed avocado to your sandwiches instead of butter or mayonnaise


Use a vegetable oil low in saturates when cooking rather than butter.


Swap some dairy products for dairy free ones.


Good Fatty Conundrum


The seedling for this post came from this post, whose seedling was my previous post.  Weee, fun for everyone!


I say seedling because the author of that post, which I really liked by the way, has a different definition of “good fatty” than I do, and despite the semantic difference it really got me thinking.


To me a “Good Fatty” is a fat person who is viewed (by the faction of our society who have decided that they are Judgey McJudgersons of health) as taking “appropriate steps” to lose weight or, at the very least, “struggling” with their weight, thereby earning a modicum of very contingent respect from someone who would otherwise be a fat hater.


If you read this blog regularly you know that I support and respect other people’s decisions about their bodies and health just as I require respect for my decisions.  This is not about bashing people who have chosen weight loss.  The “Good Fatty” title as I understand it is not a self-identity, but rather a conferred title indicating that the fat person is behaving as the fat hater thinks they should.


There was a comment on my post about all of the fat hatred that was spewed at me from some fitness forums:


…we are not really “fat hating”, in fact, if we see someone who asks for help how to lose weight etc. we will cheer them on etc. and help…


This is classic “Good Fatty” language.  What this person is really saying is:  You deserve the abuse and bullying that you are receiving because you won’t do what I think you should.  You are a bad fatty.  If you just behave in ways that make me happy, then I will declare you a good fatty and I will stop abusing you.  However, if you tell me that you eat healthy and exercise but you don’t achieve the body size I expect, I’ll call you a liar to your face and turn the abuse faucet right back on.


This is where my Good Fatty conundrum comes in:


If my blog gets a message about health out there I hope is it that health is not the same as weight.  It is multi-dimensional and there are some aspects within our control and some aspects outside of our control, and that if you want to be healthy then focusing on healthy habits rather than the size of your body is a completely legitimate option.


My conundrum is that I also write about the life that I choose as an athlete/dancer.  I try to be clear that my lifestyle is driven by my dancing -  I work out far more than is necessary for just maintaining health -  but I think sometimes people get confused and think that I’m trying to prove I’m a “good fatty” or that I’m trying to say that I think people should choose the same thing that I do, or that I think I’m better than people who make different choices. That’s definitely not what I’m about.


The truth is that I don’t write for people who want to tell me that they think I’m a liar, or that I can’t possibly be healthy, or that I’m a Bad Fatty.  I don’t write to try to convince anyone of anything.   I write what I think is true and I hope that I reach people who have been let down by the weight loss industry that lies to people so that they can make 60 Billion Dollars a year with a product that only succeeds in weight loss only 5% of the time and often actually DECREASES people’s health as they yo-yo diet and destroy their metabolisms. I write for people who get stigmatized by a society that confuses weight and health and has turned fat people into everything from metaphors to scapegoats.  I write for people who want to be hear a different voice, new ideas, or be supported into their choices about their own bodies.


People may try to label us as good fatties, bad fatties, or whatever they want. They may try to convince us that we must gain their approval in order to avoid their abuse.  I think that we always have the option to decide that we aren’t Tinkerbell and we don’t need anyone’s applause to live, opt out of the labeling system for ourselves and each other, and demand (and give) human respect that is not contingent on anyone’s weight, or the choices they make for their bodies and their health, even if they aren’t what we would choose.

Which Fats Should I Eat?


There are two classes of "good for you" fats: polyunsaturated fats, which include the much-touted essential fatty acids, which, in general terms, our bodies need but can't manufacture, and monounsaturated fats. Both types of unsaturated fats are thought to mitigate some of the harmful effects associated with saturated fats and Trans fats.

Now a fat gram is worth nine calories whatever its source, so don't be misled into thinking that you can enjoy unlimited quantities of heart-healthy fats. Too much fat will lead to weight gain and put you at risk of high cholesterol and heart disease.


Keep your intake of fat limited to 30 percent of calories, with no more than 7-10 percent of total calories coming from saturated fat.


Here are some good choices of unsaturated fats:






Canola oil


Soybean oil

Corn oil

Flax seeds

Flax seed oil


Peanut butter (without added hydrogenated oils or sugar)

Tub margarine/spreads (with 0g trans fats)


Olive oil

Sunflower oil

Safflower oil





Sesame Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

So mostly we're talking fatty fish, nuts and seeds in terms of foods, and liquid vegetable oils for cooking. With cooking oils, try to buy the least processed/refined oils you can afford, and still use them sparingly. Plus, be aware that when you see an oil - particularly soybean oil -listed in processed foods, make sure the word hydrogenated doesn't precede it.

Good Fats, Bad Fats: How to Choose


Eating fat can be heart-healthy if you pick the right kind. Too many of us cut fat willy-nilly and replace it with refined carbs, so we miss out on the benefits of healthy fats, says Suzanne Rostler, a registered dietitian and nutritionist in Framingham, Mass. What's more, eating lots of refined carbs—like white bread and white rice—can increase triglyceride levels, which can contribute to heart and blood vessel disease.


Adults should get 20 percent to 35 percent of their calories from fat, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Here's how to make sure you're getting enough of the right kind.


Title:Choose a Good FatFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 19, 2014Publisher:Eike PhillipLanguage:English

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