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Lesson 4: Focus on Fat

It’s a beautiful day out, and fall is just around the corner. The morning sun is peeking through the blinds in the living room. The refrigerator is freshly stocked with your favorite foods. The all-American breakfast sounds pretty good right about now. Sizzling bacon, with two eggs sunny side up, fresh hot pancakes, maple syrup-drenched sausage links, and a big slab of butter to top it all off. To wash it down, some sweet orange juice and a glass of milk sound good, almost too good to be true - health wise that is.

The important thing about fat in your diet is to know the difference between good fat and bad fat. While the all-American breakfast may seem mouth-watering, the truth is that it’s full of bad saturated fats that are detrimental to your health. All that fatty meat and dairy products are full of saturated fats that can raise bad cholesterol which can lead to a lot of health problems. The best thing is to avoid saturated fats altogether.

When it comes to saturated fat sources, it’s better to not eat fatty meats such as bacon, sausage, and other cuts with fats still on them. Avoid higher saturated fats by eating leaner meats and avoiding fatty oils. When cooking with oil, it’s best to avoid heavy saturated fat oils such as vegetable oil, canola oil, and corn oil. Some healthier cooking oil options are avocado oil and olive oil. You should also take note that dairy has the highest amount of saturated fat in it, so the less you consume the better.

Although it may be a misconception that all fat is bad, poly-saturated and mono-saturated fats are essential to your health and should be considered while planning your diet. Your body needs these good fats to maintain healthy skin, insulate body temperature, and cushion to protect and hold vital organs in place. These good fats also play a vital role in carrying fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K throughout the body. Good ways to get poly-saturated and mono-saturated fats are through nuts, seeds, lentils, and beans.

Fats have the highest calories per gram compared to protein and carbohydrates. For reference, fat is approximately 9 calories per gram, while protein and carbohydrates have approximately 4 calories per gram. When planning out your diet, fat should take up as little as possible with a healthy fat intake being less than 35%. The best way to keep track of your fat intake is to write it down or input your intake into the TMA Weigh-In app. “Don’t plan your diet around fat to avoid it, instead know the difference between the good fats vs. the bad fats. A low-fat diet is a healthy diet,” Coach Marshall, Trinity Medical Weight Loss.

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