Fat Talk: Fat DOESN’T Make You Fat! Stop the Fat Phobia!

by Nicole on February 1, 2012

Hello February! This post was inspired by me experiences as a nutrition counselor. I just had to get this off my chest.

99% percent of the people I meet with for nutrition counseling are women. Most of those women are busy, busy moms. Before I actually started nutrition counseling I envisioned my ideal client to be moms because I want to show them that living a healthy living DOESN’T have to take hours and hours of time. It can be easy and do-able and I LOVE to show them how.

I LOVE working with families. I literally love helping husbands and kids eat better and get rid of misconceptions about “healthy” foods like kale, broccoli, whole grains, etc. It makes my heart sing. 

I can pretty easily get people to try different grains, eat breakfast in the morning, incorporate different recipes into their life, but time and time again I work with women who have a phobia that is HARD to break. It’s a FAT phobia. They cannot wrap their heads around eating fat. They’re afraid it will make or keep fat on their bodies.

I, on the other hand, love fat. I live for almond butter in the morning and a serving of avocado throughout the day. I saute in healthy oil and use olive oil in my salad dressings.

There WAS a time in college when I was on the lowfat/ no fat craze, from fat free cheese to Dannon Light n’Fit. I avoided foods like peanut butter and cooked in non-fat spray.  I mean less calories = better for me right?  Wrong. I don’t really remember when I started eating fats again, but I certainly did NOT gain pounds of fat when I started incorporating it into my diet.

The one thing I can tell you: life with fats >life with no fats.  

1.  First of all, meals with healthy fats taste better! Having a little bit of olive oil or a small amount of full fat cheese rocks. Your taste buds will be happy AND you will eat less because you will be more satisfied with the taste.

2. Good fats support your heart and overall health. I’m NOT talking trans fats, I’m talking monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, they help lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.

3. A “fat-free” label doesn’t mean you can eat all you want . Many fat-free foods are high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and calories.

4.  Fats slow down your food absorbtion. You will be more satisfied and stay fuller longer.

5. Healthy fats provide optimal hormone production and balance within the body and are essential for the muscle building and fat burning processes. (AKA…you WANT THIS!)

6. Fat has MANY benefits. It keeps our skin healthy, enhances our immune system, stabilizes blood sugar and prevents diabetes. Good fats benefit our heart, normalize our blood fats and cholesterol, and prevents cancer.

Try extra virgin olive oil, raw nuts, avocado, nut butters, olives, salmon, coconut oil, tuna, chia seeds, hemp seeds and ground flax for some healthy fats. Fat ISN’T going to make you fat OR keep your unwanted weight on!  (source)

Some reading material: Is Dietary Fat a Major Determinant of Body Fat?

Nourished Magazine: Take the Fear Our of Eating Fat

What’s your take on this? Do you eat healthy fats? Do you avoid them like the plague?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara Davis February 1, 2012 at 7:26 am

I’m definitely on the pro-fat side. Granted I still have to watch my intake but a higher fat diet helps me eat less overall because of the satiety factor.

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Miz February 1, 2012 at 7:39 am

Yes. Yes.

As a woman who grew ever more plump during the 80s FatFree kick I can attest. to. this.

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Corinne February 1, 2012 at 8:31 am

Yes!! It took me a while to realize this and a while to break this habit, going from 0% everythig to 2% and such. Can’t go a day without some sort of peanut or nut butter now. Glad u wrote this, think it’s important!

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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean February 1, 2012 at 8:50 am

loved this! especially the part about fat free doesn’t mean you can eat everything you want! sometimes i choose full fat just to avoid the higher sugars and other things!

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Cat @Breakfast to Bed February 1, 2012 at 10:13 am

fat is delicious, delicious flavor.

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Meredith @ DareYouTo February 1, 2012 at 10:33 am

You are SO right – foods with fats taste the best! I loove yummy oils, avocados, and hummmmuussss!! Sometimes I do have to be careful; I tend to go overboard on tasty snacks like nuts, but I am definitely not afraid of them ! Good fats are good for you :)

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Dana February 1, 2012 at 10:51 am

I totally agree! Good fats are an essential part of my diet. As the saying goes: Everything in moderation!

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Mary @ food and fun on the run February 1, 2012 at 11:59 am

I love this post! Fat is not the enemy – overeating is! Foods with fat in them keep me satisfied for much longer, and I don’t feel like I need to continuously come back for more food. Avocado is one of the best things out there, and it is loaded with fat!

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Tara Burner February 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm

I’ve never cared about ‘fat free’ or ‘sugar free’
I eat healthy fats and know our bodies need them and all the people who devour sugar free stuff is insane too..i’d rather have ‘real’ sugar than splenda/sucralose/chemicalcrap

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Tina @ Best Body Fitness February 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm

I’m in better shape now than before two kids. And I eat more fat than I do now. Example to your truth. ;)

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lynne@lgsmash February 1, 2012 at 1:42 pm

I also love healthy fats! I don’t understand the phobia! If I could eat an avocado a day, I would. It’s not the healthy fats that are making America fat, it’s processed foods and overeating. As much as possible, I try to eat ‘wholly’ and unprocessed. Full fat cheeses, bring em on. I don’t trust the Splendas and Stevias of the world

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adrienne February 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Can’t agree more! Great post. I live for coconut, nut butters, avocados, and olives.

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Michele @ nycrunningmama February 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I am LOVING all of your posts lately!!!!!
I went through a bad time when I didn’t eat fat. I ate fruits, veggies, no meat (b/c it was “fatty”), and everything was fat-free (salad dressings, yogurt, cheese, etc.
Want to hear the amazing thing? I weigh LESS now then I did then (not that pounds is everything). And I’m not counting calories or avoiding fat.
I live for avocados, olive oil, and peanut butter. I literally have those 3 things EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

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Julie February 1, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Amen to this!!! I’ve recently began transforming my thoughts on the “fat” issue. I was one of those people who thought everything with fat in it was bad! Now I use half an avocado and almond butter daily! It does wonders with making me feel full and satisfied! :) We need to keep spreading the word.

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Kelly February 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm

I love healthy fats…almonds and avacadoes being my favorite!!

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MCM Mama February 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I eat a ton of almonds every day and avocados and olives awesome. When I was at my thinnest (thanks to nursing my son), I was eating a whole avocado every.single.day because I needed the extra healthy fat and calories.

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Pure2raw twins February 1, 2012 at 8:46 pm

great post! we love our healthy fats!!! as soon as we try to eat a low ‘fat’ diet it just does not work, we start feeling like crap, so healthy fats all the way all the time :)

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