While the conversation about carbohydrates was going on, people were also having heated talks about dietary fats. I still keep bumping into this topic in my lectures – fat is guaranteed to provoke opinions!
Dietary fats continue provoking opinions
For a long time we have been taught that fat is something to avoid at all costs, in everything. For most parts Finnish people have bought this message and the amount of fat in our diet has decreased. The quality debate was, however, taken over by the conversation around the quantity of fat. As we decreased the amount of fat, we also decreased the amount of unsaturated fat and all of a sudden our diet was lacking that, together with the necessary fatty acids! There are two essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6. Usually we are missing especially omega-3.
Add fat to your diet
So I often surprise my lecture listeners – I recommend adding fat to the diet! I recommend fatty margarine (minimum 60 % fat), oils and nuts. For example, a couple of tablespoons of canola oil or around 30 grams of walnuts provide the daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Not forgetting fatty fish, of course. The oil can be swallowed as it is, although not everyone enjoys this method. It can also be mixed with porridge or used as salad dressing, as the oil’s properties are brought forth best when served cold. Nuts also bring other important nutrients to the diet.
No to saturated fat
I cannot recommend adding saturated fats though. For example butter should be considered a delicacy – if a dish absolutely requires it, you should use it there and choose more wisely elsewhere. Or if you really like greasier cheese, opt for that and be pickier with other fatty food. Diet is an entirety and many different choices can give you a good end result. The bigger problem today is in fact the huge scope of choices available. We can choose from so many different foods that contain saturated and trans fats (chips, hamburgers, pizza, sausages, cheese, most sweet pastries… and so much more!) and we need to know how to choose from this jungle. You are very lucky if you can eat all before mentioned foods without health hazards.
Fat upgrade for the application
So that also the users of See How You Eat Coach app would gain awareness around this subject, the latest version has an image of a spoon of oil added to breakfast, lunch and dinner. It does not affect the amount of hearts, but it is definitely part of a five heart meal.
So a fat-free diet is not an option for the one who wants to lose weight either. Instead I encourage you to make sure you get enough unsaturated fats, and consume saturated fats only when needed – as a treat.
Enjoy great fat choices at meal times,
Authorised Nutritionist, Master of Health Science (Nutrition), Partner at See How You Eat Apps