Dietary fat has always been at the forefront of discussion when it comes to eating a healthy diet. For many years, fat took the blame for the development of heart disease and obesity. Consumers began to fear fat in their diets. The food industry responded with low-fat versions of products that offered the same great taste (unfortunately due to their increased sugar content). As people began to eat less fat, they started to eat more starch and sugar, which not only fueled the risk for heart disease and obesity but also added the risk of developing diabetes.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reviewed the research and revealed there is actually no correlation between saturated fat and heart disease. A more recent editorial in the British Medical Journal hammers home the point that cutting fat in the diet may even be detrimental to your health.
Although research continues to disprove the myth, consumers are still confused about fat. The lesson here is that not all fat is bad. Bad fat is bad and good fat is good. Fat plays many important roles in the human body and is especially important in growing children. Sources of good fat include avocados, nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, but not peanuts), seeds (pumpkin, sesame, chia, hemp), fish (sardines, mackerel, herring, wild salmon), extra virgin olive oil, grass fed animal products, and coconut butter. The bad fat you want to avoid is most often found in packaged, processed foods. A good rule of thumb is to eat real, whole foods to ensure you are getting the nutrients your body needs.