Nutrition Thursday: Healthy Fats

Hey guys! How has your day been so far?! I’m off to the orthopedic doc today to get an x-ray of my foot. Crossing my fingers it is not a stress fracture and that he miraculously says I can run soon!

Today’s Nutrition Thursday is inspired by kids! In the past few days I’ve heard kids say:

“I don’t eat meat but I’m not a vegetarian because I don’t eat only vegetables” – 4th grader on not eating meat.
“How are you putting DATES in a recipe?…like Monday? Tuesday? Wednesday?”  – 9 year old on baking.
“I thought fat was bad? How can there be ‘healthy fats’? That doesn’t make sense.” – 9 year old on cooking.

Of course I had a field day answering all these questions, but it also reminded me how important it is to explain the very basics to our kids. The more they know, the more I feel they are encouraged and excited to make healthier choices.

Quick-Facts – Healthy Fats:

What are healthy fats?

  • Everyone needs fat. Healthy fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that help to lower our bad cholesterol and support a healthy heart
  • Omega 3s – Fatty fish (salmon, tuna), flax-seed, eggs
  • Monounsaturated fats – almonds (nuts), avocado, peanut butter, and olive oil
  • Healthy fats actually help you to better absorb the essential vitamins and minerals in your food

Whenever I bake, I try to always find 1 healthy fat substitute. This usually doesn’t alter the taste of the finished product too much but you are adding some nutrients back into a recipe! Win-win! In the one above, I used almond butter as my healthy fat substitute.

What are bad fats?

We all have ‘em my friends…it’s okay…in moderation. (Clearly I think cutting a fraction of a doughnut somehow makes it better?…even though I go back for the rest 5 minutes later ;)). As long as you know what they are, you can monitor your daily intake.

  • Bad fats are fats that provide minimal to no nutritional benefit to your diet. These are saturated fats that increase your cholesterol levels and are not good for your heart.
  • These do not need to be totally eliminated from diet – the American Heart Association recommends about 120 of your 2,000 calorie diet be from saturated fats.
  • Common foods that have high levels of saturated fats include: red meat, butter, heavy creams and cheese.

How many fats should be in my diet per day?

I recently took a Nutrition class and found the intake amounts for fat very interesting! Based on a 2,000 calorie diet:

  • 65 grams of fat total (approximately 30%)
  • 20 grams of saturated fat (approximately 10%)
  • 300 mg of cholesterol
  • No official daily value for trans fat, but recommend to keep it lower than 1%.

I also love this info-graphic because I think it doesn’t an awesome job summarizing healthy vs bad fats and gives some great examples. Find more info on this topic HERE!

Sometimes I think my little sister is going to eat whatever she wants no matter what. In her world, this means pizza, pasta, and ravioli for every meal.  But the more time we spend together, the more I realize she is like a sponge, she listens to EVERYthing you say, even if she doesn’t act like it.  My mini-me 🙂.  Lately she has been asking a ton of questions about why I eat what I eat, what is healthy and what is not. Of course I love every second of it! Such a good reminder of how important it is to share the power of nutrition with those around you!

My little sister has started expressing an interest in baking with me! But I have a sneaking suspicion it’s only so she can monitor every single ingredient I put in there. I can’t wait to have kids of my own someday to bake with me in the kitchen!

I hope you all are having a wonderful day! Hopefully I’ll have some good news to report back about my foot!

One comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *