The world of nutrition seems to have a love hate relationship with fat. One day it’s great, one day not so much- and then there are the diets promising that if all you do is eat fat your body will somehow adapt to burning fat, and you will be in the best shape of your life. But we’re not going to talk about those……..Moving on!
Though things will continue to evolve, currently guidelines still recommend keeping your intake of total fat below 30% of your daily calories, and your intake of saturated fat below 10% of your daily caloric intake (which roughly translates to 20 grams per day. for most people). For all you “Bulletproof coffee” drinkers, 1 coffee with 2 tbsp butter gives you roughly 16 grams of saturated fat- coconut oil similar as well.
Saturated fat comes mainly from things like butter and baked goods, but also comes from animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy- all of which are great sources of other nutrients. And thus far the question has always been- what do we do? Keep enjoying foods that contain saturated fat or remove saturated fat altogether but forfeit foods that provide healthy nutrition?
The answer my friends is…..neither! Well…really the answer is moderation- dietititians like moderation!
It’s not just about high fat, low fat but about:
Where the fat comes from
The other food choices you have made that day
What are you going to eat instead.
To put it in context:
If you eat a muffin from any given coffee store, you will likely be eating a large portions of your daily saturated fat intake. You will probably also be taking in a significant amount of refined sugar and carbohydrates and probably not a whole lot else.
So is that muffin going to do anything for you in terms of keeping you full, giving you lasting energy or helping to manage your weight? Probably not
If you eat two eggs for breakfast, you will also be taking in some saturated fat. You will also be taking in a good source of protein, and paired with the toast you might also have, a good serving of fiber and energy. So will those eggs do anything for you in terms of keeping you full, giving you lasting energy or helping to manage your weight? Definitely could!
But if you had those eggs already this morning, maybe instead of having a serving of hamburger beef for dinner, you might choose chicken- which is lower in saturated fat.
Unless hamburger meat is the only option for dinner, and if you didn’t eat that you would be making yourself a bowl of fruit loops or having no protein at dinner. But if the option is there, on that day the chicken may be the better choice.
In nutrition there is very few areas of black and white and a whole lot of grey.
It’s not that saturated fat is the enemy and it’s definitely not your best friend. It’s more like that friend you can only handle in small doses. You’re happy to hang out regularly…but only for an hour.
Limited amounts of saturated fat are fine, and are found in a wide variety of healthy foods. It’s about picking the right sources, and being mindful of your saturated fat tally at the end of the day 🙂