healthy fats

Women’s Personal Trainer Answers: What Are the Most Important Healthy Fats I Should be Eating?

At True 180 Personal Training, located in Ballantyne, we not only help women get and stay strong we offer nutritional guidance as well. Here’s a recent Q and A about healthy fats:

Q: What are the most important healthy fats I should be eating?

A: None.  Healthy fat implies that adding it to your diet makes your diet healthier, and there are NO high fat foods you can add to your diet to improve your health.  Excess calories drive weight gain.  Excess fat calories cause a disproportionate amount of that weight to be fat, and excess body fat is at the center of many of the most serious health issues of our time.

What about avocados and olive oil?

It is true that replacing some of the saturated fat (cheese, cream, etc) in your diet with unsaturated fat (such as avocado or olive oil) will likely improve your lipid panel.  However, it’s also true that simply reducing your saturated fat intake (without replacing the calories) would improve your labs even more.

What about Fish Oil?

Fish oil supplements* might be the lone exception if you rarely eat fish rich in omega 3’s. Meaning that adding 1-2 capsules (1-2 grams of fat) per day will probably improve your lipid panel (labs for cholesterol, triglycerides, etc).  The catch is the effective dose is tiny – 1-2 grams (1,000-2,000mg) per day, which is 9-18 calories in total.  Whereas a tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories, and half an avocado has even more.

*if you’re on blood thinners or anticoagulants you should talk to your doctor before adding fish oil.  This is because fish oil is a natural blood thinner and anticoagulant, which are part of their health promoting properties, but too much is too much.

Are there any exceptions?  

Anyone who struggles to keep their weight up might benefit from a little extra dietary fat, but also maybe not.  Remember, healthy fat implies that adding it to your diet makes your diet healthier, and there are NO high fat foods you can add to your diet to improve your health.

Humans with thinner bodies usually have a limited capacity to store fat under their skin (subcutaneous fat), so when they eat extra fat over time their body stores it in their abdomen, liver, pancreas, kidneys, muscles, etc (ectopic fat).  To focus on just one organ the difference between a healthy liver and a fatty liver is only 1.5-2 pounds, which isn’t much.  A fatty liver can contribute to a host of health problems including high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Bottom line 

The phrase “healthy fats” is a marketing term that has been an effective weapon is destroying centuries of common sense to the detriment of the health of our society.

New here? We’d love to meet you! Book your free Intro Call with a member of the team now. We offer custom fit personal training for women which includes nutritional guidance so we will cover “healthy fats” again in person. All of our sessions are about an hour long and will be a full body strength training session every time. The first step is to set up a quick Intro Call to see if we are what you are looking for!

The author, Josef Brandenburg is the co-owner and a coach at True 180 Personal Training, Charlotte’s most effective studio for women. We are changing the way fitness is done to get you the results you deserve!

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