On a hot summers day in New York City, I opened my cupboard and reached for the peanut butter jar and my roommate exclaimed in exasperation, “I have never seen anyone eat so much peanut butter and lose so much weight! What the hell?! I don’t get it!”…
I chuckled to myself, because whilst summer is definitely the season to be watching your figure and dieting strictly:
1) fat does not make you fat.
2) peanut butter (the other love of my life, after the barbell, haha), with its high fat content, fiber and protein is very satiating and in actuality A GREAT DIET FOOD in moderation. I won’t be hungry after a tablespoon of peanut butter, or one of its cousins I am very fond of, like almond or cashew butter.
3) Making sure you still eat the things you love, within a calorie deficit, is the key to adherence to your diet. Have I mentioned how much I love peanut butter? I love it. I really, really do love it! Ha!
4) The primary factor in any weight loss or fat loss program is ADHERENCE TO YOUR DIET and remaining in a calorie deficit.
Of course, I’m not suggesting you shovel soup spoons full of peanut butter into your mouth at every meal in order to lose weight. Nope.
What I am suggesting is that you make it a priority to include healthy fats in your diet – fats that come from whole foods and natural sources like nuts and nut butters, avocados, olive oil, wild caught salmon and other wild caught and sustainable fish, flaxseeds, eggs, grass-fed beef, coconuts, etc.
Fats help slow digestion, enabling slower release of sugars into the blood as well as aiding in nutrient absorption; and help with satiety (i.e: helping you feel full). In addition to this, fats are fundamental to the functioning of your body on the cellular level as every cell membrane in your body is made of fat. Healthy fats from natural sources, especially Omega-3s, help keep this membrane soft and malleable – necessary for cell division and regeneration.
Fats are also crucial to joint health and function, help in avoiding joint pain, fundamental to hormone production, as well as brain and heart function. They also keep your eyes, skin and hair moist, supple and healthy. Women often find that when they attempt to eliminate fat from their diet, their hair is limp and breaks easily and their skin loses its pallor and they are often subject to breakouts.
Here are a few more sources and reading materials that may help you understand that importance of dietary fat and how you can healthfully incorporate them into your daily nutrition plan:
* The Harvard School of Public Health – Fats & Cholesterol.
*The Harvard school of Public Health – Healthy Fat Q & A with the Experts.
* Web MD – Good Fats, Bad Fats – The Truth About Omega-3.
* ABC News – Managing Arthritis With Diet & Exercise.