Weighing In: Not All Fats Make You “Fat”

Photo by Maria Crisafulli

For decades, our society has been told that eating “fat” will make you fat, so you should eliminate fat from your diet in order to loose weight.

This couldn’t be less true; and this idea should be put to rest once and for all.

In fact, if you were to exclude all of the fat in your diet, you are removing the essential fatty acids from your diet. This can lead to premature death.

Valley went to Dr. Mary Dean Coleman Kelly, Ph.D., MS, and RD, to bust the myths about fat. We first asked her why fats were so important. She responded, “Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are critical in terms of helping with reducing risk for heart disease, inflammation, and a lot of other important physiological processes that you can’t do without fat”. Fats play a key role in cellular function, and without them, our body just cannot function the way it’s supposed to.

Photo by Devon Pankiw

Photo by Devon Pankiw

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are “essential” in the diet because your body is not able to make them on it’s own. You may be deficient in these essential fats and not even know it. One of the first signs of deficiency can be found by looking at your hair. If it’s lost its shine, try adding in more healthy fats. These signs can start if you are getting 15% or less of your daily macronutrients from fat.

Dr. CK recommends eating the Omega 3 rich fish Salmon about 3 times a week, but on a college budget, this can be difficult. Many plant alternatives have Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as walnuts and flax seeds. If you aren’t a fan of any of those- many products like peanut butter come enriched with these Omega 3’s! Just make sure to check the label.

Do not fear fat! Fear the fad diets that tell you this vital nutrient isn’t important.