Fats + Thankful Thursday

Isn’t there such a thing as Fats Thursday? Haha. Sort of kidding.

Today’s topic: FATS {no not body fat}

Fats Topic

Despite what you might have heard, read, or seen, fats (solids) and oils (liquids) are essential for us to live {just like carbs!)The questions to be answered include which kinds of fats are best, how much of fats is best, why do we need fats, and what types of foods provide the essential fats we need.

All in good time 😉

fats are everywhere!


  • are not soluble in water
  • add texture, flavor, and aroma to foods
  • are a source of energy (9 calories/gram of fat)
  • contribute to satiety and fullness in meals
  • can (and do) carry fat-soluble vitamins (such as Vitamin K)
  • include the essential fatty acids we need (linoleic and linolenic acids <—aka Omega-3s and Omega-6s)

Thus we can see how vital it is that we get those fats in our diet. We would never be full, we would have no way to receive the fat-soluble vitamins (essential for growth, keeping nutritional deficiencies at bay), and some of our favorite foods would not exist!

No wonder the “no fat” diets faded out 😉

Types of Fats

Fats are made up of long chains of fatty acids—also known as long chains of Carbons with acid groups attached. If the chain has Hydrogen attached to all the Carbons, the fatty acid is known as being saturated. If not all of the Carbons are saturated, the chain is considered to be a type of unsaturated.

  1. Unsaturated fats : include mono and polyunsaturated ; these fatty acid chains, because of their chemical structure, are liquid at room temp. Foods include olive oil, soy oil, sunflower oil, and nuts <—solid because of other fatty acids present
  2. Saturated fats : fatty acids that are saturated with Hydrogen, making the fats solid at room temp. Foods include butter, lard, and coconut oil.
  3. Trans fats : unsaturated fatty acids that have been hydrogenated (or changed, chemically) to become ‘more’ like saturated fatty acids. Foods include anything ‘partially’ or fully ‘hydrogenated’ –most commercially made margarine spreads, donuts, muffins, some crackers, deep-fried fast foods.
  4. Essential fats : these include linolenic (Omega-3) and linoleic (Omega-6). These fatty acids can NOT be made by the body, and must be eaten from food sources. Foods include fish, corn oil, flaxseeds, and safflower oil.

fats make things tasty

Because of the chemical structures (which I am sure you don’t want to know that much about), saturated and trans fats should be VERY limited or eaten not at all. If you’re going to choose one of the two to eat a little bit of however, choose saturated fats. Trans fats are considered one of the worst types of fats to eat because of the body’s inability to recognize its chemical structure, and the resulting destruction that occurs to the body’s cells, organs, and systems.

Fats Recommendation

The USDA recommends that 20-35% of the total daily caloric intake should be from fats. This means that in a 2,000 calorie diet, eating 25% of calories from fat would relate to 500 calories worth of fat, or about 55.5 grams of fat.

Food Sources

Of course each person’s needs are different based on age, height, family history, disease state, fitness needs, and so on. However, the best foods to eat that contain fat are, you guessed it, WHOLE FOODS.

Try nuts, seeds, olive oil, flaxseeds, fish, lean meats, some dairy (CHECK the label), and legumes–these foods are filling, delicious, wholesome, and really easy to add to any recipe!

see the Omega -3s??

Besides, just because we need to eat some fat does not give us the go-ahead to stock up on cookies, pastries, pizza, and chips. These foods can be eaten in moderation, but in excess, those fatty acids will just harm the body. Better to take care of that body NOW then pay for it later!

Thankful Thursday

love this man

  • I am grateful for the virtue of patience and all that it teaches me :)
  • I am super grateful for warm, sunny days!

What about YOU-what are YOUR favorite good-for-you fatty foods?? <–mine is nuts! What are YOU thankful for??

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  1. That was a lot of talk on fat! It is good to talk about fat and break up some of the myths our fat-fearing society instill. You do a great job of embracing and teaching things from a scientific basis!

  2. Love the idea of thankful Thursday! Such a cute blog. I am in the midst of doing my group exercise instructor training, so I love reading about your teaching chronicles.


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