When I was younger, I was the chubby girl with the thick ankles sitting near the canteen while the other kids played in the sand. Once the age for ‘it’s just baby fat’ began to wane, an F-word became my reality – and that was FAT. There were only two ways then that anybody could be using the word fat in a sentence, was to either make a mockery of my frame, or simple as an adjective that became my most memorable quality.
I was the ‘the fat one’, and I was not happy with it.
Over time, as my body image got worse, so did my perception of the word fat. And then, when speaking to some of the best dieticians of our times, I was introduced to some puzzling new body friends – Healthy Fats.
This was an earth-shattering discovery for me –when I was called fat, it was never in association with the word ‘healthy’! What were these people talking about? Did this mean I could eat my cookies and Reese’s cups with no consequences?
Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong! When they say healthy fats, they mean monosaturates and unsaturated fats, as well as oils and foods with omega-6 that help one get fit. Monosaturated and unsaturated – that sounded to me like an Instagram filter to me. Not quite.
Unsaturated fats are considered “good” fats and are encouraged as part of a healthy diet. Eating foods rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat can improve blood cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. These fats may also benefit insulin levels and controlling blood sugar, which can be especially helpful if you have type 2 diabetes.
So, good fats come from Avocados (hello, guacamole and gluten-free nachos!), natural peanut butter (DIY organic Reese’s pieces, maybe?), fatty fishes like salmon and trout, as well as olives and certain kinds of nuts. The benefits of these yummy fats is that they help aid the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins to help one feel fuller for longer.
Once I made this discovery, I began embracing the word ‘fat’. Sometimes, it’s not a bad thing to have a little fat once in a while.