Not All Fats Are Created Equal

Not All Fats Are Created Equal

BEND, Oregon (Ivanhoe Newswire/WTVM) -- For more than a generation, fat was a dirty word. Nutritionists and dieticians urged us to ban it whenever we could. But that message didn't work. We just gained more weight. Now, food experts are telling us not all fats are bad.

Lore Koch's stress and depression caused her to start eating a lot.

Her stress eating led to an obesity diagnosis and diabetes. Like many of us, Koch thought all fat was bad. Until nutritionist and certified diabetes expert Lori Brizee, MS, RDN at Central Oregon Nutrition Consultants set her straight.

Koch says, "I think I wanted to cut it out altogether but then Lori gave me some options of some things I liked."

"We need fat. We have to have essential fatty acids to meet our basic nutrient needs," says Brizee.

She says some polyunsaturated fats can actually lower cholesterol in our system and monounsaturated fats, like those found in avocados, have been shown to help reduce heart disease.

Brizee points out the "All Fat is Bad" campaign that lasted for years, failed.

Brizee explains, "When people went really low fat, they just continued to gain weight. They ate more sugar and refined carbohydrates. So people would buy a fat-free cookie thinking they were doing something really good for themselves."

The nutrition plan Brizee came up with for Lore cut out soda and includes healthy fats from avocado, fish and nuts…and its working. She's dropped 35 pounds in five months and is going for more.

One set of fats to avoid: trans-fats. Eating foods rich in trans-fats like stick margarine increases the amount of 'bad' cholesterol in our bloodstream. A Harvard school of public health study found that for every two percent of calories from trans-fats, the risk of heart disease jumps by almost 25 percent.

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