Friday, June 18, 2010

Fat is My Friend

You may have read my Tweet earlier in the week, but I'll repeat it here.....I ACCEPTED A JOB WITH A LOCAL GROCERY STORE!!! Could I be any more excited?? No! This is my dream job, literally, as I will be doing store tours, food demos, private consults, and so much more. The only "bad" thing is that I have to do 8 weeks of training, starting July 6th, which will require that I travel and stay mainly in Pittsburgh. I know this might sound pathetic to you, but I have never spent so many days away from Nick, and I'm sort of anxious about this. I'm such an independent, and I don't need Nick to make me happy or satisfied, but it's going to be strange. We don't even see each other a whole lot on a typical day, only at night, but that's when I will really miss him. Oh well, distance/absence makes the heart grow founder, right?! I'll have to find some really great books to keep my occupied. YEAH NEW JOB!!!

On Tuesday I posted 5 "Urban Food Legends". Today I want to talk about another food legend that began about 20 years ago; "Fat free and low fat is best!".

I will take you back to a post I wrote in October of last year:

New Research Regarding Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Omega-6 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, like Omega-3 (found in salmon and other fatty fish), but they are not often discussed because most Americans have no trouble getting them. Why? They are found in vegetable oils (canola, soybean, safflower, peanut), which Americans have no trouble getting in their diets (think fries, dressings, chips, etc.). When I was in school to become an RD (about 5 years ago) we were sort of taught to look down on Omega-6's. They are important in the diet because our body can't make them. They do play essential roles in our body, but too many Omega-6s are linked to pro-inflammatory processes in the body, and have been linked to heart disease and other inflammation diseases.

New studies, however, have been showing an association with Omega-6 and LOWER cardiovascular disease risk, and improved blood lipids. Five studies were cited, with specific results that associated higher percentages of Omega-6s to lower CVD risk, improved total-HDL cholesterol ratio (good cholesterol), and a reduction in LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).

New recommendations: The American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada are now recommending that 5%-10% of your diet should be Omega-6s and .6% to 1.2% should be Omega-3s (11-22 grams Omega-6 and 1.3-2.7 grams Omega-3, on a 2000 calorie diet). Keep in mind, the lower percentage is for those who eat less calories, while the higher percentage is for those who eat more.

In another previous post I talked about my opinion of fat free vs. reduced fat peanut butter. Check it out here.

did a post about "The Dangers of a Low Fat Diet", which I thought was fantastic. Bring on the fat!

My Overall Opinion of FAT

For about two years of my life I hated fat. I avoided it at all costs. I would pour the oil off of my almond butter, eat plain bread without any butter or margarine, only buy fat free ice cream, fat free yogurt, and fat free cheese. When I went through this period of anorexia, I gave up all forms of fat, including my beloved peanut butter. At this point in my life I had no idea why fat was so important. So what happened to me physically, and mentally? I couldn't think straight,I was always in a bad mood, I lost some hair (which in some parts of my head has still not grown back, and I'm not holding my breath), and I know it had an effect on my memory. This is because fat plays essential roles in growth, brain development, nutrient absorption, and so much more. Back in 1990 our government decided to take a stand against fat, but their initial thought was to start eliminating it from foods like dairy products, meat, and poultry. This was a good idea because these are all sources of "bad" saturated and trans fat (although saturated fat is necessary in the diet. The DV is about 20 grams per day). While their intentions were good, the food companies took it about 100 steps too far. They started taking fat out of cakes, ice cream, crackers, and cookies. America started to become afraid of fat, and instead turned to fat's high carbohydrate/sugar and sodium counterparts. "It's fat free, which means I can eat as much as I want and not get fat!" Yeah, so we thought. As it turns out we did get fatter and even more unhealthy (our triglycerides went up, our good cholesterol/HDL went down, and our brains stopped functioning quite as nicely). Why? FAT IS GOOD! Thankfully now I am in love with fat and I have discovered how much fat loves me too!

Here are my favorite sources of fat:

Peanut butter
(My addiction is Smart Balance crunchy peanut butter. They add extra Omega-3 fats to theirs!)

Almond Butter

Smart Balance Margarine
With omega-3 added, in the form of flaxseed)

Olive Oil

Canola Oil
(Smart Balance adds extra Omega-3 to their canola oil too)




How many tsp. of oil should you consume each day? Find out by going to the MyPramid Website.

QUESTION: What's your favorite source of FAT?!

Coming Up

Monday I will post a video blog about three different types of yogurt (all of which have fat!) Soy, regular yogurt, and Greek yogurt. I don't do fat free yogurts, ever (or sugar free for that matter.). Tomorrow I will be posting some information about AGEs. Don't know what those are? Find out tomorrow!!

Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for reading.


  1. Congrats on the job! SO exciting!!

    I love ice cream....that counts right?! ;-)

  2. By far avocado and coconut milk are my go-to fats! Love them!

  3. By the way, your job sounds just like mine! It's so much fun isn't it?!

  4. Wahoo! Now that is the perfect job for you. Congrats to you and to Giant!

  5. Yay Gina!! So excited for sounds like the perfect job for you!!

    My favorite source of fats are almond butter and olive oil. :)

    Have a great weekend!!

  6. Congratulations! Sounds like a great opportunity. And you'll be able to influence so many people! I am really happy for you :) The training will go by fast and I'm sure it will be so exciting that you won't have time to be lonely!

  7. Congratulations on your new job Gina! I'm so pumped for you. I am curious to know - was being an RD required for the position?

    My favorite source of fat is almond butter, avocado, coconut oil and Goddess dressing. :)

  8. CONGRATULATIONS!! That is SO exciting! Thanks also for the great information - I hope people keep who may be avoiding far right now read this post! I'm so happy to hear you'll only be continuing to spread your knowledge and experience with even more people!

  9. I went through a period of no fat too! There was so much information out there saying how bad it I listened and stopped eating it. I'm so glad I realized it's not all bad! Fat definitely helps with the fullness factor and well it tastes good too! My favorite fat is a toss between Justin's maple almond butter and a good old avocado!

  10. Shameful confession: I hadn't heard that change of heart on omega 6's until now! Like you, we were taught pro-inflammatory, excessive in the diet, heart disease, blah blah blah. My how things change! I love the fat in avocados. I love the suckers!

    That's going to be a tough 8 weeks, but it will be so worth it! And trust me, absence does make the heart grow fonder :)

  11. CONGRATS!! Thats is so exciting :)
    I used to hate fat, because my mom told me it was bad. Everything we ate waas either fat free or low fat. Except that my body NEEDS fat! My nails used to be so brittle and would rip all the time because of my lack of fat and other nutrients. Now they are STRONG!

  12. Peanut butter!!

  13. Congrats on the job! That rocks! My favorite fat is avocado. I love avocados :)

  14. Congrats on the job!
    My favorite fat is probably peanut butter since it's so quick and easy to eat.
    I can believe that they want to lower the amount of fat in the american diet, but I do think they should be stressing that it's all a recommendation and different people work well with different diets. If fat was only 5-10% of my diet, I don't think I'd have the energy to run at all.

  15. I loooove nut butter for my fats! And nuts/seeds! I've started focusing my diet to be more flexitarian, so I'm definitely starting to get more fats in my diet- I love them and how my body feels after a week of consuming a diet with more fats in it!

  16. I love avocado and peanut butter. Oh and any sort of cheese!

    Fat free does not mean calorie free.

    Congrats on the job. It sounds so exciting!

  17. YOU. are my friend because 1. you made me increase my fat intake since my legs started cramping at night and guess what NO MORE LEG CRAMPIES!!!! hahaha :)

    i think my fav sources of fatties are peanut butter OF COURSE, um cado ;) mmm so good in eggies. also jarlsberg cheese? does that count? and hummus which i think counts in my book haha

    CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! pittsburg schmitsberg. nick must visit you it's required. maybe you'll become a pirates fan? haha i'm so happy for you girl :)

  18. Congrats on the new job!! That is AWESOME!

    And I LOVE fats - they are a huge part of my diet :-).

  19. Congratulations on the job Gina! I'm really happy for you that you got your dream job!

    I'm not going to lie, my favorite source of fat is almost anything with saturated and trans fat! Don't worry though, I know better not to indulge. As far as good fats I like fish, but I'm picky about the type and how it's prepared. Haddock with lemon is my favorite, but salmon is my least favorite.

    I'm glad that you recovered from anorexia. I myself at one time was on a dangerous road to anorexia. I wouldn't even take medications prescribed my doctor due to fear that it contained calories. I got over it, gained 40lbs, screwed up my metabolism and now it's a struggle to lose the weight. I'm slowly getting there though!

    Have a great weekend!

  20. Congrats on the new jobs! It sounds like fun and exciting job :)

    I love my fat too... not in chips and fries but in my hemp or flax oil, avocado, almond butter and nuts.

    have a geat Friday.

  21. Congrats on the job! Sounds amazing! I used to be scared of fat too but now I am in love with avocado, peanut butter, and salmon!

  22. i use the same olive oil and i have smart balance butter too :)

    my fav fat is hemp seed/nut butter! :) yum yum

  23. Congrats on the new gig! I am sorry you have to be away from Nick for so long...I don't care what anyone says, that's going to be tough. But you're right, this can be your reading/blogging time!

    Let's see...can I call brownies my favorite form of fat? No? Ok, then I'm going with AVOCADO followed by peanut butter.

  24. SO EXCITED for you about the job! Yay for landing your dream job!!!!! I am so excited for you, you completely deserve it!

    That stinks about the training though- especially because you want to be spending time in your new home with Nick right now! All I can say is at least its for a finite amount of time and you can keep thinking this is almost over. Hopefully when you do see each other in the next 6 weeks it will be really exciting and fun times?

    About fat- my favorite is salmon and peanut butter, I also love olive oil and anything with olive oil in it including hummus and things like that :) I actually do like fat free greek yogurt, but I have never tried fat free ice cream and I don't plan to ever lol. Since too much fat at once bothers my stomach I have tried some low fat products and I would say 90 % of the time they are disgusting and/or they add something way less healthy in instead of the fat!

  25. Congrats on the job! It sounds like a great fit for you.

    Love this post! My favorite fats are peanut butter, almonds, walnuts and avocados. It's nice to hear about those new studies. Omega 6s seem to get a bad rap a lot.

  26. I can't believe we both gave up peanut butter at one time in our lives because we convinced ourselves that fat was bad. I really can't believe I lived without it, since it's always been one of my favorite foods. I can remember how much better I felt when I first started eating fat again.

    To bad you're not closer to the city for your training.

  27. Congrats on the dream job! I LOVE fats too... Any nut butter, avocado and raw nuts are just a few of my favorites.

  28. Again, congrats on your job! I'm super excited for you!

    Great info and points about fats! I used to avoid fat, too. Since I've added more healthy fats back into my diet, I have noticed that I'm much more satisfied after a meal. My favorite fats are nuts, avocados, and olive oil.

    Happy Weekend, Gina! :)

  29. Yay for a fantastic job! That's so exciting! The time apart from Nick will be tough, but it will be worth it to have such an incredible job and the 8 weeks will be up before you know it.

    I loooove fats! If my meal doesn't have fats, I am hungry an hour or two later. I eat loads of peanut butter and almond butter, which are probably my fave fats. I also like whole eggs.

  30. so happy for you will adjust being and get used to i tweeted i love avocadoes! happy friday .....

  31. Love the nut butters, but recently, LOVE TAHINI! I like the sesame seed oil drizzled with lemon...

    I also love eggs, sunny side up or poached!

  32. Thanks for the information Gina. How nice that something we want to eat is actually good for us too.

  33. CONGRATULATIONS on your new job!! I'm sooooo excited for you!!! 8 week apart will be tough, though, we're going through that too with Zach having to do so many out of town clinical rotations - sending big hugs of sympathy and understanding!!

    Those are all my favorite sources of healthy fats, too! :-) I'm especially in love with the Smart Balance crunchy PB - I learned about it from you, and now I love it! :-) Thank you!!

    Congratulations again!!! :-)

  34. Hey girl! A belated congrats on your new job! I'm so excited for you. I am like you- since I met Mike we have not been apart for more than 1's just more of a habit but I'm sure the job is going to be worth it!

    I used to be anti-fat as well and it was not good for me. I live for almonds and almond butter as well as avocados and love some olive oil too!

  35. Are we going to have enough Omega 3? Is the price going to go up because of shortages of salmon? I'm worried about salmon. I'm worried that the loss of salmon will drive up the price of fish oil and Omega 3. I read that salmon supplies are already diminishing at It says that the oceans are becoming more acidic and that this endangers the food that salmon feed. What do you know about this? We can be done about it?
    PS. Congratulations on your new job!

  36. I am totally addicted to Smart Balance peanut butter. Love your site and how informative it is! Congrats on the job :)