While grocery shopping, I try to choose foods that are both healthy and budget friendly. While looking at the grocery store shelves, you are bombarded with multiple versions of the same product including options such as “fat-free” or “low fat” which is in reality a marketing trap. I have fallen victim to purchasing items such as “low fat peanut butter” and “low fat Oreos” thinking that they are a healthier alternative to the original version. Food manufacturers know that fat enhances the flavor of products. To make up for this loss of flavor they add an absurd amount of sugars, salts, and chemicals, which are worse for you. Sugar is known to increase obesity and feeds cancer cells. Salt raises your blood pressure, which puts strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys, and brain.
Fats are a vital part of your diet. Vitamins A, D, E, and K require fat to be able to enter your body. These vitamins aid in important functions such as vision, bone health, and your immune system. Fats are also found in the myelin of your brain. Without fat, your brain cannot effectively send messages. Instead of looking for low fat foods, I challenge you to look for “good fats”.
Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats have been found to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends keeping total fat intake between 25 and 35 percent of your total calories. Processed foods are never an ideal choice, but if you have to purchase them I would recommend taking a close look at the nutritional label. Food manufacturers often decrease the serving size of foods to unrealistic portions to make them seem healthier. If there are more than 5 ingredients and you can’t pronounce half of them, you probably shouldn’t buy. it. Like everything, fats are needed in moderation. I challenge you to think good fats, not fat free!