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Diet Basics: Not All Fats Are Equally Bad (Apparently)

I'm not really a healthy eater, I just play one online.

By Wade WainioPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Don't let these tasty foods fool ya'. They'll kill ya'! (Maybe.)

It's always a bit weird for someone like myself to discuss health and diet. Frankly, I am not very healthy and, at best, might consider myself a work in progress. Really, I should emphasize that this article is largely what I gather based on life experience, knowledge, articles I've read, and some elements of folk knowledge.

In other words, I don't want anyone thinking this is some definitive guide that I expect people to follow, especially when I don't follow it nearly enough myself. I just want to mention what I've gathered about the complicated nature of diets, health, and nutrition. To start with, let's talk about fat.

Is All Fat Bad? Apparently Not...

According to what information I have gathered over the years, eating fat is not always going to hurt your health. In fact, the main fats that are bad for your health (and certainly mine) are saturated and trans fats. If you’re still doubtful about this, then think about the full spectrum of food. Some of the foods considered among the right kinds of fat include dairy, eggs, and meat, which are relatively high in fat. This is not to say they are the healthiest foods, and many will (rightly or wrongly) say they are not good for you at all. However, they are proven to have some nutritional value.

They also have a ton of good things in them as well, like protein, vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. I won't say definitively that "Eating these foods is extremely important for good health," especially when some people are lactose intolerant, can't stand meat, or know these foods have downsides. The simple point is, not all fats are equally lamentable. In fact, as much as vegans and vegetarians would hate to hear it, nutrients in high-quality animal "products" are associated with better mental health. As an example, mackerel is considered a good source of fish oil. Fish is commonly considered brain food.

So am I saying all "bad" foods are good again, or something zany like that? Of course not! As a general rule, we would be much healthier without processed foods, while emphasizing organic ones instead. Studies show that some of the healthiest food on the market is whole-grain foods like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and even certain types of pasta. But again, some of this comes down to the individual level. Obviously, some people cannot even eat bread (though, to some extent, the "gluten-free" diet thing was a fad).

What’s more is that vegetables are not only the healthiest dietary choices, but they’re also cheap and, if done right, have no added preservatives.

It Gets Complicated

It's tricky to talk about food because, not only is there a diverse array of dietary needs, but it's even true that not all processed food is equally bad. All "processed" means is that food has been "changed in any way from its natural state."

That's why places sometimes describe their food as "minimally processed," as practically no food will be totally unprocessed (cooking is processing, as is, technically, merely taking an apple from a tree!).

So, basically, there are relatively healthy fats, and it is actually possible to eat too many vegetables or really too much of any kind of food. The best bet is to have a varied diet, no doubt about it. It's even possible to have too much of a good thing. On top of that, diet is not everything. If you get a fair amount of exercise, it will likely help prevent certain types of health problems (though, of course, you might want to consult an actual health professional regarding what constitutes overly stressful activity for your needs).

A Matter of Cost

Though it's a common joke that whole foods take up a whole paycheck, let's not forget that whole foods are very expensive to produce. They take a lot of time, energy, water, and land. Also, if you are a conscientious person, you will certainly want the food workers to be paid fairly (though, unfortunately, they often aren't). Though compensating workers well wouldn't necessarily drive up costs that much, it will most certainly be figured into the overall price of whatever food hits the market.

In other words, if you believe in a fair market economy, you will be prepared to pay more. Of course, you could always try to semi-elusive method of subsistence farming for your own foods, though that would likely require some skill, knowledge, hard work, and determination.

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About the Creator

Wade Wainio

Wade Wainio writes stuff for Show Snob, Undead Walking, Pophorror.com, Vents Magazine and Haunted MTL. He is also an artist, musician and college radio DJ for WMTU 91.9 FM Houghton.

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    Wade WainioWritten by Wade Wainio

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