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Fat isn't your frenemy

Eat more…fat…you say? Now this is a healthy habit that should be easy to embrace, right? Turns out the nutrition gods are talking about healthy fats. And healthy doesn’t mean the mozzarella and pepperoni that weighs down my pizza. Though you may find this mantra confusing after surviving the 80s and 90s, when all fats were eschewed in favor of sometimes calorie-laden, fat-free “healthy” snacks. (Confession: I probably ate my rapidly expanding weight in fat-free cookies back in the day.) In the constantly evolving nutrition world, the fat=bad equation has become lousy math.

Turns out that fat is good for you--when it’s the right type. Healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats can lower bad cholesterol and aid in satiety (and sanity, if we’re talking guacamole). That means it’s perfectly preferable to grill up some wild salmon instead of opting for yet another boneless, skinless chicken breast. So I’ve got to change my way of thinking: a tiny bit of almond butter on an apple or swirled into my oatmeal. Hummus or pesto at the cookout instead of dairy-based dips. A few crushed hazelnuts to crown my ice cream cone. The list goes on, and the options get tastier. Now this is a delicious switch I can deal with. Fat is no longer my enemy. In fact, we've become friends with benefits.

What’s your favorite way to embrace the return to healthier fats?