Make Fat Work for You

Shouldn't I avoid fats while trying to lose weight? Here are some ways to include “good” fats to replace bad fats so you can make fat work for you.
Make Fat Work for You
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

Heart health is a focus when you have prediabetes, and healthy fats are a factor that can affect your heart health. Lark DPP check-ins have introduced the idea that bad fats can raise heart disease risk, not to mention blood sugar, and they are linked to weight gain. Thankfully, including the right amounts of so-called “good” fats can have the opposite effects. These are some ways to replace bad fats with good so that fat is working for you.

Healthy Proteins

Lark may have already talked a bit about healthy proteins during your program. They are good to include in meals and snacks because they help satisfy hunger for longer. When talking about fat, “healthy proteins” take on more meaning. Fatty red meats and poultry with skin are high in saturated fat. 

Occasionally swapping out these items for fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, and herring, can add heart-healthy omega-3’s to your diet. Sometimes, it even makes sense to use nuts, peanuts, or seeds instead of meat. These are some examples.

  • Tuna or peanut butter sandwich instead of bologna or salami.
  • Fruit and nuts for a snack instead of a sausage stick.
  • Baked fish instead of steak or chicken with skin.
  • Fish soup or stew instead of beef.
  • Vegetarian chili with cashews instead of beef chili.

Flavorful without Fried

Fried foods are traditionally high in trans fat, which is the worst kind, and not what we mean by make fat work for you. Though trans fats have been largely banned, fried foods are still not typically healthy. Through they are often fried in vegetable oils, which are not considered unhealthy, the foods that are fried soak up a lot of grease. Too much fat, whether a “healthy” fat or not, will have a negative effect.

There are plenty of alternatives to frying.

  • Baked sweet potatoes or other vegetables with a bit of olive oil instead of frying potatoes.
  • An English muffin with peanut or almond butter instead of a doughnut for breakfast.
  • A grilled fish sandwich or salad instead of fried chicken on a sandwich or in a salad.

Spreads, Dips, and Dressings

For every creamy, delicious spread, dip, or dressing made with butter or cream, there is a creamy, delicious, spread, dip, or dressing that you can make with healthier fats to make fat work for you. 

  • Hummus, pureed avocado, or olive oil on bread instead of butter.
  • Guacamole or dip made with pureed cooked vegetables and olive oil instead of creamy dip.
  • Salad dressing made with olive oil and vinegar or avocado instead of a cream-based dressing.

Make Fat Work For You In Recipes

  • Nuts or seeds instead of buttery croutons to add crunch in a salad.
  • Peanut butter in sauce for a Thai flair instead of a butter or cream-based sauce.
  • Canned tuna or salmon in casseroles instead of ground beef.
  • Oil instead of butter in baked goods.

Fat can be your friend, not your foe, when you choose the right ones whenever you can, and cut back on the bad ones. Lark DPP can remind you about eating healthier for prediabetes and heart health and keep you motivated and informed.