Fats are friends, & food

Breaking down the truth about fats in a way that won’t leave you hungry 

What if we were to tell you fats are your friends! Wait, what? That doesn’t make sense. Are you confused yet? Well, the science around fats sure is. 

Between old studies being retracted, new studies constantly being published and Dr. Oz announcing another super food every week, keeping up with dietary trends can definitely be overwhelming. There are many misconceptions out there, so we’ve broken down the st
udies for you. 

Here are the essential fat facts broken down and explained using fats as relationships.

Disclaimer: Most foods have a mixture of fats in them, but certain types dominate. 

Let’s use the on-again-off-again relationship to represent trans-saturated fat aka trans fat, the fat found in fried foods, baked goods, margarine and anything with hydrogenated oils.

Some may say it’s obvious that unstable relationships aren’t a good idea, just like science strongly implies that trans-saturated fats are unhealthy for you.  But, no matter how many times we end up with a stomach ache, we still fantasize about deep fried food and convince ourselves that this time the relationship is going to be different.

The next divide isn’t quite as clear, but stay with me as I try to explain how the couple who lives on the same floor in residence is like unsaturated fat, which is commonly found in avocados, fatty fish, nuts, seeds and different kinds of oil. 

Previously, science has said that unsaturated fats were good for you and this became commonly accepted knowledge.  

Meeting a guy or girl who lives just down the hall seems like the perfect arrangement, at first. But, before long, the don starts warning you that floor relationships may not be a good idea, just like how scientists are now starting to cast doubt on the health benefits of unsaturated fats.  

Which leaves us with the long-distance high school relationship and saturated fat, found in cheese, butter, beef, pork, chicken and tropical oils. The high school long distance relationship is what we have no consensus on: is it good, is it bad, will it last? Your friends and you debate whether or not it will work out, but you just never know. The science against saturated fat is also double guessing itself. 

Assigning a fat to either of these relationships is not an exact comparison, which is only fitting since the science around which fats are good for you is so ambiguous and divided.                                                                                                                        Graphic by Rachel Liu

We know our body needs fat to survive. However, the jury is still out on saturated fats versus unsaturated fats, which is a debate most people tend to think was settled ages ago. 

Personally, we would’ve thought of saturated fats as unhealthy before researching this topic and this may or may not be true. 

Yet, coconut oil is very high in this type of fat and is often seen as a better substitute to butter, which only goes to show what a health fad can do. The one thing currently agreed upon is to avoid trans fat.

We’ve made a meal filled with lots of fats and they taste pretty good, so we sure hope they’re not bad!

High fat foods include salmon, avocado, and olives.

Lemon Parsley Salmon

  • 4 salmon filets
  • 4-7 lemon slices
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Top salmon with all other ingredients and bake on a lined pan in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Whole Wheat Couscous

  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • ½ lemon, juiced and zested
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ tsp salt

Put couscous in a pan and add 2 cups of boiling water. Cover with the lid and let stand for 10 - 15 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Mix in lemon juice, zest, parsley and salt.

Olive Tapenade

  • ½ cup mixed kalamata and green olives
  • 1 tsp garlic

Blend together in a food processor, magic bullet or another means of getting a fine paste!

Avocado Salad

  • ½ cup tomato, diced
  • ½ an avocado, diced
  • 1 tbsp red onion, finely diced  
  • ½ tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Mix ingredients in a bowl and let stand in fridge until the rest of the meal is done. Then add to some spinach or your favourite green for a tasty salad. 

We hope you enjoy and leave a little room for fat in your life! 

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