Clean Food Diet, Day Six: Now, let’s talk about fat

Thai Cooking Class dinner

On Thursday, we talked about sugar. Let’s spend some time talking about fat, the other big gotcha in processed food. Well, that and salt. But talking about salt in canned foods makes my head spin. Have you seen how much sodium is in a can of black beans or tomato paste? Staggering.

Back to fat – fat is good. Our bodies need fat (mostly polyunsaturated) to help absorb nutrients and give us energy (American Heart Association Fats 101). Knowing what is good fat and what is bad fat is helpful in understanding how to moderate our diets and get what we need from fats.

Bad fats are saturated fats and trans fats, mainly from animals and some plants. These include solid fats, such as lard, butter, margarine, and fats from animals including meat, cream, milk, and cheeses. Trans fats are made by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats, making them into partially hydrogenated saturated fats.

Good fats are unsaturated fats, both mono- and poly-, which include most liquid vegetable oils, such as olive and canola. Peanut Butter and avocados also contain unsaturated fats, more good news for me!

Trans fats are the fats that get the most attention in the press these days. They raise your LDL (bad cholesterol) and lower your HDL (good cholesterol) and are most often seen as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in processed and fast-fried foods. You might be surprised to find partially hydrogenated oils in many of the foods in your grocery store aisles.

At some point in writing this post, all this fat talk was confusing. Fortunately, the American Heart Association has a great little tool, Meet the Fats, which explains everything very clearly. Great tool to share with your family!

And now, onto my food photo diary for the day. As I did yesterday, I will give you the day in reverse order, starting with dinner:

Trio of Sorbets
Trio of Sorbets

Thai Cooking Class dinner
Thai Cooking Class dinner

Tom Kha Kai Soup
Tom Kha Kai Soup

All the above were from a Thai Cooking Class we attended last night. More details on that soon!

Lunch was a BLT on sourdough with mayonnaise from Bianchini’s in Portola Valley. They have the best bacon. And breakfast was a 6th day of the same, so I did not even bother to photograph.

One more day of my week of diet tracking. Mostly clean food, except when eating out. Also I did not binge so much on snack foods, but that is pretty unusual. My favorite time to snack is when writing about food, go figure. Will I make any permanent changes? I don’t know. I feel better, and I think the blob around my tummy is shrinking, but clean eating requires a vigilance that I don’t know I can sustain, especially through the busy fall social season and holidays. We love eating out and love being invited over to friend’s homes for dinner (hint, hint), and just because I think it is fun and interesting to eat this diet, I am sure not everyone shares my view. Letting go of your personal food preferences can lead to wonderful culinary adventures. Hey, anyone who is willing to cook me dinner is already a star in my book!