Generally, I'm not a huge fan when people categorize foods as "good" or "bad." Sure, there are some foods that have pretty much no nutritional value, like donuts or fast food. But for most things, I think portion control matters as much as (if not more than) what the actual food is.
Women's magazines love making lists of "Best foods for your abs", "Foods for better sleep", and "Foods to help de-bloat", etc. They love em. While these lists aren't incorrect in what they're saying, they're not telling the whole story. Yes, almonds are great for you. No, you should probably not eat a cup of almonds over the course of a day.
No specific food is magical.
A problem that I find with these articles is that they create food trends and food obsessions -- have you noticed how obsessed with kale and chia seeds everyone is lately? What's wrong with spinach or swiss chard? Nothing. Nothing is wrong with them. Kale is just trending right now, and so people end up eating kale every single day thinking that it's going to magically cure their ailments and help them to lose weight when they'd probably be better off changing up their leafy greens to diversify their micronutrient intake.
My issues with the diet industry are pretty lengthy, so we'll save that rant for another day. Today, I want to focus on how this mindset affects fat consumption.
The diet/health industry pushes healthy fats, encouraging people to not fear fat but to look at the advantages of healthy fat consumption - joint lubrication, proper brain function, healthy organs, etc. It's good that people aren't trying to avoid fat entirely, like they used to, but we also shouldn't overdo it.
Fat adds up quickly. Just 1 gram of fat is 9 calories, whereas 1 gram of protein or carbs is 4 calories. That's more than double. So when you think about it, consuming even small portions of fatty foods quickly racks up calories.
For my clients, I encourage them to eat fat, but to keep it generally in the 15-30% of overall calorie intake range. This means that they have to do a bit of portion control.
Education is everything with nutrition. So here's a quick list of healthy foods that you should continue to eat, but be mindful of your portions with.