Healthy Eating

Big Fat Surprise

Experts agree that a little saturated fat can be good for you. Here’s how to spend your fat budget wisely.

Big Fat Surprise
Pin it Carin Krasner

3 AKASHA RICHMOND, celebrity chef and owner of Akasha restuarant and bar, Culver City, Calif.

Expense report: “My fat splurges are spent on good cheese, avocados, sweet potato fries or my own recipe for gelato made with almonds, cashews and coconut milk. In general, while I think about how much fat I eat every day, I don’t count my fat grams. Instead I use my intuition and balance. If I have a fat-heavy lunch, dinner is lighter. As a rule, I use high-fat foods for flavor so I use fewer of them.”

Takeaway tip: Maintain balance. If you choose a burger, skip the cheese on top. Or, make your omelet with egg whites if you want to add avocado. You can also offset your indulgence by logging extra time on your yoga mat or local hiking trail.

4 GUNNAR PETERSON, celebrity trainer, Beverly Hills, Calif.

Expense report: “I try to eat foods in their whole form. I don’t go looking for fats, but I do look for protein— chicken, lean beef and eggs—and that’s where I get most of my fat. Sometimes I’ll splurge on ice cream, but more regularly I’ll give in to my craving for chocolate.”

Takeaway tip: Eat fats with benefits. When choosing a food with saturated fat, make sure it packs an extra health bonus. Chicken, eggs and meat have protein; dark chocolate is chock-full of antioxidants and magnesium; and organic, full-fat dairy, such as cheese and yogurt, offers up calcium and good-for-your-gut probiotics.

5 ASHLEY KOFF, R.D., celebrity dietitian and author of Mom Energy (Hay House), Los Angeles, Calif.

Expense report: As for me? I’ll admit that even as a dietitian, I have my own weaknesses. For instance, I’ve been known to give in to a chocolate craving when PMS hits. But many of my favorite foods—avocados, olive oil, wild salmon, hempseeds, raw goat and sheep’s milk cheeses, and cacao—have a healthy balance of fats. So I add these into my diet regularly in moderate amounts. I won’t touch anything with trans fats, and I always choose organic, whole foods. In other words, I’m a Qualitarian.

Takeaway tip: Be a fat snob (like me!). What matters most is the quality of the food you put into your body. (Even when I indulge in chocolate, I make sure it’s 75 percent cacao or higher.) So, make the best quality choice you can at every eating occasion.