Daily Israel Report

Passover Nutrition Pitfall - Fats and Oils

The difference between a good fat and a bad fat may help you stick to a healthy diet on Passover.
By Nili Abrahams, CHHC
First Publish: 3/27/2013, 8:59 AM

Site of the ancient olive oil factory
Site of the ancient olive oil factory
Israel News Photo: Michael Cohen, IAA

On Passover, there is a debate over what kinds of oils are kosher for the holiday, mainly in the Ashkenazic community that avoids legumes. And butter is eaten by Ashkenazim in lieu of margarine. The health and nutrition aspects of oils and fats, however, should always be a consideration, and on Passover as well.

For years, nutritionists and doctors have preached that a low-fat diet is the key to losing weight, managing cholesterol, and preventing health issues. Just take a walk down the grocery isle and see that our low-fat options have exploded, but unfortunately, so have our obesity rates. Clearly, low-fat foods and diets haven’t delivered on their trim, healthy promises.

Are you confused by all the information out there around oils and fats? Are we over the obsession around no fat or low fat?

It is true. Fat has made a comeback into our diets. This reintroduction has been made with many caveats and guidelines. These guidelines include the amount of fat we should eat and more specifically the types of fat that are actually healthy. Bad fats increase cholesterol and the risk of certain diseases, such as heart disease and cancers, while good fats protect your heart and support overall health. In fact, good fats—such as omega-3 fats—are essential to physical and emotional health.

Healthful fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight. The answer isn’t cutting out the fat. It is learning to make healthy choices around replacing bad fats with good ones that promote health and well-being.

These good fats include high quality olive oil, avocados, olives, fatty fish such as salmon and nuts. The fats we must avoid are trans fats found in commercially-baked pastries, packaged snack foods, high-fat cuts of meat and fried foods.

Start by bringing back fat into your diet by cooking with olive oil instead of butter and margarine; eat guacamole and dress up your own salad.

Learn about your options and enjoy the good fat.

And remember you can choose your best life one step at a time.

Nili Abrahams, Certified Holistic Health Coach at Choose Life Nutrition, integrates Health and Wellness with Torah’s Wisdom.