(CNN) -For decades, we've been told to avoid fat or use low-fat products, but that mindset has changed.
Cleveland Clinic functional medicine expert Dr. Mark Hyman says it's time to jump off the low-fat bandwagon.
"Fat doesn't actually make you fat, and it doesn't cause heart disease. There have been troves of studies that prove that fact, that not all calories are the same, that fat calories actually help speed up metabolism, suppress the appetite, cut cravings and help you lose weight," Dr. Hyman explained.
Dr. Hyman says sugar and refined carbohydrates are the real enemies when it comes to your health. They store fat, make you hungry, slow metabolism and lead to heart disease.
"Most Americans need to shift their diet from the 152 pounds of sugar and 146 pounds of flour that they eat every year to a diet higher in good healthy fats," Dr. Hyman said.
Not all fats are created equal. Dr. Hyman breaks fat down into three categories: bad, in-between and good fat. Bad fat is trans-fat and shouldn't be eaten, it's been linked to heart disease, obesity, dementia, Type 2 diabetes and even cancer. In-between fat is saturated fat and refined omega-6 oils like vegetable, corn and soybean oil.
Dr. Hyman says there isn't strong evidence that saturated fat is a problem, but more research needs to be done. He adds, refined oils can be inflammatory and potentially harmful. Good fats are omega-3 fats from fish, nuts, seeds and olive oil. He says eating the right fat can boost metabolism and weight loss.
"Weight loss is not a math problem, it's a hormone problem and a metabolic problem and when you eat fats you turn on the right hormones. When you eat sugar and refined carbs you turn on the wrong hormones and cause weight gain," Dr. Hyman said.
According to Dr. Hyman, the bottom line for weight loss and heart health is to cut out sugar and refined carbs and instead eat more foods that contain healthy fats, like avocados, salmon and even coconut butter.
In other health news, March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma in Lawton, Duncan and Altus are offering free colon cancer screening kits through the end of the month. Visit any of the three locations to pick yours up or inquire about all of your screening options.