Healthy fats are essential for better blood sugar, stable energy, deep sleep, healthy hormones and so much more... but what fats are actually healthy?
Benefits of Eating Good Fats.
Provides a long, slow burning source of energy.
Feel satisfied for longer periods of time.
Slows down absorption of food for proper energy regulation.
Serves as a protective lining for organs and joints.
Makes food taste good!
Fats are Essential.
Allows the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Involved in the makeup of every cell in the entire body.
Required in the formation and function of every hormone.
Supports healthy liver function by building healthy cholesterol and bile.
Manages the inflammatory process.
Inflammation is the body's way of healing and protecting itself.
Our body is designed to inflame to heal before it anti-inflames. Think of how you heal from a cut; first it gets a bit red and sometimes itchy - inflamed. Then over time, it's less red and uncomfortable - anti-inflamed. The problem arrises when these processes are out of balance and the major contributor to this is... our diet.
Refined carbs, sugar, processed seed oils like canola, corn, soybean, etc., and the abundance of trans fats in packaged foods and for some, food sensitivities like gluten and dairy.
Cholesterol has received a terrible reputation and is woefully misunderstood.
Just like saturated fats, cholesterol has been 'demonized' and countless people have been put on statins to lower those all-important numbers. Yet this is a nuanced conversation which is not happening very often.
Benefits of Cholesterol.
Builds the structure of cell membranes.
Creates hormones like estrogen, testosterone and adrenal hormones.
Assists metabolism to work efficiently.
Essential for the production of vitamin D.
Produces bile acids which are essential for the body to digest fats and absorb vital nutrients.
What about Omega-3 and Omega 6 Fats?
These are the 'essential' fatty acids [EFA] because our body can't make them, therefore we need to get them from our diet. These fats play key roles in the body's inflammatory process.
Omega-3 fats are anti-inflammatory and Omega-6 fats are pro-inflammatory. The key is to eat them in balance with an ideal ratio of 1:1. In today's modern diet, the typical ratio is more often around 1:20 due primarily to the overconsumption of Omega-6 through vegetable [seed] oils used in cooking and in most processed foods. We also are under-consuming fish and fish oils which are rich in Omega-3's.
The difference between a 'good' fat and a 'bad' fat has more to do with how it's processed than the fat itself.
What Can I Do?
Stop cooking with vegetable [seed] oils like canola, safflower and corn oil. These oils are processed with high heat, chemical solvents, bleaches and deodorants which break down their fragile nature and our body no longer recognizes them as actual food.
Choose olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil,butter or ghee
Eat something from the sea twice a week.
Supplement with a good quality fish oil.
Include walnuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds. They do contain omega-3 but as ALA which isn't an efficient form of the EPA and DHA that your body needs. But they contain fiber and phytonutrients that are important to your health.
Choose whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean proteins which will limit the omega-6 consumption.
Eat eggs from the farm. They contain higher levels of omega-3's, they are also higher in antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin which give the eggs a beautiful orange yolk.
Choose grass-fed and finished beef to get a better balance of omega-3 and omega 6.
When eating dairy, choose organic grass-fed products. Try yogurt, kefir, and organic cottage cheese.
Consider going dairy-free for 21 days to test your body. Maybe that brain fog, constipation or annoying headache is caused by all the convertional dairy you're eating?
Become a Label Reader. Even if the front says; heart healthy, no trans fats, or made with oilve oil. Turn the package over and read the fine print! Do you see hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated? These are also trans fats. What about other oils like cannola or corn? Again put it back.
So for today, include some good fat into your diet. Your body will thank you.
Thanks for reading,