Dietary fat: is it good or bad?
Both. You see, not all fats are created equal.
Many people are scared of fats, but our bodies need some fat for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. A little high-quality fat can go a long way by helping our metabolism, our hormones, our skin, hair, and nails, and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly. A little fat can also help with satiety and keep us fuller longer so we don’t eat so much, helping us loose weight.
The Skinny on Fats
Heavily processed, hydrogenated “trans” fats used in prepared, packaged foods can be extremely damaging to the body. They can compromise the cardiovascular system, immune system, and contribute to behavior problems. They can also lead to weight gain, skin breakouts, high blood pressure, and liver strain. Heavy fatty meats, especially those that come from factory farms, are also harmful. Fat is where our body stores our toxins when we are exposed to too many or when our body can’t get rid of it. Our current meat supply is loaded with antibiotics, hormones, GMO feed, and unwanted chemical and pesticide residues. All of these environmental toxins are stored in the animals fat.
This would be fats you want to avoid. So what kind of fats are healthy?
Where to Find Healthy Fats
- Avocados, olives, coconuts, wild salmon, or a little grass fed, pasture raised lean meats.
- Whole nuts and seeds, and their butters like almond butter or tahini.
- Look for the highest quality organic oils when shopping. Words to look for: organic, first-pressed, cold-pressed, extra-virgin, and unrefined. Avoid expeller-pressed, refined, and solvent extracted.
How to Use Healthy Fats When Cooking
- For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), ghee (clarified butter), coconut oil or you can also use a chicken broth or vegetable broth and drizzle a good fat on after cooking.
- When sautéing foods, try organic extra virgin olive oil but not on a high heat. A good quality olive oil is not one to cook at high heat as it destroys the healthy compounds in it. Again, sauteing in broth and then drizzle the oil on after is probably best.
- Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut, and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings.
Get Even Healthier!
Want help learning how to choose and use nutritious fats and other good-for-you foods? Curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consult with me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org