It’s a fact. The last decade or so has seen a trend towards lower carb/high protein foods. Time and again we see our clients slashing their carbs and gorging on high protein Greek yogurt, chicken and turkey. But that same population still tends to shy away from whole eggs, full fat dairy or coconut oil. We can’t tell you the number of clients we encounter who are still using cooking sprays, tossing their eggs yolks, and counting out 10 nuts for their afternoon snack in an effort to keep their fat and “calories” in check.
But did you know that fat – yes FAT – can HELP you shed weight, improve your heart health, blood sugar levels and cognitive function?
HERE’S THE DEAL. The body uses the fat you eat to build cell walls. The healthier a cell wall is, the easier it is for nutrients to get into the cells and waste to get out.
High quality fats help to:
- Create and regulate hormones relating to weight, fat storage and health such as ghrelin, leptin, and adinopectin.
- Boost cognition, happiness, learning and memory by sparking communication between cells (your brain is actually made up of 60% fat)
- Insulate your organs. The brown fat surrounding your organs is actually metabolically ACTIVE
- Absorb your all-important fat soluble vitamins including A, E, K and the often-deficient vitamin D.
- Reduce your risk of heart disease and arthritis by improving the integrity and flexibility of your cell walls to resist inflammation and plaque buildup.
- Shed body fat and regulate blood sugar levels. When your cell walls are healthy, you are better able to metabolize insulin, which keeps blood sugar better regulated. Without proper blood sugar control, the body socks away fat for a rainy day.
Ironically, it’s not eating fat that makes you gain weight (or promote disease) – it’s eating the WRONG types. When we talk about upgrading your fats, we don’t mean eating more fries or potato chips. These contain what we consider “cheap” fats, and include most of your vegetable oils such as corn, soy, canola and safflower, which are basically in every snack food, processed food, and fried food on the market.
Keep in mind that when the body puts these cheap fats to work, the cell walls are also sub-par, leaving them vulnerable to inflammation and poor waste removal (think toxic build up, excess body fat and chronic disease).
Takeaway lesson? The type of fat you eat MATTERS. The higher quality the fat, the better your body will function.
Time for an Oil Change? Try Our Fav Fats
So which fats do we adore? Here’s our top picks, which contain varying amounts of amazing vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants and a host of anti-inflammatory properties. One thing to remember is that it’s important to get a variety of different fats, from saturated to mono to omega. They all work synergistically together :
- AVOCADOS: Love em’ in salads and salad dressings, smoothies, desserts, homemade guacamole, and cream sauces
- NUTS: We’re talking everything from almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios and walnuts, including their “butters” (almond butter, cashew butter, etc.); used in snacks, smoothies, desserts, and main dishes.
- SEEDS: Chia, pumpkin, hemp, flax, sesame, and sunflower – oh yeah. Wonderful in homemade crackers, snacks, desserts, breakfast puddings and smoothies.
- COCONUT: The whole shebang – coconut oil, butter, milk, flakes. Great for soups, sauces, sautéing, dessert recipes. Check out our blog post about its wonderful benefits HERE.
- OLIVE OIL: Fantastic for salad dressings, roasting veggies, moderate heat sautéing. Click HERE to be sure you are getting the right kind!
- GHEE: Drizzle on veggies, sauté anything where you want a buttery taste. Read more about its benefits HERE.
- FATTY FISH: Rip open that can of wild sardines or broil up salmon to reap the rewards of these fats.
We would be remiss if we didn’t point out that your healthy fat benefits will go to waste if you overdo sugars and refined carbs. To get payback from eating good quality fat, be sure to minimize your intake of sodas, sweets, breads, pastas, and processed foods. Pair your healthy fats with an abundance of veggies, some fruit, beans, and good quality animal protein to reap all the health and weight benefits.
We want to know: Do you shy away from fats? Are you hooked on low fat salad dressing and free yogurt? Please share your thoughts with us!