The skinny on fats
For decades we’ve been fooled by fat fallacies but the truth is, fats can be good! In fact, they’re essential nutrients necessary for good health. Did you know the brain is 65% fat? Not only that, every cell in our body is fat, our hormones are made from fat and fats are carriers for certain vitamins and minerals. Consuming healthy fat lowers our risk of diabetes and high cholesterol levels, keeps our skin thriving, supports immune function and even enhances our prevention of cancer.
We’ve been conditioned to think fat makes us fat and to avoid it because it causes disease. However, research has disproved this theory, explaining that consuming fat helps us maintain a healthy weight or even lose weight!
Don’t believe us? Here’s some additional color. It was around the 1960’s when fat started getting a bad rap. New studies claimed that saturated fats (i.e. butter, animal products, whole milk, etc.) increased the cause of cardiovascular disease. Coincidentally, a few years before, the food industry began manufacturing a new form of fat called hydrogenated fat (fat pumped with hydrogen). This new fat quickly became popular because it a) was cheaper to produce and b) had a longer shelf life.
All that said, a crucial piece the studies did not include is it wasn’t the fat that was causing health complications, it was this newly developed processed fat that was doing so! Hydrogenated fats (as well as trans fats) are unnatural. They are terrible and detrimental for our health, leading to heart disease, cancer, immune dysfunction, pain and obesity.
So, our best advice is to pass on the fat-free and low-fat products and enjoy the read deal! When you remove an ingredient as flavorful as fat, you have to add in another one. The typical ingredient of choice? Sugar and fake fats. Knowing this, as you roam the aisles of grocery store, ignore the nutritional claims that advertise low-fat and fat-free alternatives. Instead of compromising on flavor, enjoy full fat options!
To help you to distinguish between the good and bad fats on your next trip to the store or out for dinner, we’ve created a cheat sheet below.
Unhealthy Fats to Avoid:
- Corn, soybean, cottonseed, canola, safflower and sunflower oil
- Trans fats
- Fat-free and low-fat products
- Processed and fast foods
Healthy Fats to Enjoy:
- Avocados, nuts and seeds, nut butters, coconut products, coconut or nut milk yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, olives, avocado, kefir and coconut oil.
To start your new relationship with healthy fats, we encourage you to enjoy a serving with each meal or snack. Below are some ideas to get you started.
- Raw nuts and seeds (almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts)
- Dairy-free yogurt with raw nuts/seeds
- Celery with almond butter
- Avocado with sea/himalayan salt and pepper
- Raw veggies with guacamole
- Bulletproof coffee
- Hard boiled eggs
We’ve also included one of our favorite fat-filled dinner recipes to try, available here. Try it out for dinner and let us know what you think!