Fat has been a diet no-no for quite some time, but luckily the fat-free era is finally over. Research shows that fat is essential for our bodies. Saturated fat is no longer the problem, but is actually the solution for our bodies to repair cells and for proper hormone function. It’s time to enjoy our egg yolks, our whole fat yogurt, or our chicken breasts, skin on. Think about our ancestors, the hunter-gatherers. Could they have survived harsh conditions and the time between meals if it wasn’t for fat consumption? Hell no! Our bodies NEED fat, but fat from the right sources.
The body is made up of 97% saturated and monounsaturated fat, and the remaining 3% is polyunsaturated fat. That 3% polyunsaturated fat is half omega-3 fats and half omega-6 fats. It’s important for our bodies to have balanced levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fats, 1:1. Without this equal balance, too much omega-6 causes inflammation, while omega-3 is neutral. A diet high in omega-3 fat and low in omega-6 fat is ok thought, because the omega-3 fats will reduce inflammation.
Vegetable oils are a main source of omega-6 in the modern diet. Some of these oils high in omega-6 include: safflower oil, corn oil, sunflower, soybean, cotton oil.
Fatty fish oil, quality extra-virgin olive oils, coconut oil, or quality butter are all examples of omega-3 fats (yay, butter!). Omega-3 fats are also vital for the following health benefits:
- Reducing the risk of heart disease and causes of death associated with heart disease
- Reducing severity of symptoms associated with diabetes
- Reducing pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis
- Reducing risk of osteoporosis and bone loss
- Improving health and reducing symptoms for those with autoimmune disease
- Helping those with anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder
- Reducing risk of various types of cancers
- Improving cognitive function
(Sources: Wellness Mama)
My favorite ways to incorporate healthy fats into my diet:
1. Eat fat for breakfast, especially before and after a workout. Below is a favorite, quick breakfast of mine full of omega-3s. 2% Greek yogurt, berries and bananas, topped with protein-packed hemp seeds, and omega-3 sources, flax seeds and chia seeds.
2. Invest in quality extra virgin olive oil (preferably pressed somewhere local to you), organic coconut oil, and grass-fed butter. These products can be a little more expensive, but you’ll use them all the time and you won’t need to feel guilty about using the butter. You can even save money by switching your beauty and home care products to olive oil and coconut oil.
4. If you’re a coffee drinker, add a tablespoon of organic coconut butter to your morning coffee or try Bulletproof coffee.
5. Some of my favorite sources of omega-3s: avocado, salmon, almond butter, eggs, grass-fed meats, extra virgin olive oil, butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, Brussel sprouts, and shrimp.
If you’re having trouble losing weight, suffering from exhaustion or stress, try adding more healthy fats to your diet.