Dietary fat: is it good or bad?
Both. You see, not all fats are created equal.
The Skinny on Fats
Here’s the deal with UNHEALTHY 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.
Benefits of HEALTHY Fats:
That said, our bodies need fat for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. High-quality fats can steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair, and nails, and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly. Be sure to include a good portion of these heart-friendly and critical fats to EVERY meal and snack!!
Where to Find Healthy Fats:
- Avocados, olives, and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and omega-3 rich organic and pastured eggs
- 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:
- For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), try organic and pastured butter, ghee (clarified butter – dairy free), or coconut oil
- When sautéing foods, try organic extra virgin olive oil
- Oils like flaxseed, sesame, avocado, walnut, and hemp are best used unheated in sauces or dressings
Try this delicious, easy recipe:
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Makes 1 cup
- 1 large peeled and pitted avocado
- 2/3 cup plain yogurt, goat yogurt, coconut yogurt, or almond yogurt
- 1 diced tomato (optional)
- a squirt of lemon or lime juice
- dash or two of cayenne pepper
- sea salt and black pepper
- Mash avocado with a fork until very smooth
- Add yogurt, tomato, cayenne. Blend until smooth. This may be done in a food processor, in a blender, or with a fork for a chunkier texture
- Add sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- Serve chilled with mixed raw vegetables or home-made green plantain chips (slice green plantains thin and cook in coconut oil in skillet)
Tip: Best if made an hour before serving
I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions on good vs. bad fats and how YOU incorporate healthy fats into your daily diet – comment below!