Here's the real skinny on fat!
So much confusion about fat! If I could transport you back to the 70's, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion- because up until the explosion of processed foods with oodles and oodles of choices, we would have just eaten what was on our plates. We used real butter, and lots of it, ate 3 square meals a day, with snacks, and we had the occasional desert. We also were active and not glued to the tube—small or large. As a nation, our health outcomes have only gotten worse since our confused minds turned to low-fat, fake fat, no fat processed foods, and we started snacking all day long instead of MOVING!
The Mediterranean way of eating (diet) is considered the healthiest on the planet, not only for being more plant-based with small amounts of meat, but also because of it's high percentage of fat -up to 40%! What's important are the sources you pick, which we’ll get into. But first let’s ask some questions, shall we?
Why does our body need fat?
- Fat is a dense energy source. It’s difficult to feel energized on a very low fat diet.
- Fat is needed to prevent essential fatty acid deficiency. Your brain will not function well without it, nor will your metabolism.
- You need fat to absorb the necessary fat soluble vitamins A, S, E, & K.
- Fat is flavor and texture, and sure makes food a lot more appetizing!
- Fat fills you up and is metabolized slowly, preventing hunger soon after meals.
- Fat also helps your body produce endorphins –and we know how fun that is!
- Diets too low in fat (less than 20 - 25%) can trigger cravings.
Olive Oil: Choose organic and first cold-pressed when you can. We know this oil reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer, and helps to lower blood pressure. Made for low-to-medium heat cooking, and a great base for your homemade salad dressings!
Fish: Oily fish such as Wild Caught salmon (big in Vitamin D), sardines (an iron superstar), are full of Omega-3 fatty acids—good fats, unlike the bad saturated fat you find in most meats. I’m not one to overdo it because of sustainability issues, and the presence of mercury and other pollutants. One to two times per week will do it!
What does fat do for our bodies?
- Fat provides back-up energy when needed. Our blood sugar supplies run out after 4-6 hours without food.
- Fat provides insulation from the cold and heat.
- Fat protects organs and bones from shock, and provides support for organs.
- Fat is a crucial part of every cell membrane in the body.
- Fat helps transport nutrients across cell membranes.
- Fat is essential for hormonal production and balance.
- Your entire immune system depends on an adequate supply of fats!
Carol's Fav Fats!
Avocados: These lovely “butter pears” contain monounsaturated fat, the heart-healthy kind that actually lowers our bad cholesterol. I love spreading avocados on my morning toast or using it as a substitute for mayo on sandwiches.
Eggs: Eggs are an amazing whole food. They're full of protein and healthy fats (yolk), and also packed with important nutrients for brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system health. It is much healthier to eat egg yolks and whites together, as they were intended!
Nuts: My favs are almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds. Rich in vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids andlutein and zeaxanthin - carotenoids that are important for eye health. This doesn’t mean you can eat a bucket of nuts, but a handful a day is fabulous and a great snack. The fiber is an added bonus! I love to saute them with a little coconut oil and spicy seasonings; drain, and then sprinkle over a salad—yummy!
Do you like eating fats? Then you’ll love working with me as your Integrated Nutrition Health Coach, and I’ll show you how to balance food, activity and lifestyle choices to create the kind of life you really want to live! There will be plenty of fat, without making you fat(!), lots of guidance, recipes and motivation, and I guarantee you’ll have fun on your journey with me. We can work one-on-one or you could be part of my Detox Divas (and DUDES!) 6-week workshop, the next one starting first week of February!
Any questions, comments or requests? Contact me today, I would love to connect with you!
Be well! - Carol