Dietary fat: is it good or bad?
I’m sure most of us have been confused about this at some point or another.
Actually it’s both. Unfortunately not all fats are created equal.
The Skinny on 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.
Many people are scared of fats, but our bodies need fat for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. High-quality fats can steady our metabolism, keep hormone and blood sugar levels even, nourish our skin, hair, and nails, and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly.
Where To Find Healthy Fats
- Avocados, olives, coconuts, wild salmon, omega-3 rich organic eggs (incl. the egg yolk ladies!) and grass-fed butter (e.g. Kerrygold).
- 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 refined, and solvent extracted.
How To Use Healthy Fats When Cooking
- For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), try butter or ghee (clarified butter), or my absolute favourite: coconut oil.
- Oils like olive, flaxseed, sesame, walnut, hemp, and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings.
Try this delicious, easy recipe for a great source of healthy fat:
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1 large peeled and pitted avocado
- 1 diced tomato
- a squirt of lemon or lime juice
- a dash or two of cayenne pepper
- sea salt and black pepper
- Mash avocado with a fork until very smooth.
- Add tomato and cayenne. Blend until smooth. This may be done in a food processor, in a blender, or with a fork.
- Add sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
- Serve chilled with mixed raw vegetables.
Enjoy your fats!