Not too long ago, fat was the enemy. Everyone thought that eating fat would make them, well, fat. During this time, sugar was, in a way, replacing the fat content in processed foods in order to make them actually taste good. Sugar is technically fat-free, so it was worshiped. Little did people stop to think about the science behind sugar consumption… It was at this point when people started to get really overweight.
Hopefully now, things have started to change. There are still millions of people terrified of fat, but at least resources are now increasingly available to help us make informed decisions. The WHO has lowered the recommended sugar intake per day, documentaries like That Sugar Film are being viewed by thousands, and Jamie Oliver has been raising awareness too.
It’s true that there are fats that are better for you, and fats that are not so good. Saturated fat has been demonized, but in reality, it is not terrible for you! Coconut oil, for example, is 90% saturated fatty acids, and it is one of the best foods you can eat. Containing medium chain triglycerides and lauric acid, it has numerous benefits, including increasing energy expenditure and acting as a completely natural antibiotic, killing bad bacteria.
Which fats should you avoid? It’s best to steer clear of industrial seed oils and trans fats. That’s not to say I don’t eat them now and again, such as an occasional treat of fries or salt and vinegar chips, but I favour olive and coconut oils, avocados, nuts, fish (especially salmon), and animal fats. Grass-fed butter is great too – I just don’t eat it due to a dairy allergy.
This incredible chart is super helpful. Plus, watch this video on how canola oil is made – it’s gross!
Now for some benefits of including more of the healthy oils above in your diet!
- It’s Satiating: fat fills you up, unlike fructose, which just makes you want more. Therefore, it can help with maintaining weight, because you’re not just reaching for empty calories.
- Brain Health: our brains are made of 60% fat! I think it’s about time we showed our brains some love. In particular, it’s very important that developing kids get enough fat to reach their best potential. Eating enough fat also increases acetylcholine, which is crucial for memory. Fat can help protect the brain from diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
- We Need It To Absorb Fat-Soluble Vitamins: saturated and omega-3 fats are rich in vitamins A , D, E, and K, which are essential to the body. Fat acts as a vehicle for our amazing bodies to make use of vitamins necessary for us to thrive!
- Skin And Hair: eating enough fat will lubricate the skin and combat dry hair. If your skin and hair is constantly dry, you may find that increasing your fat intake makes your skin and hair soft and healthy again!
From my personal experience, since I started eating coconut oil and more fat regularly, I haven’t had any cold symptoms, and my skin and hair aren’t dry even in the wintertime (and I use NO skincare products – at all!). I sincerely hope that you will consider adding more healthy fat to your diet, especially if you currently are eating a low-fat diet. The science speaks for itself! Here are a few suggestions for stepping up your fats game!
- Make guacamole by mashing together two ripe avocados with the juice of one lime, a pinch of sea salt, chopped cilantro, and minced red onion. Dip veggies slices, organic corn chips, or coconut oil potato chips in it!
- Fry your morning eggs in a tablespoon of coconut oil.
- As a snack, enjoy a banana spread with organic peanut butter or almond butter and topped with cacao nibs.
Do you enjoy lots of healthy fats as part of your real foods diet? What are your favourite options?