The skinny on fats and which you should be eating
“The right fats can heal; the wrong fats can create massive havoc.”
- Dr. Mark Hyman
There is so much confusion these days about dietary fat. We have seemed to make a pendulum swing from super-low fat diets to high fat ones. Fat - once demonized - seems to have made a comeback these days. So is fat good or bad for us? The answer is both.
The skinny on fats
Our bodies need fat for 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. Fats play an important role in brain function. Our brains are 60% fat so it should not be a surprise that consuming healthy fats impact upon brain development and function at all stages of life. However, you have to be selective as not all fats are created equal.
Heavily processed, hydrogenated “trans” fats used in prepared and packaged foods can be extremely damaging to the body. They can compromise the cardiovascular system, immune system and may contribute to behaviour problems. They can also lead to weight gain, skin breakouts, high blood pressure and liver strain.
Where to find healthy fats
Avocados, olives, and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and omega-3 rich organic 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 ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
When sautéing foods, try avocado oil
Olive oil and oils like flaxseed, sesame, walnut, and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings.
Watch this great short video by Dr. Mark Hyman, about
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Also try this easy and delicious recipe for Guacamole Avocado Dip.
Prep Time: 3 minutes 3 avocados - peeled, pitted and mashed
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp salt
½ cup diced onion (optional)
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, diced (optional)
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavour or serve immediately.