It’s easy to get confused about dietary fat and if it good for you or bad. I mean the word “fat” is literally in the name. Unfortunately the answer isn’t as cut and dry as good or bad. You see, 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.
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.
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 butter, ghee (clarified butter), or coconut oil
- When sautéing foods, try organic extra virgin olive oil.
- Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut, and pumpkin seed 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
- 1 diced tomato
- 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.
- Add sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
- Serve chilled with mixed raw vegetables.
Tip: Best made a maximum of 1 hour before serving.
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