Good Fats And Why We Need Them
FAT. The word itself has so many connotations. We hate it, we love it, we work it off our asses and spoon it out of an ice-cream carton. Fat. After years of being told that low-fat was the only way to eat, we realize that it actually wasn't the culprit behind heart disease, obesity, diabetes and countless other degenerative diseases. Now, it isn’t as simple as “fat was bad, now fat is good.” There are a bunch of variables at play, like fat intake, types of fat, the impact of sugar and refined foods, but one thing is certain. Fat need not be feared.
Fat is essential to the proper function of our brains and nervous system. It maintains healthy skin and other tissues and helps to absorb particular vitamins. It also happens to be a wonderful source of energy. It isn’t fat that makes you fat. It is excess calories combined with a slow metabolism or lack of movement. So, while it must be noted that fat is very high in calories, the benefits make fat vital to a balanced diet.
Saturated, poly unsaturated, mono saturated, trans, hydrogenated, expeller pressed…. the list goes on. Thankfully, unless you are planning to go into nutrition as a career, the details are not necessary. Instead, focus on what is good fat and eliminate the rest from your diet.
Cold Pressed Or Expeller Pressed Oils
Always make sure that you are consuming cold pressed oils. This simply means that heat has not been used to extract the oil from the original product. Heat alters the state of oil causing carcinogens (cancer causing particles) to develop. Trans and hydrogenated oils are exactly this, hot pressed oils that have been altered. Whether you are using olive, canola, avocado or coconut oil, make sure it is never hot pressed.
Fish & Omegas
Get your healthy fats from omega-rich food sources like fresh fish, chia, hemp and flax seeds. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids cannot be produced by the body, making them essential to the diet. Thankfully salmon, mackerel, tuna, walnuts, flax and other awesome vegan seeds offer you the omegas your body needs.
Some Saturated Fats Aren’t So Bad
Coconut oil has been a revolutionary, if not a little overblown, phenomenon. We love coconut oil and use it in many of our homemade skincare and cooking recipes. The truth is, coconut oil actually is pretty amazing. Saturated isn’t actually such a bad thing. In balance, saturated fats, specifically unrefined, cold pressed coconut oil, can help suppress the appetite and give the metabolism a boost. Thankfully, some of the awesome benefits can also be found in coconuts and coconut milk.
Avocados Are Unlike Anything Else
Most fruits and veggies are primarily made up of carbohydrates, avocados however are about 75 per cent fat. They are made up of the same type of fatty acid as olive oil (another amazingly beneficial food). They contain potassium and help to balance our cholesterol levels. While you don’t need to over do it, half an avocado a day might just be exactly what your body needs!