5 Reasons to Eat More (Healthy) Fat
Fat has been demonized in society for years now, but on what basis? The evidence against real, whole sources of fat is slim, while the evidence against unhealthy fats continues to grow. Today, I'm delving into five reasons to eat more, not less, healthy fat.
But first, I want to make sure I list what I consider healthy and not-so-healthy fats!
Avocado, avocado oil
Coconut oil, full-fat canned coconut milk, unsweetened shredded coconut
Olive oil, olives
Nuts: almonds, pistachios, cashews, Brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, etc
Seeds: sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc
Unhealthy, Inflammatory Fats:
Vegetable oils (cottonseed, soybean, corn, canola oils)
Partially hydrogenated oils
Fake butter spreads
Replacing the inflammatory fats with the healthier options I listed above will do wonders for your health, including the following five awesome effects:
1. Fat helps your body make healthy hormones and cells.
Every single cell and hormone in our bodies need fat to function. When we are on a low-fat diet or choose the wrong sources of fat, our bodies cannot make hormones or cells properly. Since our bodies run on hormones and are made up of cells, I would say that this is pretty important! The female and male sex hormones are dictated a lot by your fat intake, so if you are struggling with hormonal issues, consider adding in more healthy fat! Plus, your cells make up your every aspect of your body - including your skin, hair, nails, and your brain. Eat more fat to keep yourself looking youthful and keep your cognitive thinking going strong as you age!
2. Fat helps you properly absorb the necessary vitamins A, D, K, and E.
Vitamins A, D, K, and E are fat-soluble, meaning that they are NOT absorbed without fat. These nutrients are commonly found in milk, because the milk fat is what helps our bodies absorb these nutrients. However, if we are choosing skim or 1% milk, you can kiss those vitamins goodbye, as you won't be absorbing them without that extra, healthy fat! Choose full fat dairy to reap the benefits of these vitamins.
3. Fat helps prevent sugar and carb carvings, as well as cut the sugar-binge cycle.
Sugar and carbs spike your blood sugar when eaten without fat alongside to lessen the blow. Unstable and high blood sugar levels lead to blood sugar crashes, which translates to headaches, afternoon crashes, and mood swings. Who wants that?! In addition, a lot of people struggle with cravings and binges on sugar at night. By choosing to eat more fat earlier on in the day (along with tons of healthy veggies and meat), your body will be filled with nutrients and less likely to have cravings. With my clients, I always recommend that they always eat carbs (even healthy carbs like fruit or potatoes) with a dose of healthy fat. It lessens the blood sugar impact and keeps your body happy!
4. Fat keeps you full, and keeps your blood sugar stable.
This point ties into the last point nicely. Because fat doesn't have an impact on your blood sugar, it provides your body with a feeling of satiation and fullness after a meal, instead of the feeling that you want something more! Eat fat with every meal to ensure that you can go between meals without needing to reach for that sugar hit halfway through the morning or afternoon.
5. Fat helps keep you slim!
Fat doesn't make you fat. Excess sugar, stress, and vegetable oils do! Don't believe me and want to hang onto the low-fat myth? Hear me out for a second.
Ever since we started fearing fat and creating low-fat, low-calorie foods, our nation has only gotten fatter and unhealthier with each passing day. Ever since we started demonizing saturated fat for "causing" heart disease and high cholesterol, our rates of heart disease and high cholesterol have gone through the roof!
Let's go back to what our ancestors did - they ate tons of butter, lard, and healthy fats, and they were in wonderful health and were at healthy weights. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it's time to eat more fat to lose fat!
Need some ideas on how to incorporate more fat into your meals? It's easy!
Add butter on top of any vegetable.
Saute your foods in olive or coconut oil, not vegetable oil.
Bake with coconut oil instead of canola oil.
Use butter in baking instead of margarine or shortening.
Choose whole milk over skim and 1%.