Don’t Fear The Fat. The Right Healthy Fats Can Make You Lean
What was once a feared food should now be at the top of your ‘to eat list.’ Fat is an essential component in building a solid meal prep . If you read our article on how to calculate your macros then you know it is one of the main three components in reaching your health goals. But, fat isn’t all the same. There are a variety of different types of healthy fats. Knowing which are better for you and how they impact your body will help you reach your health goals quicker! Read on to get the 4-1-1 on which to eat and which to toss!
Fat. It is the preferred source of energy to the body, contrary popular beliefs. Fats are also critical for the proper absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Essentially, you need fat in order to absorb fat and gain the health benefits. Fat also helps promote healthy hormones and aids in proper mineral absorption. Consuming fats actually helps slow down the absorption of food leaving you feeling more satiated meaning you feel fuller, longer.
However, not all fats are created equal and it is important to note the differences between healthy fats and fats that are particularly dangerous. In fact, most studies that compare fat and heart disease do not differentiate between saturated fat and trans fat. Trans fats are highly processed fats, particularly in the form of vegetable oils, that are found in margarine, shortening, and other processed foods. Trans fats have been linked to the clogging of arteries, type 2 diabetes, and other critical health issues.
There are three types of healthy fats to incorporate into your diet:
- Saturated Fat,
- Monounsaturated Fat
- Polyunsaturated Fat.
It is important to note the differences as each fat contains various nutritional benefits and should also be treated differently when used in cooking.
Saturated fats are the most stable fats and are typically solid at room temperate. These are generally your animal fats, coconut oil, ghee, and grass-fed butter. Saturated fats support calcium absorption and boost immune function as well as enhance essential fatty acid production. It is critical to note that these are the fats to use in all of your high temperature cooking or frying because they do not break down at high temperatures, meaning they will not lose their nutritional benefits when heated like your monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Use all your saturated fats for high temperature cooking or generally anything above 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For instance, if you are frying anything over the stove or cooking up pan seared steak or eggs, use a saturated fat.
In comparison, monounsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature. They are found in various oils like olive oil and many nut and seed oils and are often times a combination of a polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats are relatively stable but should only be used in light to moderate heat. The reason is because high temperatures can alter the chemical makeup of the oils and destroy the nutritional benefits, causing them to rancidify, becoming toxic to the body. Save your olive oil for light sautéing or a low-heat oven roasting. Better yet, they are best consumed raw to preserve the nutritional benefits.
Speaking of raw, polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are best consumed raw as they oxidize at high temperatures which can damage the cell walls and even cause a buildup of arterial plaque. Polyunsaturated fats are generally your fats found in vegetable oils, flax seed oils and fish oils like essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, are important because they are essential meaning our body does not make them and we must get them from an outside source.
However, Americans are consuming an alarming amount of PUFAs, leading to a myriad of health issues like inflammation, high blood pressure, and blood clots to name a few. We should aim to consume a 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-6 fatty acids but Western diets can range anywhere between a whopping 10-30 parts omega-6 to 1 part omega-3. This is partially attributable to the consumption of highly processed vegetable oils (corn oil, canola oil, etc.) and grain-fed meats as their diet in corn and other grain causes the omega-6 levels to significantly increase.
With PUFAs, avoid processed vegetable oils and meat fed with a diet rich in grain and corn. Rather, stick to healthy essential fatty acids from wild-caught fish or various unprocessed oils in their raw form like cod liver oil. In addition, incorporate a diet high in antioxidants and vitamin E to helps counter any oxidation effects from various PUFAs.
Fats are vital for the body to function properly but it is important to understand the various chemical makeup and properties so that we are consuming the highest quality fats in their properly prepared form to achieve optimal health. Fat is your friends and it time to start incorporating healthy fats into your diet now!
Here are 10 high-fat foods that are actually incredibly healthy and nutritious.
- Dark Chocolate
- Whole Eggs
- Fatty Fish
- Chia Seeds
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Coconuts and Coconut Oil
- Full-Fat Yogurt
You can begin with this easy, healthy and protein packed recipe!
How to Make: Tinfoil Eggs
Recipe via www.fairygutmother.com
- Preheat oven to 375*F.
- Tear off a sheet of tinfoil and cut into small squares, about 4in x 5in.
- Lightly grease one side of the foil in ghee and then form into small molds.
- Gently crack an egg in each tinfoil mold and place in oven for about 10-15 minutes until cooked.
- Serve garnished with parsley and seasoning.