One of the most common questions I get asked is...FAT - is it good or bad for me?
The answer is BOTH! You see, not all fats are created equal. So here is 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 do need good fats for optimal health. These good fats are absolutely essential for insulation, brain function, energy production, 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.
So where do you find these healthy 'good' fats?
- Avocados, olives, and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and omega-3 rich organic eggs.
- All 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. Examples are olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, rice bran oil etc.
- Chia seeds
- Coconut Yoghurts
- Eggs are my favourite type of good fat!
How do you use these fats?
For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), try butter, ghee (clarified butter), or coconut oil, unfortunately olive oil is no good for cooking as when heated to a high temperature, it converts to trans-fats.
When sautéing foods or for salads 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 to help you get started with incorporating more fats into your diet!
1 large peeled and pitted avocado
2/3 cup sheep's yogurt, coconut yogurt, or almond 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.