There was a time in my life when I would never let any fat touch my lips. I knew that french fries were not good for my health or my waistline, but I also believed that eating any fat, like nuts, guacamole or salad salad dressing, was a no-no. I was also a big fan of all things “Fat-Free”. (Remember those fat free Snackwell cookies in the green box?) As it turns out, fat free junk is still just JUNK. It does absolutely nothing for your health and vitality and it tastes pretty awful too!
Today, I eat a variety of plant-based healthy fats and feel fabulous. There are many benefits that come with eating a diet that includes the right fats. Think glowing skin, healthy nails, and shinier hair for starters. Plus, healthy fats help you maintain your ideal weight, balance hormones and are linked to strong immunity, improved cardiovascular functioning, reduced inflammation and improved brain functioning.
I promise you, eating fat does not make you F-A-T. In fact, research suggests that a diet low in fat and high in carbohydrate, actually causes weight gain. Study
Through this research and scientific study we've become more fat-smart. We now know that you need about 30-40% of your total daily calories to come from fat in order for you to stay lean and healthy.
However, the research also shows that all fats are not created equal. Here are the fats that you want to focus on to look and feel your best:
Good For You Fats
- Animal Fat; Grass-fed, raised lamb, beef, bison, venison; organic chicken and turkey; omega 3 pasture-raised eggs; grass-fed butter, ghee
- Fish and Seafood: Wild fatty fish: sardines, black cod, and salmon. Shellfish, including clams, oysters, mussels, shrimp, scallops, and crab; calamari or octopus.
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, macadamia, walnuts pecans, Brazil nuts. Hemp, chia, pumpkin, sesame, flax. Nuts and seed butters (without added sugars, trans-fats or bad oils).
- Oils: Coconut butter, organic, virgin, cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil; organic, extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil; MCT oil; organic flax seed oil; organic, expeller-pressed refined avocado oil; walnut, pumpkin seed, pistachio and hemp oils.
- Whole Food Fats: Avocado, olives, cacao, dark chocolate.
Alternately, we know now that trans-fats have no health benefits and may actually be harmful. Steer clear of margarine, processed meats, non-organic nut butters, and refined carbs like doughnuts, cookies, crackers, muffins, pies and cakes where these unhealthy fats lurk..
Here are a few easy ways to get those healthy fats in at every meal:
Breakfast: Lisa's Green Smoothie with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, hemp seeds and flax seeds
Snack: Apple slices with a tablespoon of natural almond butter, or a handful of nuts or seeds
Lunch: AAA Salad: Avocado and apple on arugula with sunflower seeds and olive oil
Dinner: Salmon over quinoa and green salad with olive oil dressing and toasted pine nuts
Enjoy fats as part of your overall healthy diet. Happy, healthy eating!