Over the years it has become ‘common knowledge’ that a low fat diet is the best kind of diet to follow.
But is it?
I’d say the answer is an astounding NO!
We need fat for many functions in the body such as:
- A source of energy
- To help cushion our organs
- To provide structure to our body, cheeks, butt
- As structure to our cell membranes – aiding fat soluble substances like vitamins and hormones to easily transport in and out of cells
- For production of bile acids
- Production of sex hormones
- For brain health
- To support adrenal hormones
- Vitamin D
- And for cholesterol itself
Fat is absolutely essential to good health!
In fact, following a low fat diet can be disastrous on many different levels. But, like most foods there are many different types of fats, so what are the healthy fats to eat?
I’ve got a simple list for you and a collection of posts from the GFE site for you to explore. By the time you’re done, you should have a good grasp on the types of fats to eat on a regular basis.
Healthy Fats To Eat: The Shortlist
On top of the fats list to use on a regular basis:
- Flaxseed oil
- Walnut oil
- Avocado oil
- Sesame oil
- Olive oil
- Macadamia oil
- Coconut oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Fatty fish – sardines, salmon, tuna, mackarel
With my top 5 picks being avocado, olive oil, flaxseed oil, fatty fish, nuts and seeds. If you can predominantly stick to those and use the others along the way, you’ve really got things sorted, simple as that!
But I know you might want to dig a bit deeper to learn more, so here is some great stuff to explore.
Omega 3 vs Omega 6 fats
Most of us get way too much omega 6 fats, which are pro-inflammatory. On the other hand, omega 3s are anti-inflammatory. It’s good to understand the difference so you can focus on eating more omega 3s.
Speaking of omega 3s, chia seeds are an incredibly nutritious seed that is full of omegas.
The amount of times I’ve heard people say… “But avocado is too high in fat for weight loss so I don’t eat it.”
WOW, I’m always surprised by this perception because although it is a higher fat food, it is one of the healthiest possible foods for us to eat. Full of awesomely healthy fat!
Honestly, in my eyes, olive oil has got to be one of the most beneficial fats we can eat. There is so much evidence to support the many different health conditions it can help including type 2 diabetes, inflammation reduction, cognitive decline, a variety of cancers including brain cancer, heart disease and more.
And if you’re concerned about using olive oil as a cooking oil, don’t be. READ THIS to see that research shows it is in fact safe for cooking.
I don’t think saturated fat that comes from natural food sources such as meat, butter, and coconut oil is bad. It’s a common misconception that saturated fat causes clogged arteries and heart disease.
In fact, there is more research that shows refined carbohydrates contribute to heart disease more than saturated fat!
LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST: Does saturated fat clog arteries?
In saying that, I also don’t think it’s a good idea to go and eat tons of saturated fat in the form of coconut oil and such. While it’s great in moderation, there is some link between saturated fat and insulin resistance.
Many people have insulin resistance and it’s the precursor for type 2 diabetes too. There is far more evidence to show that omega 3s and monounsaturated fats are better to consume – which is why I choose olive oil and avocados majority of times.
Butter or Margarine?
Oh yes, the great debate!
Well at least it’s an ongoing debate in the world of nutrition, depending what you stand for. My choice every time? Butter for sure!
Also read, What is the difference between butter and margarine – looks at the science of how they are both made.
Bad Sources of Fats
You’ll read about some of the bad sources of fats in some of those other posts you might explore above.
But in general bad sources of fat include:
~Rice bran oil
You’ll find the fats above in most processed and packaged foods – these are pro-inflammatory high omega 6 oils that are best minimized.
So added to that list is things like crisps, pizza, cakes, pies, and all those other packaged and processed foods. Sure these things are okay to eat occasionally. But they are never going to cut it as every day foods!
Don’t fear fat! We do need it.
Just be sure to get it from healthy sources, not from low grade, low quality oils and fats or processed foods!
If you have any questions, thoughts or insights I’d love to know, so please leave your comments below.
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