Have fats gotten a bad wrap? Some have and we can stop being afraid of healthy fats. It’s hurting our health! We now have compelling evidence that low-fat diets rarely work and that eating the right kind of fat is not only good for your heart but may also help you lose weight. This is good news, but hold up before gorging on fats…
Not All Fats Are Created Equal
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 need fat for insulation, 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.
Where to Find Healthy Fats
- Avocados, olives and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and omega-3 rich organic eggs.
- Whole 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.
How to Use Healthy Fats
- For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), try butter, ghee (clarified butter), or coconut oil – (If you haven’t tried ghee – do it! It is full of flavor.)
- When sautéing foods, 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:
Avocado Dip – Prep Time: 3 min /Makes 1 cup
1 large peeled and pitted avocado
2/3 cup plain yogurt, goat 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.
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