HEALTHY FAT: My Favorite Forms + their Benefits

Don’t be afraid to load your daily plate with healthy fat. You will not get fat from healthy fat and there is NO reason to be afraid of it. I am proof of this! I eat a ton of healthy fat each day and I want to tell you about my favorite forms as well as their health benefits! I aim to get 60 g of healthy fats per day – and often get more (everyone is different and requires different amounts of fat, protein, carb). I love first and foremost coconut oil/MCT oil, as well as avocados, almond butter, olive oil and grass-fed butter/organic ghee. 

  1. COCONUT OIL/MCT OIL: Coconut oil and MCT oil are very similar oils. The benefits of this fat are mainly due to the medium-chain fatty acids! Medium-chain fatty acids are quickly digested therefore turning into immediate energy, they are NOT readily stored as fat, are anti-microbial/anti-fungal, and are processed by the liver which means they are immediately converted to energy and not stored as fat. The digestion of coconut oil by the liver creates ketones – these are readily accessible energy used by the brain. “Ketones supply energy to the brain without the need of insulin to process glucose into energy” – quoted by Dr. Axe. This can treat Alzheimer’s disease as Alzheimer’s patients have lost the ability to create their own insulin – ketones from coconut oil can create a new source of energy to help repair brain function. Coconut oil is high in NATURAL saturated fats. Saturated fats INCREASE healthy cholesterol and converts bad cholesterol into good cholesterol. I can tell you that for the past few years that I’ve been consuming coconut oil on a daily basis, my cholesterol levels at my yearly wellness checks have never been better. My good cholesterol is always super high – which is awesome! So eat up! Coconut oil also reduces inflammation and can help those with arthritis, as well as curing UTI and kidney infections! The  medium-chain fatty acids in this oil work as a natural antibiotic. Coconut oil can also fight cancer and prevent cancer. Two qualities: one is due to the ketones (tumor cells are not able to access energy in ketones – another reason why the ketogenic diet is a perfect way to fight cancer as well). The other cancer-fighting quality is that as the fatty acids in coconut oil and MCT oil can kill bacteria in the stomach that is known to increase risk of stomach cancer. These healthy fats also boost your immune system and improve digestion. I hope I have persuaded you enough now to start using these oils – put them in your coffee and cook with coconut oil! It’s the ONLY oil I cook with! Regarding MCT oil, BE SURE you are purchasing MCT oils derived from organic coconuts as opposed to palm kernel oil, which is a cheap, unhealthy, processed oil. Palm FRUIT oil is a better option, though, production of said oil is leading to more and more deforestation therefore in my blog I will recommend MCT from organic coconuts, only!
  2. AVOCADO: This is a fruit! Avocados contain tons of nutrients – 20 different vitamins and minerals. It’s loaded with fiber as well as potassium – more than bananas, actually! The fat in avocado is HEALTHY monounsaturated – the majority of the fat being oleic acid. This is also the main fat in olive oil, which I discuss later. Oleic acid reduces inflammation and can also fight cancer. Avocado oil is also resistant to heat-induced OXIDATION which means you can cook with it. Avocados can lower cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increase GOOD cholesterol! They can lower bad cholesterol by up to 22%! That’s a lot y’all. Avocados can also HELP YOU ABSORB NUTRIENTS from plant foods. Some nutrients are fat soluble so they need to be eaten with fat in order to be used by the body properly – and this includes vitamins A, D, E, and K – as well as antioxidants. Eating avocado with salsa OR salad can increase the antioxidant absorption! Avocados are high in antioxidants themselves – including LUTEIN which is incredibly beneficial and important for eye health. They are also high in zeaxanthin – another beneficial nutrient for eye health. Avocado can also prevent cancer as well as inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. Avocados can aid arthritis pain as well as help you lose weight! So don’t turn these away because you think they’re too high in fat! You should definitely try to incorporate at least 1/2 avocado per day! Avocados help you feel full and keep your appetite at bay. High in fiber, low in carbs, learn to love this fruit. I love to snack on them with a little balsamic vinegar (read labels on vinegar to ensure no additives) and sea salt and pepper, or I add 1/2 to basically any of my meals! They are also delicious when added to eggs any time of day. I LOVE AVOCADO! *note that these don’t have to be purchased organic, either!*
  3. ALMOND BUTTER: Almond butter is delicious and it’s technically better for you than peanut butter. Peanut butter is actually not a nut butter since peanuts are a legume which is the bean family. These can be inflammatory in your stomach if consumed too often so I try to eat mostly almond butter. If you can’t make yourself love the taste because you’ve been eating peanut butter all your life, I highly recommend you make my salted vanilla almond butter as I promise it will sway even the most dedicated peanut butter connoisseur!  Almond butter is of course a healthy fat. The fats in almonds/almond butter can help cholesterol levels and provide energy, similar to the other fats listed above. Almond butter also contains magnesium and vitamin E! Consuming just two tablespoons of almond butter provides 52% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E! Be sure to check the labels, though, and avoid almond butters with palm oil/sugar/other additives. My favorite almond butter is the Whole Foods 365 brand OR Trader Joe’s raw almond butter. I stock up on this y’all!!
  4. EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL: As previously discussed, this is another healthy fat. The majority of the fat is oleic acid. It aids in cholesterol balance. Olive oil should not be heated, however (although there are varying opinions on this), at the risk of oxidation. Olive oil is best eaten on salads or room temperature. However, you can’t just purchase any cheap “olive oil” at the store and know for sure that you are getting the real thing. A lot of “olive oils” ingredients say that they’re a blend of oils…and it’s often cheaper, refined oils. You must ensure you are purchasing 100% pure olive oil. If you buy organic, you are definitely safe! But if you don’t wish to buy organic, a trustworthy brand is California Olive Ranch – which can be found at Wal Mart, Publix, Target, etc.! This brand is certified non-GMO.
  5. GRASSFED BUTTER/ORGANIC GHEE: GRASS-FED because it contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins/minerals like vitamin K2 than conventional butter (where the cows eat grain, potentially genetically modified corn, etc. – very inflammatory). Grassfed butter reduces inflammation because it contains butyric acid – a short-chain fatty acid. Grass-fed cows lead to better butter, increasing the omega-3 fatty acids which is super beneficial for heart health i.e., lowering risk of developing heart disease. Hopefully you are not eating margarine which is TERRIBLE for you and mainly consists of highly processed vegetable oils with zero nutritional benefit. Just read this article here about the effects of margarine. Also, the reason GHEE is amazing is because it’s clarified butter – which has been melted over low heat until the water evaporates, leaving behind only the healthy fat! Ghee may be better than butter because research shows it has more medium-and short-chain fatty acids. It also has a very high smoke point point, so you can safely cook with this without the risk of oxidation. Ghee also has no lactose or casein – which is good for people who may be lactose/casein-sensitive. Read more about ghee by my favorite, Dr. Axe!

So these are the fats I consume daily. You must avoid trans fats and you also must avoid eating things like JIF peanut butter as that, in no way, is healthy.

MADE FROM ROASTED PEANUTS AND SUGAR. CONTAINS 2 PERCENT OR LESS OF: MOLASSES, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL(SOYBEAN), FULLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OILS (RAPESEED AND SOYBEAN), MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES AND SALT.

Those are the ingredients in Jif…those hydrogendated vegetable oils are terrible for you and they’re the #1 cause of HEART DISEASE in America. The transfats and sugar are also terrible for you and addictive. Vegetable oils, actually, should never be consumed as they are all highly inflammatory and by vegetable, they mean CORN. Corn isn’t a vegetable, ps. It’s a grain. You must avoid those and switch to coconut oil and pure extra virgin olive oil as well as grass-fed butter or organic ghee. Oh and reduced fat JIF is even worse than regular! Because in reduced fat, they remove what little healthy fats were even there to begin with but they leave the trans fats in! AWFUL. If you must buy peanut butter, buy organic as peanuts are HEAVILY sprayed with pesticides and ensure that the ingredients are: PEANUTS. or PEANUTS, SALT. Or, be like me, and start to buy almond butter which actually is a nut butter and not a legume.

 

References:

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