Today, I want to talk to you guys all about fats!
- Do we really need them? Yes.
- Can’t we do without them? Nope.
- Won’t they hinder weight maintenance goals? Nope.
There’a SO MUCH misconception about the importance of adding fats to our diets. The food industry has done such a good job at marketing “fat-free” products & low-fat diets & we’ve been wired to think that all foods with fat content are inherently bad.
The thing is: NOT ALL FATS ARE CREATED EQUAL.
Fat plays a crucial role in just about every aspect of health, right down to the very cells that make up our body! Our bodies are even able to create their own fatty acids to prevent deficiency. But, incorporating healthy fats, such as omega-6 (linoleic acid) & omega-3 (alpha-linoleic acid) is crucial to overall health. They are essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own & must be obtained through nutrition.
Healthy fats boost mental health, cognitive function, mood & energy & physical performance, fight depression & anxiety, affect serotonin levels, promote gut health & digestion by fighting inflammation in the body, balance hormones, help the body absorb certain vitamins & minerals, protect heart health, improve sleep, fight aging, lower bad cholesterol & high blood pressure & keep skin glowing, hair & nails strong & bodily tissue, joints & muscles intact. They also contribute to reliving symptoms of asthma, autoimmune disease & gastrointestinal illnesses.
An essential fatty acids deficiency can lead to symptoms like: dry skin, dandruff, scaly, dull skin, brittle & weak fingernails, dry mouth, skin patches, excessive thirst & cracked fingertips or heels. If you have a deficiency, worry not! Repairing it is simple: INCORPORATE HEALTHY FATS INTO YOUR DIET!
- Try to incorporate 1 source of healthy fats into every meal & snack, such as: avocados, flax, hemp, salmon, mackerel, chia, nuts, sesame or pumpkin seeds, coconut, olive oil, eggs etc.
- Always remember that the the 3 types of omega-3s are APA, EPA and DHA. Only ~1% of the APA consumed is able to be converted, whereas EPA + DHA are already in a form ready to be synthesized by the body, so try to get your fats from foods that contain both EPA + DHA.
- Do your best to avoid trans fats. They are the by-product of partially hydrogenated oils, shortening & other fake/chemical ingredients & additives in processed/packaged foods that wreak havoc on our vital organs & digestion.
- Most people get too much omega-6 & not enough omega-3. Take an active role in maintaining a healthy omega 6:3 ratio. Too much omega 6 & too little omega-3 can actually lead to inflammation. Switch over to grass-fed dairy & make sure to get your fats from REAL FOOD, that once lived, walked & was ALIVE. This will ensure you maintain a good ratio & prevent inflammation.
- How much fat do you need? My best advice is to always LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! I personally know when my body is needing or lacking fats when I feel brain fog, or like I am lacking focus or concentration!