You are what you eat. Does that mean eating fats will make you fat? Well, there is more to it than that. Yes, there are “BAD” fats, such as trans-fats, saturated-fats and hydrogenated oils, which can be found in processed and fast foods. These fats can cause all sorts of nasty health problems such as inflammation, cardiovascular disease and obesity. These fats should be limited or avoided completely in a diet. Healthy fats are another story. If we do not eat enough fats we could become malnourished and unhealthy. Too many fats are bad, likewise, not eating enough healthy fats can have negative effects as well. There needs to be balance.
HEALTHY fats WON’T make you FAT and will improve your overall health.
Fats are “energy-storage compounds.” Thinking of “energy” as a calorie will help understand this. Fats have almost twice as many calories as any other food source (carbohydrates and proteins have 4 calories per gram whereas fat has 9 calories per gram) which means they will give your body a whole lot more energy to work with.
The “storage” portion contributes to helping your body store vitamins and minerals. Fats are responsible for storing vitamins such as A, D, E and K. They form a protective layer around your organs and prevent against cold and trauma.
Types of Healthy fats:
Omega 3’s- EPA & DHA
Omega 6’s- GLA & Arachidonic Acid.
Naturally our bodies can make saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and cholesterol already. We need to eat healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, and cold pressed oils, to maintain a proper dietary balance.
Benefits of eating healthy fats daily:
- Helps the nervous system function optimally
- Improves the absorption of vitamin D and calcium to ensure healthy bones and teeth
- Improves I.Q.
- Boosts immunity
- Decreases inflammation and pain
- Improves brain function and has been shown to improve depression, dyslexia, ADHD, fatigue, memory problems, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.
Tips for staying healthy while eating fats:
- Reduce the amount of fat you are eating to 20-35% (or lower) of your daily food intake.
- Get rid of those bad fats! Minimize your intake of fried foods, processed foods, and saturated fats from meat and dairy products.
- Stick to avocado and coconut oils when cooking with high heats. Use your olive, flax, and hemp oils as salad dressings.
- Keep oils in air tight containers away from light, air and heat to prevent them from going rancid.
- Eat nuts and seeds; especially walnuts, flax, sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds
- Eat more cold-water fish (2-3 times per week) for their omega 3 content. If you live somewhere without access to fresh fish, invest in a good quality omega 3 supplement for increased support.
- Eat free range eggs high in omega 3
- Cook with healthy fats, such as avocados, a few times a week
“New Optimum Nutrition For The Mind” – Patrick Holford
“Staying Healthy With Nutrition” – Elson M. Haas
“Quick Broiled” Salmon with Ginger Mint Salsa
By: George Mateljan - “The Worlds Healthiest Foods” pg. 619
1lb Salmon fillets cut into two pieces
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 diced tomato
½ cup minced green onion
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
2 tsp finely chopped mint
1 tsp lime juice
Sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the broiler on high and heat pan for 10 minutes (place pan 5-7 inches from heat source).
- While pan is heating, chop and combine all salsa ingredients together in a bowl.
- Rub salmon with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Remove pan from oven and place salmon on the pan.
- Cook for 5 minutes, or so, depending on thickness.
- Top with mint salsa and serve.