If you are not getting any fat in your diet you could be derailing your weight loss goals and compromising your health.
Fat is essential for our bodies to function. It is a form of energy for cells. It provides protection for cell membranes and body organs. It also helps make hormones. This nutrient activates fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E, and K) to do their job and function in the body. It also tastes good, keeping us full and satisfied.
The important thing is to make sure you are getting mostly healthy fats in your diet.
Foods and that contain less chemical bonds in the form of medium-chain triglycerides tend to be healthier for you. These consist of omega-3, omega 6, and omega 9 fatty acids.
Omega 3 fatty acids are what we know those found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, flax, chia seeds, and fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, albacore tuna, and trout.
Omega 6 fatty acids or polyunsaturated fats are found in walnuts, sunflower seeds and also found in oils like corn soybean oil, and safflower oil.
Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are obtained from diet but we also need to have a good balance of omega 3 and omega 6 healthy fats is key to combating inflammation. The ratio should be 2 to 1 with a higher intake of omega 3 fatty acids. The typical American diet usually is a ratio of 1 to 15 with a lot more omega 6 fatty acids. This comes from a high consumption of processed foods with few vegetables and other plant foods.
Previous researched showed intake of polyunsaturated oils and spreads lowered your risk for disease. However, it has been discovered that a high intake of these oils can lead to inflammation due to their high ratio of omega 6 fatty acids.
These oils are higher in omega 6 fatty acids, which depending on what else you are eating can increase your risk for inflammation.
You should ultimately consume polyunsaturated fats in food form such as walnuts, sunflower seeds, fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, albacore tuna, and trout.
If you do consume these oils they should be the best possible quality that of a cold or expeller pressed organic NON GMO variety.
You also want to avoid a lot of snacks that have these types of oils in them since you do not know the quality. Most of these oils are overly processed and carcinogenic.
Aside from omega 3 and omega 6 fats you can have some saturated fat in your the diet as well. This should come from unsweetened raw cacao, unrefined organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil, grass fed pasture raised butter, yogurt from grass fed pasture raised cows, and eggs from organic pasture raised chickens.
When eating nuts and seeds you want to avoid trail mixes that are high in sugar (contain any dried fruit or chocolate) these typically are bathed in processed oils which can be pro-inflammatory.
A lot people say that nuts and seeds should be avoided in the diet, but I advise clients to listen to their body and how you feel after eating these foods. Do you have acne, bloating, gas, or acid reflux? You may have a sensitivity and not be able to eat these foods.
If you do not feel these symptoms you should feel free to enjoy nuts and seeds as a healthy fat to add to your diet.
Raw sprouted nuts and seeds are the best for digestion. If you can’t get sprouted nuts. The next best thing is to soak them for a couple hours before you consume them. This also helps to break down proteins that may be difficult for some people to digest leading to more more easily absorbed nutrients.
Trans fats are fats you want to eliminate from the diet as much as possible. Overconsumption will cause inflammation and lead to disease. Be sure to read the ingredient list. Labels are often misleading. The FDA allows companies to use the label zero grams trans fat if there is less than a gram per serving. However, if you “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” in the ingredient list it contains trans fat and should be put back on the shelf. Trans fats are also found in foods that are deep fried.
So how much healthy fat should you add to your diet? It depends on what else you are eating. You should strive to have a healthy fat at eat meal. So enjoy your grass fed yogurt, half avocado, or handful of nuts.
Questions about your fat intake? Comment below or message me HERE!