When talking to clients, after looking over a food journal, one of my first recommendations is to increase their fat intake. We have been misguided for years by being told to follow a low fat diet. However, fat is essential for optimal health. Fat helps us feel satiated after eating. Fat also helps balance blood sugar levels so they are less likely to be up and down all day causing you to eventually crash. It is also helpful in regulating hormone balance.
But what types of fat are healthy to be consuming? Of course not all fats are created equal.
Natural fats are what your body knows how to process. Even the saturated fats. When considering which fats to include in your diet, ask yourself some simple questions:
- Is this minimally processed/ could I make this in my kitchen?
- Does this fat palatable by itself?
- coconut oil, coconut butter, and full fat coconut milk
- butter (preferable from a grass fed/pastured source)
- lard (preferably from grass fed sources)
- eggs (preferably not fed soy feed)
- palm oil
- Avocado oil
These are all natural oils that your body knows how to digest and process. These oils are also all stable at higher temperatures which make them suitable to use for cooking.
Eat but don’t heat!
- Olive oil (ok to heat to low temps)
- Walnut oil
- Macadamia oil
- Flaxseed oil
These are ok to consume straight from the bottle. These oils are less stable and oxidize when heated. When oils oxidize, they create free radicals and increase inflammation in the body.
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Vegetable oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Soybean oil
- Safflower oil
- Partially hydrogenated oils
These oils are highly refined and stripped of their natural nutrients. During the refining process they oxidized by high heating and then bleached and deodorized to make palatable. They cause inflammation which can lead to heart disease, cancer and obesity. Most are also grown from genetically modified seeds which have not undergone extensive tests to prove safe for human consumption.