Despite all the outdated and badly researched information out there, I really hope that if you follow me regularly, you by now realise the importance of eating healthy fats. You do don’t you?!
But how much should you be eating?
People (inc a lot of health professionals) are still so confused about fat and are hanging on to the myths, old wives tales, and misinformation that stops them understanding the latest science and achieving optimal health.
Fat is one of the body’s most basic building blocks. In fact, the average person is made up of between 15 and 30 percent fat.
Yet for decades, we’ve demonized dietary fat. We’ve religiously followed low-fat diets that almost always equate to high-sugar, high refined carb diets. This diet contributes to insulin resistance, obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many other health issues.
The higher the fat quality, the better your body will function.
Stop and think about it:
You have more than 100 trillion cells in your body, and every single cell should be constructed of high-quality fat.
How do you know if your cells are getting enough vital fat? Your body actually sends you signals when it doesn’t get enough good fat. Never ignore the signs your body is giving you. Some warning signs include:
- Dry, itchy, scaling or flaking skin
- Soft, cracked or brittle nails
- Hard ear wax
- Tiny bumps on the back of your arms or on your torso
- Achy and stiff joints
- Memory problems
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
- Weight gain
- Dietary fats are absolutely essential for health.
Obviously, you want to add more of the right fats to your diet. To do this, you need to know which ones to eat and which ones to avoid.
Most people (and diets) lump all fats together and tell you to avoid them at all costs. But not all fats are created equal!!
If you eat the wrong fat, it’s like using cheap building materials for your body.
Most processed foods on supermarket shelves are made with poor-quality omega-6 fats from refined, processed vegetable oils. They are abundant, very cheap, taste good and improve texture.
The next time you’re in the supermarket, take a close look at the ingredient list of your favorite packaged food. If the list includes oils from corn, soy, cottonseed or safflower, you are getting a poor-quality fat.
If you eat substandard fats, you are building sub-standard cell walls!!
They become stiff and rigid, cell function slows down and become prone to inflammation. You want to ensure your body has the fats it needs to construct high-quality cell walls.
That means eating more omega-3 fats. Cell walls made from omega-3 fats are more flexible, which allows cells to respond more quickly to messages.
These good” fats also help your body produce prostaglandins otherwise known as the hormones that cool off inflammation.“
Optimal sources of omega-3 fats include small cold-water fish like wild-caught salmon, sardines and herring, organic flax and hemp seed oils, walnuts, Brazil nuts and sea vegetables.
Scientists think that early humans ate equal quantities of Omega 3 and Omega 6 (Omega 6 from seeds and nuts and omega 3 from wild game, fish, and plants.). Over time, this ratio became unbalanced, with us eating more Omega 6 and leading to a vulnerability to cancer and heart disease.
When the human diet was balanced, heart disease was virtually unheard of!!
The more omega-3 fats you eat, the easier your body can cool off, which means less inflammation that forms the root of nearly every chronic disease, especially those impacting the brain and the heart.
I’ve told you this before but it’s worth repeating:
The brain is completely dependent on these high-quality fats. In fact, it is made up of 60 percent fat.
High-quality fat boosts cognition, happiness, learning and memory.
In contrast, studies link a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids to depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and even violence. Your heart will also thank you for eating more omega-3s, which help lower levels of bad fats (triglycerides) and raise levels of good fats (HDL).
Omega-3 fats make blood more slippery, reducing the likelihood of artery disease.
As weird as it may sound… eating fat helps you lose fat!!!!!
That’s because healthy cell walls made from high-quality fats lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, meaning you’re more likely to burn than store fat. Consuming healthy fats also helps us absorb the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
So as well as eating plenty of wild fatty fish, supplement your diet with nuts, seeds, grass-fed butter and ghee, coconut oil, avocados, grass fed meat, olive oil, and olives.
I really hope this helps you understand a little about good fats, as the information out there can seem so confusing.
Please let me know if this has helped at all.
Love Sarah xx