Isn’t fat bad for me? Dietary fat: is it good or bad? Both. You see, not all fats are created equal.
The Skinny on Fats
Heavily processed, hydrogenated “trans” fats used in prepared, packaged foods can be extremely damaging to the body. They can compromise the cardiovascular system, immune system, and contribute to behavior problems. They can also lead to weight gain, skin breakouts, high blood pressure, and liver strain.However, our bodies need fat for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. High-quality fats can steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair, and nails, and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning fluidly.
Where to Find Healthy Fats
Avocados, olives, and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and omega-3 rich organic eggs.
Whole nuts and seeds, and their butters like almond butter or tahini
Look for the highest-quality organic oils when shopping. Words to look for: organic, first-pressed, cold-pressed, extra-virgin, and unrefined.
Avoid expeller-pressed, refined, and solvent extracted.
How to Use Healthy Fats
When sautéing foods, try organic extra virgin olive oil.
Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut, and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressing.
For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), try butter, ghee (clarified butter), or coconut oil.
Try these delicious, easy recipes:
Avocado Dip Prep Time: 3 minutes Makes 1 cup
• 1 large peeled and pitted avocado • 2/3 cup plain yogurt, goat yogurt, coconut yogurt, or almond yogurt • 1 diced tomato • a squirt of lemon or lime juice • dash or two of cayenne pepper • sea salt and black pepper • Mash avocado with a fork until very smooth
Add yogurt, tomato, cayenne. Blend until smooth. This may be done in a food processor, in a blender, or with a fork. Add sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Serve chilled with mixed raw vegetables.
Tip: Best made a maximum of 1 hour before serving.
Marinated Salmon with Mango-Kiwi Relish Prep Time: 30 minutes Makes 4 servings
• 1 tablespoon honey • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce • 1 teaspoon olive oil • Click to see savings • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick) • Click to see savings • Cooking spray • Click to see savings • Relish: • 1/2 cup diced peeled mango • Click to see savings • 1/2 cup cubed peeled kiwifruit • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
To prepare salmon, combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add fish to bag; seal. Marinate 10 minutes, turning occasionally. While fish marinates, heat grill pan or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from bag, discarding marinade. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Coat pan with cooking spray. While fish cooks, prepare the relish. Combine mango and the remaining ingredients. Serve over fish.
What are the main types of fats?
Fats in foods are a mixture of three main types: • Saturated • Polyunsaturated • Monounsaturated
It is best for everyone’s health, to eat mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, rather than saturated fat. Trans fats are another type of fat. They behave like saturated fat in the body and should also be avoided as much as possible.
Disclosure This article is intended for informational purposes only. It also serves to raise your awareness and increase your knowledge. Perform your own research or contact your physician when making decisions or changes that impact your health.