So how much Fat should I be eating and what kinds are best?
When you become Fat Adapted, healthy fats become your main source of fuel. Our bodies are more efficient at turning Fat into energy than glucose (glucose generates free radicals in the cell as a byproduct) making fat the preferred source of fuel especially for the brain, heart, and muscles. Our brains are about 60% fat and every one of our cell membranes is made predominantly of Fat.
We are extremely deficient in healthy fatty acids. Low fat and poor fat diets lead to many physiological and psychological issues such as mood disorders (depression, anxiety, and others), chronic fatigue, mineral imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, poor detox, weight gain, inflammation, cognitive impairment, and more.
Here is a list of some of the benefits of Fat in our diets:
- Fats satisfy our appetite, regulating our appetite hormones
- Fats are necessary to produce bile, essential for liver and gallbladder function
- Fats improve mineral absorption,
- Fats provide a source of long burning energy,
- Fats are the essential building blocks of every cell membrane,
- Fats are necessary to build our anti-inflammatory prostaglandins,
- Fats promote faster and more effective healing throughout the body.
- Fats are essential for healthy hormone production
Where to start:
The best Fats for our bodies are saturated animal fats and tropical oils. These are the most stable for cooking and provide the most protection against oxidation.
Good sources of saturated fat are:
- Lard from pastured pork
- Grass-fed Beef and Lamb Tallow,
- Chicken, duck, and goose fat,
- Grass fed Ghee and Butter
- Coconut Oil
- Sustainable Palm Oil
- MCT Oil
The next group of Fats are Monounsaturated and are best eaten cold but can be used for light cooking in low temperatures. Choose first cold pressed, unrefined, expeller pressed, organic, and extra virgin varieties of:
- Olive Oil,
- Avocado Oil
- Macadamia Nut Oil,
- Sesame Oil
Polyunsaturated Oils are the most unstable fat and should never be used for cooking and always stored in the refrigerator. They are easily damaged by moderate heat, oxygen, light, and moisture turning rancid very quickly and contain free radicals. Most vegetable oils are highly refined and damaged during processing. The nuts and seeds used for vegetable oils are exposed to high heat and pressure sources for extraction. Solvents (hexane from petroleum) are added to draw out the last bits, which act like a magnet for pesticide residue.
If Hydrogenation is used the situation become much worse. Nickel oxide and aluminum are added to chemically change the molecular structure of the fat while being exposed to hydrogen gas at high heat turning them into Trans Fats. Additional steps required include adding multiple fillers and thickeners, steam cleaning to remove odors, and bleaching to rid of the dull grey color that results.
Trans Fats are unrecognizable by the human body and if ingested they take the place of healthy fats in our cells and tissues rendering them unable to function properly. If we consume Trans Fats we lose the ability to use healthy fats and it causes a cascade of serious health problem.
Avoid the following refined vegetable oils, as well as anything hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, and cold-processed (not cold-pressed which is good) oils:
- Corn Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Imitation Butters
A note on using certain nut and seed oils such as hemp, flax, almond, walnut, borage, evening primrose, kukui, and black currant:
There are many healthful benefits in these polyunsaturated oils and they can help provide your body with a fundamental balanced fatty acid profile. However these oils are still higher in Omega 6 versus Omega 3 and should be used sparingly and always stored in the fridge in dark opaque bottles. Having the correct balance of Omega 3:6 in your body is critical for the proper function and survival of each cell, and certain Omega 3’s (Alpha-Linolenic Acid) and Omega 6’s (Linoleic Acid) are essential meaning the body can not produce them on its own. The optimal ratio is between 1:1 and 3:1 (Omega 3:Omega6) but with the widespread overuse of refined vegetables oils, fast foods, and processed foods we range anywhere from 1:10 to 1:24, leading us into various inflammatory diseases.