Just browsing the title of this post you might be thinking I have full on lost my mind. Perhaps you are thinking “isn’t she on a healthy life journey?” or maybe your thought process is more along the lines of “isn’t fat the devil?” and well my answers to these questions are yes and no. Yes, I am on a journey to make myself the healthiest happiest version of myself and no, fat is not the devil, it is actually an amazing thing and a main component of most of our body.
Seeing how I am doing all this book learning these days I haven’t had a ton of time to quarantine myself in the kitchen in the name of creating a healthy and more importantly tasty dish to share. Then on days where I do have the time I generally blank on writing down ingredients and quantities so I am unable to share the recipes with you afterwards anyways. So my Food Fridays might take more of a fooducation spin for a little while. I will definitely attempt to get a new recipe out to you every now and then but it won’t be as frequent as it has been in the past. However, my hope is that with providing you with more information about food in general you will be more inspired to go out and see what you can make on your won. As you have probably guessed I am going to be focusing this week’s fooducation on FAT.
In the past fat has been given an incredible awful wrap. This likely started because 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories, so the diet industry assumed “want to lose fat stop eating it!” and I mean the logic kind of make sense if you are cutting out the bad fat.
I am not here to tell you to stuff your face with all the fat out there, because fat is not made equal. The fat found in french fries is not the same as the fat found in an avocado, transfats are not the same as saturated fats which are not the same as unsaturated fats. If we are going to go ahead and demonize anything here it should be Transfats, those things should be avoided like the plague! Transfats are liquid fats which have been transformed into solid fats, it is an unnatural process and because of this your body has no idea what to do with this man made fats. Having no idea what to do with these fats the body ends up getting a little confused and it can take our body’s up to 7 years to figure out how to get rid of them. Who wants to be walking around with 7 years worth of man made fat in their body’s? Not me that is for sure.
So this post is not about transfats, I am talking about more natural forms of fat (saturated and unsaturated) because our body knows what to do with these fats, and they help to establish healthy cells within our bodies.
Focusing on the goal of making healthy smart choices here is a list of why fat is so amazing, and why we shouldn’t restrict it in our diets.
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) like Omega 3 and Omega 6 will help to make your hair shine and your skin soften. EFAs help to provide nourishment to your body allowing it to moisturize your skin and give your hair the beautiful luster.
- Sore joints be gone. EFAs help to lubricate your joints and reduce inflammation helping your body to recover from injuries, strenuous workouts and other stresses we load onto our bodies.
- It’s everywhere. Perhaps this one doesn’t sound like so much of a positive, but each and everyone one of our cells is literally made up of fats. There are different types of fats and oils that help our body’s cell membranes remain supple and flexible, while remaining strong. Our regular intake of saturated (coconut oil, avocado…etc) and unsaturated (olive oil, flax oil…etc.) fats help our body to find this balance.
- It protects! Yup that is right, fat helps protect us. Fat helps surround our internal organs to protect them from trauma and to keep you safe and sound. I don’t know about some of you but I fall, walk into things, and hit myself with stuff on a regular basis so I would say my fat is getting it’s moneys worth.
- It is full of energy. Although Fat is not the most efficient source of energy (carbohydrates are) our body is able to store fats for use later on. So when doing strenuous work (heavy lifting, endurance training, other regular workouts) it is important to get a healthy balance of fats in our diets to help fuel us and as mentioned in #2 to help protect our joints from inflammation.
- Our brains are primarily fat. Each and every one of us has a brain that is made up of fat, this fact alone should let you know just how important fats are. Fat literally allows our motherboards (brains) to be what they are and do what they do.
- It is delicious! Fat is nature’s way to encourage us to eat foods that we would likely otherwise think is disgusting. I mean pork fat aka bacon, dollars to donuts none of us would think that it was delicious without fat inciting us. Other things, like nuts, seeds, avocados, dairy products, etc are also partly so delicious because of their fat content.
- Great looking skin. A healthy dose of omega 3 will help our skin and hair feel and look soft and supple. North Americans get a pretty substantial does of omega 6 (because of how much packaged food we normally eat) so it is important to help balance this out by upping our omega 3 levels. Omega 3 is found in nuts and seeds but mostly in fish. If you aren’t interested in fish it might be good idea for you to look into supplements and just adding a dash of something into a morning smoothie.
- Boost your metabolism. Having a healthy balance of healthy fats in your diet might actually help to increase your metabolism. This isn’t a free pass to go out and eat all the pizza your stomach can possibly handle, but I am encouraging you to add some avocado or a hand full of seeds to your next salad. It will help you feel full for longer and your body will be thankful for the extra energy. Also combining fats with your veggies might help you absorb more of nutrients available.
- Sex Hormones.Many healthy fats (including saturated fats) are precursors to our sexual hormones (progesterone, testosterone, estrogen). If you are interested in a healthy sex life don’t skip the fat.
Fat is more than just some evil force stopping you from walking around in a new bikini, or from fitting into those skinny jeans. Fat is a wonderful substance created by nature to help our bodies function optimally.
All of that being said I am not advocating that you toss out a healthy diet for one completely centered around fats, but I am suggesting that healthy nourishing fats are essential to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Hope this information comes in handy next time you are doing some meal prep, don’t skip the fat, just do your best to make healthy natural choices.