The Quick and Dirty on Fats…
With it still being engrained in so many peoples beliefs (this is MOST likely you as well) that eating Fat is going to make you fat – I want to give it the drop-kick and give you the simple tips to follow.
You can and should be eating fat with a minim of your total energy intake of 20% coming from Fats — and this can go up to 80% in certain cases.
Monounsaturated Fats (MUFAs)
Monounsaturated fats are called such because they contain only one double bond in the fatty acid chain. Studies have shown that MUFAs improve blood cholesterol level, decreasing the risk of heart disease, and improve insulin levels and blood sugar, making them an important dietary component of anyone with type 2 diabetes. Check out the list below for examples of foods high in monounsaturated fats:
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
- Almonds (and almond butter)
- Cashews (and cashew butter)
- Brazil nuts
- Black and green olives
Polyunsaturated Fats (PUFAs)
Polyunsaturated fats decrease levels of bad cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease. They also contain essential fats (fats that the body needs but cannot produce itself) like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
There are three different types of omega-3 fatty acids: ALA (which is found in plant oils), EPA, and DHA (the latter two are both primarily found in marine oils). DHA has been shown to lower blood fat (triglycerides) and fish oil supplements (EPA and DHA) are often used to counteract stiffness and joint pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to have promise (though more research is needed) in aiding baby development and treating conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, ADHD, asthma, and depression.
Omega-6 Fatty Acids
Omega-6 fatty acids aid brain function, normal growth and development, stimulate skin and hair growth, regulate metabolism, and maintain bone health. It is important to strike a balance in one’s omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid intake. Americans tend to eat more omega-6 fatty acids, but research data suggests we should copy the Mediterranean diet and take in more omega-3 fatty acids. Some forms of omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation, but overall the group has been shown to aid in treating diabetic neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, ADHD, breast cancer, eczema, hypertension, symptoms of menopause, mastalgia, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, and symptoms of PMS.
My 5 Favourite Fats To Eat
- Animal Fat — coming from grass fed beef, free-range chicken, salmon and fish.
- Coconut Oil — I cook meats with this, but use it with a teaspoon to get the right fat intake.
- Fish Oil — Currently taking 3g with Breakfast and 3g with Dinner from a high quality supplement.
- Macadamia Oil — Poured into a small measuring cup and “down the hatch”. Making sure I get my intake right.
- Butter — Popped over the top of cooked green veg this is chock-full of goodness for you.
I don’t really eat a lot of nuts. Just personal preference as I find them so damn hard not to go nuts (excuse the pun) and punish a bag full of Cashews or tablespoons of Almond Butter. I do eat them every now and then — but I stick to the above 5 for ease of use with how I have my lifestyle set