Choosing the right fat sources has been a daunting task in the past few decades. With the abundance of food choices available to us, and the equally large amount of advice from dietitians and lifestyle coaches, we have arrived at an age where we do not really know the answer to the question of what healthy fats are and how we should go about choosing the right healthy fat foods for our table. Therefore, I have compiled two separate lists: one with the list of healthy fats and other recommended fats, and one with the ones you should stay away from at all times. Having said that, let’s dive into them.
In the following, let’s get acquainted with some of the most respectable members of the healthy fats list we all love and should at least consider. I highly recommend choosing an organic version of these fats if possible:
They are an excellent source of healthy saturated fats. You may prepare some of the most delicious meals you have ever tasted. Coconut fats have different forms in which you may buy them at stores.
- Coconut oil: Choosing the unrefined version of coconut oil (belongs to the family of medium-chain fatty acids) will make a world of difference. Use it instead of vegetable oils when possible. With a unique combination of nutrients and fatty acids, coconut oil has powerful fat burning and metabolism-enhancing qualities that can be useful whether you are seeking to build muscle or burn fat. Read more here
- Coconut aminos: Coconut aminos are a great substitute for your regular unhealthy soy sauce. They are extracted from the sap of the coconut tree, and it has a rather salty taste. They not only have lower sodium levels than regular soy sauce but they also contain more than 17 different essential and non-essential amino acids, which serve as building blocks of proteins. Read more here.
- Coconut Milk: Coconut Milk is the perfect alternative to your half-and half that you put into your coffee every morning. You may also use it in place of your yoghurt or other cream recipes. Besides containing a lot of different vitamins, such as Vitamin B1,B3,B5,B6,C,E and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, magnesium or selenium, coconut milk is also free of lactose, which makes it an ideal choice for those suffering from lactose intolerance. If you choose to go with coconut milk, make sure to use the one that uses guar gum as its stabilizer. Try to stay away from any other that is either served in carton or has no such stabilizer in it. Use the variety in cans. Read more here.
Olives and Avocados
Both olives and avocados belong to the group of monounsaturated fats. Is monounsaturated fat good for you? You tell me! Monounsaturated fats lower cholesterol levels in the blood, thus lowering the risk of stroke or heart disease. The nutrients in such fats contribute Vitamin E and other antioxidants that both develop and maintain your body’s cells. Use olive oil or avocado oil as dressing for your salads, or you may even use olives and avocados in their physical form as snacks for your daily healthy fat intake.
I would not recommend cooking with these oils, for they have a low smoke point, which means that when you add heat, they go rancid rather quickly. What this means is that when you eat rancid oil, you run the risk of turning a health oil into an unhealthy one. This unhealthy oil, in turn, can cause inflammation in your body, so watch out!
Animal fats are an excellent choice for cooking, but I would only advise you to use the ones that come from organic, pastured and grass-fed animals. If you have access to a good source, fats such as ghee, tallow or lard would be healthful and delicious options to choose from. Animal fats are important sources of Vitamin A and D. They also help converting carotene to vitamin A for the better absorption of minerals. They also serve as essential building blocks of a variety of hormones and cell membranes. Read more here.
Nut oils, Nuts and Nut butters
If consumed in moderation, nuts and nut butters can serve as healthy additions to any meals, snacks or even desserts. You may consume nuts raw, dry and even roasted. You may add them to cooked foods for crunch, or enjoy them as snacks in between meals. Nut oils can add an unexpected flavor to your meals or salads, but do not use them for cooking, for they are bound to become rancid and unstable upon prolonged exposure to heat.
If you want to go with nut butters, I would say examine the nutrition facts on the side for added sugars. One of the funny thing about nuts is that they seem small, but they are calorically dense and you may eat a lot of them before realizing how much you actually ate. Try and stay within the range of a quarter cup or a handful of nuts per serving. Read more here.
Seeds are one of the most Paleo-friendly snacks you can ever try. Some seeds include: pine nuts, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin seeds and many others. Seeds produce a large amount of concentrated vitamins, proteins, essential oils, enzymes and minerals to sustain us. Knowing when, how and how much to eat from seeds can go a long way in adding decades to your lifespan. Read more here.
Most of us are on a tight budget…that I can sympathize with. When it comes to oils, however, it might not be a good practice to go cheap. The right fats and oils can make a huge difference between whether you produce healthy cells or unhealthy ones. Unhealthy or rancid oil create inflammation and can easily put you in both a bad mood and an equally bad health state. Given the fact that inflammation serves as a catalyst for a wide range of medical problems, it is more important than ever to make health-conscious decisions.
Therefore, I have compiled a list of some of the most dangerous oils you should always stay away from. They might be cheap, but you must always remember that they are cheap for a reason. The list is as follows:
- Sunflower oil
- Canola oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Corn oil
- Soybean oil
- Trans fats
- Peanut oil
- Palm kernel oil
- Partially hydrogenated oil
I know that we tend to save on as many things as possible in these hard economic times, but let’s not get cheap on our health. It is our most precious thing, and it is the one thing that we truly own. Don’t you want to protect it, preserve it and sustain it? Then I hope you will at least consider this article for compiling your future healthy fat food shopping lists.
- The Top 10 Healthiest Seeds on Earth. Web: http://www.trueactivist.com/the-top-10-healthiest-seeds-on-earth. Published: 20 February, 2013
- Mayo Clinic. What amount of nuts is considered healthy? Web:http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/nuts/art-20046635?pg=2
- Raluca Schachter. Healthy Animal Fats Web: http://www.handpickednation.com/healthy-animal-fats-cooking-nutrition. Published: 6 September, 2012
- Monounsaturated Fats. Web: www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Monounsaturated-Fats_UCM_301460_Article.jsp. Published: 5 August, 2014
- Jo Lewin. The health benefits of… coconut milk. Web: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/ingredient-focus-coconut-milk. Published: December 2014
- What Is Coconut Aminos? Web: http://coconutsweetener.blogspot.hu/2013/01/what-is-coconut-aminos.html. Published: 27 January, 2013
- Laszlo Szabo. Want to lose weight quick? Learn About the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil.Web:http://www.bodybuildersupplementz.com/the-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil-for-weight-loss. Published: 25 October,2014