Fats are absolutely critical to well-being. They are one of three “macro-nutrients” we need to function, alongside protein and carbohydrates.

In fact, the right fats can

  • Help with weight loss, by speeding up your metabolism and keeping you full.
  • Help balance your hormones. Fats are required in the synthesis of several hormones.
  • Support gut and skin health and stronger immunity – because certain vitamins can only be absorbed in the presence of fat (vitamins A,D,E, and K).
  • Make your brain work better; the brain is composed of about 60% fat.
  • Provide energy

For the last half a decade or so, the medical community advocated low fat diets in response to rising rates of heart disease that had been occurring since the 40’s or 50’s. (I guess nobody figured out that the disease epidemic coincided with the rise of TV dinners, Twinkies and mass industrial agriculture).

The low fat craze gave birth to margarine – made with highly processed and highly sensitive vegetable oils prone to oxidation and rancidity, and highly refined egg substitutes. Add to this our undying love for sugar and chemical-laden convenience foods laced with trans fats and it’s not surprising, then, that heart disease and other chronic degenerative disease continued to increase!

Thankfully, the big hitters in the world of nutrition policy acknowledged the unequivocal evidence that low fat diets are harmful, not healthy, and more attention is now being paid to the type of fats humans should be consuming, as not all fats are created equal!

Dr Mark Hyman, MD and Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author, notes: “Some fats are unhealthy. They include trans fat and inflammatory vegetable oils. Unfortunately, these fats have increased in our diet as they make us fatter and contribute to inflammation, which plays a role in nearly every chronic disease on the planet.”(1)

Sadly, low fat products, highly refined vegetable oils, and convenience foods containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (end result: trans fats!) still line grocery store shelves. These choices set us on a course of digestive, metabolic, hormonal, skin, mental, and other disorders.

This week I did a Facebook Live Video, discussing healthy fat basics and which fats help to keep your brain and body humming along like a well-oiled machine (pun intended!)! In actuality, fats are a complex topic, but I did my best to distill the need-to-know for you right here. Please like, share, and/or comment – and spread the love!

Short on time? I’ve created a short, printable guide to help steer you away from the bad fats and on to the good!

 

References

Haas, E, with B. Levin. “Staying healthy with nutrition : the complete guide to diet & nutritional medicine.” Ten Speed Press, 2006. pp 64-82

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/types-of-fat/

 http://drhyman.com/blog/2015/12/27/separating-fat-from-fiction-10-fat-facts-you-need-to-know/

 http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

 https://kresserinstitute.com/functional-perspective-diet-cholesterol/

 http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/frequently-asked-questions/general-nutrition/nuts-and-health

 http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=7#saturated

Dr Axe FB Live: Healthy Fats to Heal Your Hormones and Boost Metabolism. December 9, 2016

(https://www.facebook.com/DrJoshAxe/videos/vl.308606856143716/10154981507551178/?type=1)

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