The Skinny on Fats

How to prepare and eat healthy fats

Is fat bad for me? Is fat good for me? Both are true - you see, fats aren't all created equal.

Heavily processed, hydrogenated “trans” fats used in prepared, packaged foods can be extremely damaging to the body. They can compromise the cardiovascular system, immune system, and contribute to behaviour problems. They can also lead to weight gain, skin breakouts, high blood pressure, and liver strain.

On the other hand, our bodies NEED fat for insulation, vitamin and mineral absorption, and to protect our organs. High-quality fats can steady our metabolism, keep hormone levels even, nourish our skin, hair, and nails, and provide lubrication to keep the body functioning well.

Where Can You Find Healthy Fats?

There are lots of easy to find sources of healthy fats:

  • Avocados, olives, and coconuts are great sources of healthy fat, along with wild salmon and omega-3 rich organic eggs. Check out my quick and easy recipe below for Avocado Dip.
  • Whole nuts and seeds, and their butters like almond butter or tahini.
  • Look for the highest-quality organic oils when shopping. Words to look for: organic, first-pressed, cold-pressed, extra-virgin, and unrefined. Avoid expeller-pressed, refined, and solvent extracted.

Cooking with Healthy Fats

  • For cooking at high temperatures (stir frying and baking), try butter, ghee (clarified butter), or coconut oil
  • When sautéing foods, try organic extra virgin olive oil.
  • Oils like flaxseed, sesame, toasted sesame, walnut, and pumpkin seed are best used unheated in sauces or dressings.

Thanks to Integrative Nutrition who provided the inspiration and content for this article.

A Quick and easy Recipe for Avocado Dip

Ingredients

  • 1 large peeled and pitted avocado
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt, goat yogurt, coconut yogurt, or almond yogurt
  •  1 diced tomato
  • a squirt of lemon or lime juice
  • dash or two of cayenne pepper
  • sea salt and black pepper

Preparation

  1. Mash avocado with a fork until very smooth.
  2. Add yogurt, tomato, cayenne. Blend until smooth. This may be done in a food processor, in a blender, or with a fork.
  3. Add sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
  4. Serve chilled with mixed raw vegetables.

Best made a maximum of 1 hour before serving. Makes 1 cup.