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Good Fats? The Truth Behind Healthy Fats

For decades people have been panicking, avoiding, and in general, eating themselves sick with the wrong foods. What has been the big, scary culprit? Fats. Consumers everywhere have been misinformed for years. And, if we’re being sincere -ultimately deceived when it came to what they should and should not be eating to be healthy.

Somehow, while no one was looking, an easy little play on words made eating fat become synonymous with being FAT. It was back in the 1960’s when the sugar industry started a revolution with words like “fat-free” and “zero fat.” And it didn’t stop there. By removing the fat and adding in sugar, it actually made us even fatter and sicker. It purposely inhibited the production of leptin in our brains (more on this later), which in turn made us crave more chemically processed sugar.

Sounds impossible, right? Kind of like science fiction? That would be a totally understandable reaction. The feeling of being duped can be devastating. But that’s exactly what happened.

However, it’s also crucial for us to realize what exactly happened so that we can take steps to reverse the damage. Learn more about how the sugar industry duped us all, in this informative article from the New York Times  

 So, let’s talk FATS! Here’s what we were told for generations.

Fat in food makes your body fat. It doesn’t matter what kind of fat, they told us. They are all terrible for your health. Fat is fat, and it is the cause of clogged arteries, heart disease, and obesity. Fat is the reason you feel sluggish and moody. Fat is the enemy. They were wrong, and they knew it.

 But don’t despair, things have changed. We have seen the light, and we are ready to fight back. They say when you know better, you do better, right? Now is the time for good fats!

 Fast forward a few decades. It was only once people started to see the patterns of long-term high sugar and low-fat diets that the truth became more evident. Like any new revolution, it began slowly and quietly, but it didn’t take long for more and more people to start getting on board on the movement of the good fat.

 As we know now, it turned out that good fats are not the enemy! However, because of this deception, we now need to learn how to nourish our bodies properly. It’s like learning how to walk again. What was has been drilled into our brains for decades, throughout generations, passed down from parents to children has been misinformation. Falsehoods and outright lies. It’s time to take back our power as free-thinking humans and put an end to our health being compromised by industries that profit off of our sickness.

 It was a simple concept back then. Eat more sugar and get fatter. Sugar is addictive. The more you eat, the more you need it. When you crave more sugar, get sicker. Sadly, incurable sickness is a very profitable industry.

 One of the most powerful quotes that can really help us to reframe our thinking about it all is this one: “In a world that has profited from making us sick by feeding us misinformation, eating well is an act of rebellion.” With this powerful thought in mind, let’s dive right in and learn the real facts, the truth about what the human body needs to work at an optimum level each and every day.

Let’s begin with a solid understanding of what fat is, it’s benefits to the human body, and, most importantly, which are the good fats.

 Fats, which can also be known as fatty acids or lipids, are made up of three molecules that join together to make a triglyceride. Some fats are created inside the body, but others we cannot make ourselves, we can only get these by consuming them. These good fats are essential to our health, hence why they are also called “essential fats.” These include omega-3 fats that can be found in foods such as fish and flaxseed and omega -6 fats, which can be found in foods such as nuts, seeds, and oils. But the question remains, what type of good fats should we be consuming to get the right amounts of “essential omega fats”. And now that we know they are essential, what benefits will we see when we consume them?

 Benefits of fat to the human body.

Dietary fats are essential to give the body energy and support healthy cell growth as well as balance hormone levels. They protect the organs and even keep the body warm. Good fats can also help to absorb nutrients. They are crucial to a healthy body!

 Here’s a comprehensive list of areas in the body that good fats are essential for:

  • Brain Function

Good fats are critical to brain health and function. In fact, the brain is actually made of 60% fat! It is the fattiest organ in the human body, and it needs more of it regularly to continue operating at an optimal level. Ingesting fats have even been proven to improve memory levels.

  • Healthy Body Weight

The reason that fats are essential when you are trying to maintain healthy body weight is because of the lack of carbs. Low carb and high-fat diet will help to keep your body closer to or even right in that ketosis zone. This is where the body is burning good fats for fuel and not sugars -hence the weight loss.

  • Makes Hormones and Cell Membranes

Fats make up the protective layer around cells and give them the structure to function correctly. It also balances and regulates hormones like estrogen and testosterone. All crucial elements of having a body that runs smoothly. Good fats can also release leptin. Leptin is that incredible hormone that tells your brain when your body is full and does not need to eat anymore. In many junk and fast foods that are filled with trans fats (harmful fats), there is also a substance that inhibits the production of leptin. That’s the reason why when you’re eating a bag of chips, it’s easy to eat an entire bag. Your body doesn’t feel full. In fact, it actually wants more! Funny how that never happens with bananas, though. No one seems to eat an entire bunch of bananas, one is most often enough!

  • Mood Regulator

Fats and in particular good fats are actually mood regulators. This is because fat makes you stay full longer and keeps your blood sugar at a comfortable level. No getting “hangry” late in the day when you are on a keto or low carb/high-fat diet. Those drops and subsequent spikes in blood sugar after consuming a sugary snack do not happen when you have enough good fats in your diet.

  • Nutrient Absorption

Good fats are incredibly important when it comes to how specific vitamins and minerals are absorbed in the body. For example, vitamins A, E, D, and K need fats to be adequately absorbed. The fats carry these vitamins throughout the body and help the body store them until they are needed.

  • Good Heart Health

Good fats actually keep your blood sugar at a low level and are therefore good for the heart. Higher carb and sugar ridden diets do the exact opposite. That is the reason it puts people at risk for heart diseases.

This is a pretty big list of things that were kept from the general public back in the day! With all these incredible benefits and reasons why we need good fats in our body- it’s a crime that this information was kept secret for so long. But as we said before, now is the time for a change!

All of this can seem overwhelming if you are just beginning. But like anything new, it’s best to start making changes in small steps. Start by cutting out junk foods and takeout options. These are all foods that are filled with the wrong ingredients on every level. Step two is to begin learning about which fats are good fats and how to include more of them in your new clean diet.

 Here’s a breakdown on the four categories of dietary fats, what they do, which foods have them and which are the good fats that you MUST consume, those that you SHOULD consume at a minimum and even those you want to AVOID altogether (because yes, there still are some to avoid)

As mentioned, there are four different categories of dietary fats:

  • Saturated fats
  • Monosaturated fats
  • Polyunsaturated fats
  • Trans fats

 Saturated fats

These are the bad boys of the 1960s, the ones we were taught to avoid at all costs. As we now know, however, these can include some of the most essential fats. The ones we want and primarily the ones we need to ensure that our bodies are working at their highest, most optimal levels. The key though is eating them correctly. Meats must be grass-fed and organic. The same goes for dairy products. If not, then the health benefits are just not the same.

 Healthy saturated fats can be found in the following food sources:

  • Coconut oil
  • MCT oil
  • Raw grass-fed butter
  • Ghee
  • Grass-fed meats
  • Dairy products such as milk along with with cheese, cream- (as long as they are made from whole and 2% milk)

 These items are the staples of any low carb and high-fat diet. Paleo and keto are both examples of food plans that encourage the ingestion of good fats like the list above.

 Monosaturated fats

These are the fatty acids that have been shown to improve blood cholesterol levels and decrease your risk of heart disease. It sounds like good fats as well!

Here are some great sources of monosaturated fats

Nuts: In addition to being heart-healthy food, nuts are also a great source of protein, dietary fiber, and a large variety of vitamins and minerals. That is, of course, unless you have a nut allergy, …but to discuss good fats, they are most definitely good for you!

Oils: Not all oils are created equal. Oils such as olive and avocado oil in place of saturated fats, such as butter, are much better options. Healthy oils can be used in salad dressings or to sauté and stir-fry vegetables, seafood, poultry, and meat.

Avocado: Avocados not only contain monounsaturated fat, but they are also packed with folate, vitamins E, C and B6, potassium, and dietary fiber. All incredible sources of good fats! Adding avocado to salads, pizzas, soups, salsa, eggs, and sandwiches. A great way to get in your daily avocado is at breakfast time. Avocado toast is a delicious and nutritious meal filled with good fats.

Peanut Butter: Nearly half the fat in peanut butter is monounsaturated. Another healthy way to enjoy good fats! If you are purchasing natural peanut butter, you will notice that it often has a layer of oil on top. Many people will throw this out. This is a huge mistake! The oil on top is filled with the good fats that you need. Simply mix it all together, and the oil will disappear from view but be ingested into the body. This, of course, does not apply to commercially made peanut butter that id most often filled with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Skip those and buy natural!

 Polyunsaturated fats

Polyunsaturated fats are another source of good fats-providing that you are consuming the appropriate amounts of each one. Because, as it turns out, …not all polyunsaturated fats are created equal.

Polyunsaturated fats include Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, and it’s essential to understand the distinctions between them. Omega 3’s reduce inflammation and support healthy hormone levels and cell membranes. These guys are definitely good fats! Omega 6 are fatty acids that are important to help support healthy brain and muscle function. However, the downside to their important function is that they can also promote inflammation in the body if consumed in extra high amounts. This is why we only need a small amount of Omega 6 fatty acids in our diet. Good fats but only in small quantities!

Now because nothing is easy and we are trying to counteract years of misinformation, we must deal with the following fact. The Western diet, for the most part, is, unfortunately, overflowing with Omega 6 fatty acids! They are found in a lot of baked goods and pre-packaged foods.

Basically, anything that has corn or soybean oil is high in Omega 6 fatty acids, and it’s best to stay away from these. These oils contain a manufactured substance called partially hydrogenated oil-known for contributing to heart disease and even cancer.

 Natural sources of Omega 6 fatty acids are good for you in small amounts. These can be found in foods such as poultry, eggs, nuts as well some cereals and whole-grain bread.

So remember…Omega 3 is better than Omega 6-although Omega 6 when sourced from natural, not fabricated products, also has its own benefits. Overall though, we want to counteract the inflammatory effects of the Omega 6’s. And to do this, we want to consume even more of the Omega 3’s. Because these are the fatty acids that can actually help to reduce the risks of disease.

 Foods such as the following can help to increase your Omega-3 intake:

Fish: Providing the fish that you are eating is wild-caught, organic fish, current dietary guidelines recommend that you include seafood in your diet, twice per week. Fish high in omega-3 fats are ones like salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, and certain species of trout.

Walnuts: Walnuts are an excellent plant-based source of Omega-3. It’s easy to eat them natural or add them to yogurts, cereals, home-baked or organic muffins, and bread. Even salads can benefit from a few walnuts sprinkled on top

Oils: This one can be a significant change for many people, but it is an incredibly healthy one. Replacing solid fats such as butter or margarine with clean oils when cooking, baking, and even when sautéing or stir-frying.

Flaxseed: First of all, it’s important to note that the human body cannot break down whole flaxseeds. They must be ground up in order for the body to be able to access the omega-3 fatty acids. Once ground, adding flaxseed to baked goods, cereals, casseroles, salad dressing and grains all work very well. Flaxseed also comes in an oil that can be used in multiple ways.

Eggs: You have no doubt seen the words “A great source of Omega-3’s” written all over the egg cartons at the grocery store. What does this mean exactly? Well, some chickens are given a special feed that is high in Omega-3s, so their eggs will contain more as well. When buying eggs, check the package label to see what yours indicates.

 Trans fats

Trans fats are the worst types of fats. They can also be referred to as trans-unsaturated fatty acids or trans acids. These are the fats that are found in junk foods, fast foods, and pre-packaged foods. The reason that they are unhealthy is that they are produced from those nasty partially hydrogenated oil vegetable fats that we mentioned earlier. They are the ones that cause heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. But let’s be clear…this is man-made trans fats that we are talking about! Keep reading to understand the difference between trans fats that occur naturally and those that are man-made.

More than half a million people across the world die of diseases that are linked to man-made trans fats each year. And if we don’t do something about it on a global level, this number will only continue to rise. In fact, the World Health Organization has called for a ban on all man-made trans fats across the globe.

Now, as we said above-not all trans fats are bad. In fact, some occur naturally in animal products like meats and dairy. These are not the same; in fact, they can actually be good for you! The ones that are the culprits for increasing disease and obesity are the man-made ones.

Types of foods that are filled with man-made trans fats:

  • Donuts
  • Junk foods like chips, cookies, cakes
  • Fast foods like hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries
  • Smoked meats and other deli meat products
  • Anything fried or baked and pre-packaged

 Just to be clear, man-made trans fats are an artificial substance that is created when hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils. This makes the substance more solid and creates the dreaded “partially hydrogenated oil vegetable fats.” This substance is what is then used widely in baking and frying. Think products such as chips, baked goods, French fries, etc…

And again, while some trans fats do occur naturally in such foods as dairy products and some meats, it is only in small amounts. These small amounts are not as detrimental to our health as when it is a commercially made substance.

Trans fats also increase your risk of heart disease and cholesterol (increasing the bad cholesterol and decreasing the good type). These bad fats also encourage an increased amount of fatty buildups in the blood vessels, arteries, and ultimately around the heart. Hence why trans fats are the ones to watch out for and ultimately avoid at all costs. These are the ones that will make you fatter and sicker. And just for a moment, let’s remember that trans fats were the ones that the sugar industry convinced us were okay to eat for so many years. Pretty awful, right?

Consumers must read the labels on pre-packaged foods to see what exactly they are eating. If an item has a list as long as your arm filled with long and often difficult to pronounce, words-chance are pretty high that there are trans fats in that product. That’s when you place the item back on the shelf and move to a fresher part of the grocery store!

The above are just simple explanations. But for an in-depth analysis, the Australian government has some great information on good fats.

 

How much of these good fats does the human body need?

 Now that we have identified the different types of fats, their benefits, and where to find them, a new question occurs. How much of these good fats does the human body actually need? Well, here are the facts. The dietary reference intake (DRI) for fat in adults is 20% to 35% of total calories from fat. That is about 44 grams to 77 grams of fat per day if you eat 2,000 calories a day.

If you find that you are struggling to understand how to structure your diet to ensure a healthy fat intake, a high-fat diet may help. There are plenty to choose from and recipes all over the internet. It may take some research, but your health is worth it, and the changes in the way that you feel afterward, will motivate you to continue. Still, need some help getting started?

Then just start here to learn more about low carb/high-fat diets like keto right here on our blog

 Not ready to dive in yet? What’s holding you back? Fear of losing and changing everything?

Well, there’s no need to worry that a keto or similar high fat diet may make you cut out all the foods that you have been accustomed to and just can’t live without! One of the people’s biggest concerns is that they think that they will have to give up coffee. In fact, this is totally false! How exciting is that news? Yes, that’s right. Coffee is allowed and in fact, even promoted on a low carb/high-fat diet like paleo and/or keto. Not just any coffee though…special coffee. Bulletproof coffee! Bet you didn’t know that a great addition to a keto or high-fat diet is bulletproof coffee? Check out our article all about bulletproof coffee to learn more about this  

 Let’s take a minute to bring all this information on good fats together!

 For years, consumers were duped into high-carb and low-fat diets. In the end, it actually made everyone fatter and sicker. Now we know the truth and are on a quest to learn more about good fats and how they can help us to stay leaner and healthier. Step one is learning about the benefits of good fats, the four different types of dietary fats, and what they do in the body. Step two is to understand how much we need of each and where to find them. Step three is to build our new diet upon a keto or low carb lifestyle and step four, the final step is to share this information with everyone we know!

Now that you know the facts, the true facts, it’s crucial to get started and make those lifestyle changes. Life is short, and it can be even shorter and very unpleasant if you have to deal with sickness and disability too. Like everything in nature, we can heal ourselves. Similar to a forest ravaged by fire, we also can come back from the brink and see a rebirth of sorts. So, let’s not delay any longer. Start today. Throw out your high sugar foods and clear your carb ridden pantries. Replenish and restock with whole foods that are high in good fats. Reframe your thinking to see good fats as a beacon of health.

The secret that was kept from previous generations has now been exposed and we are blessed to live in a time where we know the truth. When you know better, you do better. Now is the time! Join the rebellion and stand tall and proud as a consumer of grass-fed beef and wild salmon with avocado salad! Drink your black coffee with grass-fed butter or ghee! Spoon in that MCT oil to your bulletproof coffee with pride and teach the next generation to do the same!

Incurable sickness does not have to be our story. We can heal ourselves by limiting carbs and sugars and increasing our consumption of good fats. Nature has provided us with everything we need to do it. And the effects will be long-lasting…just as long as we don’t listen to the words of big corporations like the sugar industry again.

Load up on those good fats and heal your body from the inside out. Watch as you lose weight, feel more energetic, and begin to see drastic changes in your overall health. Because the reality is that good fat are indeed good for you! So, fill up your plate and enjoy consuming your healthy fats!

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