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Fantastic fats!

by skating tomato (follow)
www.skatingtomato.com
Nutrition (254)     
Most of us grew up with the message, 'fats are bad'. We were told to choose low-fat options wherever possible, eat processed and unnatural products like margarine, partially hydrogenated oils, and to avoid beautiful, real foods like coconut and olives.

But the truth is, (good) fats are vital. They have a plethora of bodily functions and health benefits, and are also your best friend when maintaining a healthier, and especially, sugar minimised lifestyle.

courtesy of Flickr


Fats to love
Coconut oil and coconut products
High quality olive oil
High quality extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil and macadamia oil
Nuts and seeds (raw spreads also)
Avocado

courtesy of Flickr


Fats to use sparingly
High quality polyunsaturated fats (rapeseed, safflower, sunflower, soya and corn oils)

Fats to avoid
Trans fats (i.e. deep-fried foods)
Palm oil (typically un-environmentally friendly)
Processed foods (i.e. pastries, sweets, packaged foods, ice-cream, cakes, biscuits, store-bought sauces etc.)

courtesy of Flickr


Health benefits
Fats fill us up. It is hard to overeat fat because of the hormones released when we break them down. They tell our bodies we are full and naturally manage our appetite.
Coconut products in particular work wonders for the immune system as they are anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
Essential fatty acids keep our skin, hair and nails looking and functioning at their best.
In actual fact, fats activate our metabolism by synthesising many important vitamins and minerals.
Some act as antioxidants and help to detox our systems of heavy metals and other toxins.
Certain vitamins (A, E, K and D) are fat-soluble, meaning they need to be consumed with fat to reap their health benefits. So cooking veggies with a little healthy fat is always a good choice.

courtesy of Flickr


How to use
Coconut oil is your go-to for high temperature cooking as it is a stable saturated fat.
Olive oil is best used at medium temperatures as it isn't as stable as coconut oil.
Extra-virgin olive oil, walnut oil and macadamia oil are best for dressings and pouring cool. Think salads, pastas, rice dishes etc.
Nuts and seeds are a perfect addition to porridge or a smoothie in the morning, a snack during the day, or atop a salad or pasta dish.
Avocadoes can be creatively added to smoothies, cakes, bakes and chocolate mousses for a healthy 'indulgence', or of course can be included in sandwiches, wraps, salads and grain dishes.

courtesy of Flickr


There are of course other fats you could include; such as ghee, organic butter, animal fats (ie. the skin), eggs, oily fish, and full-fat dairy if you wish, however, a diet rich in plant-based produce is linked to many health and environmental benefits. For example, animal fat sources are very likely to be saturated fats, so opt for plant-based where possible.

And clearly - like everything in life - you can have too much of a good thing. Consume healthy fats in moderation and consult a medical or nutritional professional if deemed necessary.

As a rough guide, men should be eating no more than 95g total fat per day, and women 70g.

Related
10 uses for Coconut oil
Incorporate more cancer cell killing olive oil into your diet

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