Fat gets a bad rap for all the wrong reasons. The key is making fats work for you instead of against you. Fat is the king of macronutrients — it burns efficiently and cleanly and contains life-essential energy and nutrition, plus it’s anti-inflammatory.
Don't be fooled, though, all fats are not created equal. Different fats have distinct effects, and it’s crucial to know the hierarchy of fats for a healthy body and mind.
Benefits of Quality Fats
I built the Bulletproof diet on a foundation of good fats. Why? Through science, research, and experimentation, I realized that eating the correct type, amount, and ratios of fats optimizes your performance and brain function.
1. Fats help your immune system.
Fat-soluble vitamins such as A, E, and K are vital for overall immune health and need fat to be absorbed into your system. Some fats help white blood cells detect and eradicate invading viruses.
2. Brain performance depends on fats.
Your brain is close to 60 percent fat, making it the fattest organ in your body. Your brain needs essential fats like omega-3s (EPA and DHA) and saturated fats to function properly. Our bodies don’t produce omega-3s, so it’s crucial to get them in your diet.
3. Fats are key to hormone balance and reproductive health.
Fat is key to the production of chief hormones and improves gene communication that regulates hormone balance.
4. Fats can boost weight loss.
While experimenting with my diet, I ate 4,500 calories per day with 70 percent of that coming from quality fats.
My brain began to work like a well-oiled machine. I needed less sleep. My energy skyrocketed. Lo and behold, I lost weight, too. The only thing I gained was a six-pack and muscle.
5. Fat supports heart function.
The most recent scientific findings encourage — yes, encourage — the consumption of polyunsaturated fats to prevent heart disease.
Adding quality fat to your diet supports your overall cardiovascular function because you need a certain amount of cholesterol to accomplish cell building and communication as well as vitamin D absorption, sex hormone production, and brain function. Good fats also protect us from high blood pressure and diabetes.
Studies also suggest that a high-sugar diet is more of a cardio risk factor than a high-fat one.
6. Good fats encourage liver health.
Your liver performance can’t be understated. One of its wonders is that it helps you digest all three macronutrients: fat, proteins, and carbs as well as maintaining blood-glucose levels.
What are the right types of fat?
Here’s the confusing part for some: Not all unsaturated fats are bad for you. It’s how you strategically manage them to avoid oxidation that is essential. You can do this by steering clear of heavily processed oils and learning how to cook with these fats.
Two fundamental polyunsaturated fats for life are omega-3s and omega-6s. Your body doesn’t produce these fats, so it's vital that you get them through your food and in the optimal ratio. When not balanced properly with omega-3, omega-6 can cause problems and inflammation.
Aim to get more of these fats, starting with the most nutrient-dense ones:
1. Grass-fed animal fat (bone marrow, tallow, lard, etc. — NOT poultry fat)
High in fat-soluble nutrients, antioxidants, fatty acids, minerals, and proteins. Yes, this even means bacon!
2. Grass-fed butter/ghee
This creamy, dreamy fat is high in fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K as well as anti-oxidants and healthy fats. Put in your coffee for higher brain performance and to curb hunger. (Yup, you read that right.)
3. Virgin coconut oil
This oil is loaded with saturated fat and is very stable for cooking. The small amount of MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) boosts brain function and promotes weight loss.
Besides, putting it in my coffee, I upgrade my carbs with a drizzle of coconut oil.
4. Fish/krill oil
These oils are high in omega-3s that fight inflammation, leading to better cardiovascular health and improved brain function.
5. Avocado oil
It’s best to get the benefits of avocado oil directly from eating this fruit.
What are some of your fat “hacks” and recipes using some of the fats I mentioned? Leave them in the comments below.
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