Fat had a bad rap for years, but the reality is your body uses fat as the primary source of fuel for the brain. It's also used to activate hormones in your body and is essential to building immune function and cell membranes.
We need fats in our diet for a healthy functioning body and to fight inflammation. Your body isn't able to make essential fatty acids (EFAs) naturally, so we have to get them from food.
Here are my rules for maximizing healthy fats and ditching the not-so-healthy ones.
1. Cut out any vegetable oil high in omega-6.
Avoid oils like soybean oil, corn oil and peanut oil. You should be getting more omega-3's than omega-6's.
2. Incorporate saturated fats.
These fats are mainly found in animal products like whole milk, grass-fed butter and ghee. They can also be found in coconut oil.
Tip: cook your veggies in coconut oil or ghee and add a little bit of whole milk to your coffee if you can tolerate dairy.
3. Add avocado and almonds to your salad.
Monosaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado and almonds are excellent for heart health and packed full of vitamin E.
4. Avoid hydrogenated processed oils.
Hydrogenated oils are a man-made substance that's been chemically altered to prolong its shelf life (making it cost effective for many manufacturers).
These types of trans fats can mainly be found in packaged foods. Some common places they tend to lurk are: vegetable shortenings, cookie dough, microwave popcorn, coffee creamer and frozen pizza.
Hydrogenated oils have been shown to increase bad cholesterol (LDL) and decrease good cholesterol (HDL).
5. Eat more fatty fish.
When it comes to healthy fats, salmon is my top pick for omega-3's.
Seafood contains omega-3 fats which are great for reducing inflammation, and help with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Aim to eat salmon 2-3 times per week (make sure it's wild caught and not farm raised.)
Don't fear the fats folks! Eating the right kinds of fats will help fuel your metabolism and keep your inflammation in check.