Natural fats are not only helpful for losing weight, but essential for sustainable fat loss and maintaining good health.
Unfortunately, fats got the bad rap from years of poor research. Many of the anti-saturated fat studies lumped healthy saturated fats into the same category as man-made hydrogenated and trans fats. Other studies were done with rancid fats, which should always be avoided. With faulty research and clever “low-fat” packaging, it’s easy to believe the myth that fat is evil.
1. Support Fat Loss
The truth is, eating fat does NOT make you fat. Eating too many processed and refined foods high in carbs and sugars make you fat. Natural fats are actually your best friend for fat loss as they provide high satiation, increase nutrient absorption, stabilize blood sugar levels and balance hormones. Hormones are what control whether you gain or lose weight. Eat to make your hormones happy and you’ll find fat loss to be effortless and delicious.
2. Stabilize Blood Sugar
Fats have zero effect on your blood sugar levels, making them ideal for reducing body fat, preventing diabetes and balancing hormones (adrenals, thyroid, etc.). Add natural fats at every meal and with snacks to maintain even energy throughout the day. Fats also lower the glycemic load (GL) of any type of carb, meaning the sugar from that food enters the blood at a much slower rate. The lower the GL, the better.
3. Provide High Satiation
Eating fat stimulates the release of leptin, a hunger hormone that tells your brain when you’re “full.” This is why fat is highly satiating, helps prevent overeating, reduces cravings and keeps you full long after you eat.
4. Drastically Improves Flavor
Natural fats make everything taste better, including vegetables. Adding a little natural fat to your veggies will make it a lot easier to eat more veg.
5. Increase Nutrient Absorption
Studies show adding fat to your food actually increases the nutrient content of your meal and improves the absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), omega-3s, protein and minerals.
6. Balance Hormones Naturally
Fats, including cholesterol, are used to make hormones. Fat is crucial for male and female reproductive health. Eating too few or the wrong kinds of fats can cause infertility, PMS and early menopause in women, while causing low testosterone and infertility in men.
7. Boost Brain Functioning
The human brain is nearly 60 percent fat, particularly essential fatty acids like omega-3s (especially DHA). These fats control everything from cognitive function to mood. Getting adequate cholesterol in your daily diet helps increase the “feel-good” neurotransmitter serotonin, which decreases anxiety and depression.
8. Strengthen Immune System
Saturated fats such as those found in butter, coconut oil, and red palm oil contain beneficial fatty acids such as butyric acid, lauric acid and myristic acid. These unique fats are anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal, which support a healthy gut and strong immune system.
9. Improve Joints, Bones and Teeth
Fats provide joint lubrication. They’re also are essential for absorbing fat soluble vitamins and metabolizing calcium for healthy bones. Saturated fats are particularly effective at reducing dental cavities and plaque.
10. Reduce Disease Risk
Good fats, particularly those high in omega-3s, decrease inflammation and can reduce the risk of developing disease. Saturated fats decrease heart disease risk by reducing lipoprotein (a) levels.
- Cook with unrefined coconut oil or pastured butter
- Add pastured butter to coffee
- Dress salads with extra virgin olive oil
- Include more wild salmon and sardines
- Supplement with high quality fish oil
- Snack on organic nuts, seeds, nut butters, or olives
- Opt for full-fat organic dairy products, such as raw milk cheese, yogurt, kefir, etc.
- Enjoy more avocados
- Swap low-fat milk for coconut milk
- Include eggs, nitrate-free bacon/sausage at breakfast
- Swap grain-fed animal products for grass-fed animal products
Healthy Fats: pastured animal fats (eggs, beef fat, pork fat, bacon, butter, ghee, etc.), wild seafood (salmon, sardines, fish oil) avocado, extra virgin olive oil, unrefined coconut butter/oil/milk, unrefined palm oil, organic nuts and seeds. Good fats come from unrefined animal fats and naturally occurring fats from plants. They tend to be higher in saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and omega-3s.
Symptoms of Healthy Fat Deficiency: fatigue, weight gain, depression, anxiety, mood swings, difficulty concentration, dementia, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, hormone imbalances, constant hunger, increased cravings, digestive issues (gas, bloating, diarrhea, acid reflux), dry hair and skin, brittle nails, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, infertility and reproductive problems.
Improve Fat Digestion
Give your digestion support by mixing 4 oz of water with 1 TB raw apple cider vinegar and 1 serving of digestive bitters. Drink before meals to stimulate HCL and bile production. For additional support, include more fermented foods, such as kombucha, kraut, kvass, and kimchi.
Signs you need to support your fat digestion include: gas, burping, feeling heavy after meals, bloating, acid reflux or heartburn, pain in your right side that radiates up to your right shoulder blade, loose or light colored stool, and floating stool.
Coconut is the best fat to start with as it doesn’t require bile salts for digestion. Thus, if you’ve had your gallbladder removed, coconut fat products, such as coconut oil and coconut milk are an ideal fat source.