Nutrition is forever a learning process, not only for me, but I think for everyone. There are so many different “facts” out there that most of us have no idea what to believe anymore. With all the fad diets and so called experts telling us what’s good to eat and what’s not, it’s never a shock when I see people just completely give up on maintaining a healthy diet.
Now I’m not a dietician nor a nutritionist, but I do my fair share of research and experimenting to at least have an idea of what our bodies need.
Recently as I was snacking on my mixed nuts at work as usual, a coworker came up to me asking if nuts are healthy being that they’re so fattening. I cringed. I was really surprised at that question. I figured someone who eats moderately healthy and avoids gluten would already have the answer. It made me wonder… How many other people are following diets or eliminating foods and really have no clear understanding as to why they are doing so?
For now, lets stay on the topic of fat. As Dr. Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, says, “People equate the idea of eating fat with being fat.” Why? Society, the media, pharmaceuticals, the list goes on. Do those of you who eat fat-free everything ever consider that MAYBE there’s something more to the story?
Lets start by differentiating the types of fat.
- Monounsaturated/Polyunsaturated- usually plant and fish based (omega-3s).
- Ex: olives, avocados, nuts, salmon, flax seed oil.
- Saturated- usually animal based.
- Ex: beef, chicken, pork, egg yolks, butter, margarine, coconut oil.
- Trans- made from vegetable oils but can be found naturally in small amounts in meat or dairy product.
- Ex: cake, cookies, crackers.
Obviously we can all agree that trans fats are the fats you may want to avoid. Although I could eat a whole sleeve of Oreos, I try not to…
We can also agree that experts tell us to eat plenty of unsaturated fats. BUT saturated fats? The fats that we’re told to avoid and will give us high cholesterol? They’re good for you! What the world isn’t telling you is that saturated fats help your lungs, heart, bones, liver and immune system function. Oh, and guess what. Our brains LOVE cholesterol! I’m not telling you to go eat a whole container of margarine, but adding some grass-fed butter to your whole egg omelette is more like it.
Calcium absorption into bones? Saturated fat.
Nourishment for heart muscles? Saturated fat.
Clearing out toxins in the liver? Saturated fat.
The ability of white blood cells in the immune system to attack germs? BUTTER!!!!
You get the idea. Fats allow us to absorb key vitamins such as A,D,E and K. Fats are a brain superfuel; It relies on them to thrive and prevent dysfunction.
Now tell me, do you really want to keep neglecting what your body is starving for?